World Cup 2022: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia delivers 'seismic' shock

By Rek Hanibal Published on November 23, 2022
World Cup 2022: Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia delivers 'seismic' shock

Time stood still as Al-Dawsari plucked the ball out from the sky and turned inside two Argentina defenders before curling his finish beyond the reach of Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, producing one of the most significant moments of any World Cup finals.

Lionel Messi had given one of the pre-tournament favourites the lead from the penalty spot after a contentious VAR decision (10). Still, Saleh Al-Shehri levelled three minutes into the second period to set up an almighty upset.

The result ended Argentina's 36-game unbeaten run, stretching back to defeat against Brazil three years ago, but this was the most fantastic day in Saudi Arabian football history.

"This hurts a lot. We were dreaming of starting the World Cup with a win," said Messi's strike partner Lautaro Martinez. "But it's happened, and now we must train and think forward.

"We lost this game because of our mistakes, most of all in the second half. Some details make a difference, and we must correct our mistakes."

When Argentina last lost their opening World Cup group game in 1990 - against Cameroon - they went on to reach the final, where they lost to Germany, but that will be of little consolation to the South Americans right now the following defeat to the nation ranked 51st in world football.

Rek Hanibal

Rek Hanibal

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