Qatar 2022: Saudi Arabia Shock Argentina In Group C Opener

Posted on November 22, 2022

Saudi Arabia caused one of the biggest shocks in FIFA World Cup history by coming from behind to beat Argentina in their Group C opener on Tuesday at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar.

Argentina hoping to dethrone France as world champions and coached by Lionel Scaloni were tipped as one of the pre-tournament favorites to go all the way in Qatar – and they still might – but very few foresaw Lionel Messi and Co slipping up against the team ranked 51st in world.

A Saudi Arabia victory looked even less likely after Lionel Messi who is playing his last World Cup put Argentina ahead with a 10th-minute penalty following a foul by Saud Abdulhamid on Leandro Paredes.
Argentina scored three more goals in the first half but they were all disallowed for offside as the Green Falcons played very compact and denied the superior side the chance to express themselves.
The Saudis then stung Argentina with two quickfire goals shortly after half-time.
Saleh Al-Shehri got the first with a precise low drive from a difficult angle after getting the better of Tottenham center-back Cristian Romero.
The turnaround was complete in the 53rd minute when Salem Al Dawsari found the top corner with a swerving strike from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Argentina dominated possession for the rest of the contest but Saudi Arabia defended well and denied Messi and Co many clear chances.
When Argentina did break through the Saudi defense, goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais was on hand to make four priceless saves.
Al-Owais was visibly upset at the end of the game though, having caught teammate Yasir Al Shahrani in his face with a flying knee.
Al Shahrani left the field on a stretcher but Saudi Arabia held on for only their fourth victory at a FIFA World Cup – this was their 16th game at a finals tournament.

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