In the history of the World Cup, Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina is regarded as one of the most significant upsets. The country is 51 in the FIFA rankings and has played 17 matches at the tournament. They won three, drew two, and lost 11. However, they managed to beat the favorites of the tournament by a 2-1 score in their opening match.
Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead with a soft penalty. However, they were denied a couple of other chances that were also ruled out for offside. This was as good as it got for the home side.
The Saudis were superb throughout the match. They took advantage of their high back line and were able to squeeze the ball into the middle of the pitch, which prevented Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi from creating many chances. Argentina had not lost a World Cup match since 1958. However, all that changed in the second half.
After getting back into the game through a well-taken goal by Salah Al Shehri, Saudi Arabia went ahead with a stunning second goal by Salem Al Dawsari. Argentina fans were stunned by this. They couldn’t believe that their pre-tournament favorites were suddenly down by a goal.
In the second half, Saudi Arabia came out with a much stronger and more aggressive approach. They were rewarded for their bravery and showed more hunger and intensity. Argentina struggled in the second half, but the credit should go to Saudi Arabia for their efforts.
Throughout the match, Argentina had been looking to Lionel Messi to provide a spark. However, it was not always possible for him to do so. The other players in the team also failed to perform. This result has raised doubts about their ability to reach the knockout stage of the tournament.
Before the match, Saudi Arabia knew that three points would be very important to their hopes of advancing to the knockout stage. They faced tough games against Mexico and Poland.
Before we get carried away, remember that Spain lost its first group match in 2010. It turned out alright for them.
Since 1994, Saudi Arabia has only gotten out of the group stage once. They started this tournament with a poor performance and lost to Russia in their opening match. However, since they have won their last two games, they are now considered to be in a good position to reach the knockout stage.