Lionel Messi 2

Saudi Arabia Beat Argentina in One of the Biggest Upsets in World Cup History

Argentina suffered one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history after Saudi Arabia completed a remarkable comeback victory at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.

As reported by The Telegraph, Argentina, captained by Lionel Messi and on a 36-run unbeaten streak, were billed as one of the favourites coming into the Qatar tournament.

But goals by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span in the second half cancelled out Messi’s first-half penalty and gave the Saudis their greatest win.

According to analysis by Nielsen’s Gracenote, the result was the most shocking upset in World Cup history.

Follow latest reaction below:

Lauturo Martinez’s Reaction

“This hurts a lot. We were dreaming of starting the World Cup with a win,” said Messi’s strike partner. “But it’s happened and now we have to train and think forward.

“We lost this game because of our own mistakes, most of all in the second half. There are details that make a difference and we need to correct our mistakes.”

Some Reaction From Pundits

Graeme Souness, visibly shocked, said: “In my time in football when I’ve played against Argentinians I never ever got an easy encounter – that was a shadow of any Argentinian side I’ve ever seen, they were a shadow today.”

Roy Keane told viewers: “They weren’t as a team today – it’s a huge setback for them, huge.”

Former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole added: “Argentina came into this expecting to win, thirty six games unbeaten. This is a huge test now. Lionel Scaloni’s got to lift that group of players and find a way of getting them back to what we expect – aggressive, quality – it’s a huge ask for him.”

How Did Saudi Arabia Manage That?

They surprised Argentina by squeezing and hounding them in midfield with fantastic intensity, when everyone was expected them to sit back and defend deep.

It came with risks – they survived three narrow offside calls in the first half – but it stopped Argentina from building any rhythm. You expected De Paul and Paredes to show a lot more composure to keep the ball under pressure.

When you think about it, the high line makes some sense: Argentina do not have blistering pace with Lauturo Martinez and Messi through the middle.

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