Favorites entering the tournament Argentina’s World Cup campaign got off to the worst conceivable start as Saudi Arabia defeated them 2-1, ending their 36-game unbeaten streak. Within the first ten minutes, Lionel Messi converted a penalty, but Saudi Arabia rallied, and two outstanding goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari in the second half sealed the victory. So, thus Argentina vs Saudi Arabia ended up in 1-2 win for Saudi Arabia.
Within the first two minutes, Messi had his first opportunity to score when he pounced on a loose ball but was unable to deflect the ball past Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais.
As Saud Abdulhamid was spotted tugging on Leandro Paredes’ jersey, VAR intervened to award Argentina a penalty in the eighth minute.
Messi went up to take the penalty and calmly finished from 12 yards to give Argentina the lead.
Although Argentina maintained possession, Lionel Scaloni’s team didn’t always appear to be at ease doing so.
Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, responded effectively, and their high press caused plenty of issues for Argentina.
When Messi finished off a one-on-one 22 minutes in, it appeared as though he had taken advantage of the space behind him that the Saudi high line had provided, but the offside flag correctly disallowed it.
In the following ten minutes, Lautaro Martinez had two opportunities to score, but both of his attempts were unsuccessful.
Even though Argentina scored four goals in the first half, Saudi Arabia was still very much in the game and Argentina only had a 1-0 lead at the intermission.
Saleh Al-Shehri punished that waste by outpacing Cristian Romero and arrowing a fantastic shot across the goal and into the bottom corner.
Salem Al-beautiful Dawsari’s effort from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner gave Argentina the lead eight minutes into the second half.
Hassan Altambakti’s spectacular charge prevented Messi from scoring an equalizer, while Al Owais’ outstanding save kept his team ahead when Nicolas Tagliafico missed a shot from about two yards out.
Apart from a soft Messi header that was gladly saved by the goalie, Argentina’s attempts to score a second goal were characterized by frequent crosses into the penalty area.
As Argentina urgently attempted to claw their way back into the game, Julian Alvarez saw an attempt deflected off the line in stoppage time.
However, they were unable to find any way past the outstanding Saudi defense.
Yasir Al Shahrani’s unsuccessful attempt to clear the ball was stopped by his goalkeeper’s knee, bringing the game to a disappointing conclusion.
Before being carried out on a stretcher, the left-back was seen moving and giving the thumbs up, desperate not to let his injury mar Saudi Arabia’s historic victory.