The Falcons, ranked 51 in the world, come from behind to win 2-1 against one of the tournament’s favourites
By Rayhan Uddin
The Falcons, ranked 51st in the global rankings, beat the world’s third best team 2-1 in a pulsating match at Doha’s Lusail Stadium.
Messi slotted in a penalty after a video review spotted a foul, as the South Americans dominated but had three goals disallowed.
But the Saudis spoiled Messi’s swansong with two stunning second-half strikes in quick succession, first from striker al-Shehri and then winger al-Dawsari.
“One of the biggest shocks in FIFA World Cup history,” tweeted the tournament’s official account.
Saudi Arabia’s historic victory broke Argentina’s 36 game unbeaten streak.
The South American side are one of the favourites to win the whole tournament, having beaten rivals Brazil to win the continental Copa America tournament last year.
In the second half, under intense pressure as the Argentinians sought a late equaliser, the Falcons’ defenders put their bodies on the line with last ditch tackles and goal line clearances.
Goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais made five saves in total, picking up a yellow card in the process for dissent for what he thought was a foul.
It’s not the end of the road for Argentina, they will be reassured by Spain in 2010 winning the World Cup after losing their opening match against Switzerland.
Argentina themselves got to the final of the 1990 World Cup after losing their opening match to Cameroon 1-0.
Middle East Eye