Doha: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) scored one of the biggest World Cup victories ever by beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-1.
Messi’s quest to win the one major title to elude him got off to a shocking start and brought back memories of Cameroon’s 1-0 win over an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup.
Goals by Saleh Al Shehri and Salim Al Dawsari in a five-minute span in the second half gave the Saudis the win. Argentina took an early lead with a 10th-minute penalty by Messi.
The Paris Saint-Germain star shook hands with a Saudi coaching staff member after the final whistle and stood with his hands on his hips near the center circle, an all-too familiar scene for one of the best players ever who is yet to win the biggest prize in football.
The historic victory was sealed by a somersault by Al Dawsari, who brought down a high ball just inside the penalty area, turned one defender, jinked past another and drove a powerful shot past goalkeeper Emi Martinez, who got a hand on the ball but couldn’t keep out of the net in the 53rd.
A stunned Messi watched as scores of green-clad fans from Saudi Arabia, Qatar’s neighbour, celebrated in disbelief in the stands. Saudi Arabia’s substitutes stormed the field.
Saudi Arabia 🔥🔥🔥
— Arabian Daily (@arabiandailys) November 22, 2022
Messi put Argentina ahead from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee told the referee to take a look at a jersey grab by Saud Abdulhamid on Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes.
With Saudi Arabia’s first shot in goal, Saleh Al Shehri found the bottom corner with an angled finish through the legs of defender Cristian Romero.
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