World Cup: Saudi Arabia stun Messi’s Argentina 2-1

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Saudi Arabia came from behind to inflict a stunning defeat on Argentina in one of the biggest shocks in the tournament’s history.

It was all going so well for Argentina when they took the lead after just 10 minutes with Lionel Messi netting from the penalty spot after Leandro Paredes had been pulled to the floor in the box.

That goal meant Messi became the first Argentinian player to score at four different World Cups.

It looked as if it was going to be a comfortable victory for Lionel Scaloni’s side from that point with Argentina continually getting in behind their opponent’s back line, seeing Messi have another goal ruled out for offside before Lautaro Martínez had VAR intervene to chalk off his effort.

But two goals in six minutes at the start of the second half changed the whole complexion of this game.

First, Saleh Al-Shehri burst into the box to drill a left-footed effort into the bottom corner before Salem Al-Dawsari left the Argentines stunned with a powerful curler from the edge of the box which rifled into the top corner to give his side the lead.

Argentina pushed in search of an equaliser and Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais had to be alert to palm out an attempt via Nicolas Tagliafico’s knee from just four yards out.

Julian Alvárez then had a shot cleared off the line with Alowais on the floor and the goal gaping in a frantic end to the game in stoppage time.

That was about as close as they got as a resilient Saudi Arabia side held on to inflict a first defeat on Argentina since March 2019, bringing to an end a run of 36 games without defeat.