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World Cup’s biggest upset as Saudis win against Argentina

Argentina’s Lionel Messi standing beside Saudi Arabia’s players celebrating after winning the World Cup group C soccer match  in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Argentina attempts 15 shots and Saudi Arabia only 3 and yet the Saudis sealed, probably the biggest upset in this FIFA World Cup by winning the match. The highly anticipated match ended in disappointment for fans who were rooting for Argentina when Saudi Arabia won 2-1.

Argentina had possession of the ball 70% of the time with 10 offside attempts. The team’s only goal was a penalty shot by Lionel Messi in the first half of the match in the 10th minute. Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Al Sheri scored a spectacular equaliser just minutes into the second half (48th minute), and Salem Al Easwari sealed the win for Saudi Arabia with a superb solo goal in the 53rd minute.

“I’m fine. The result hurts. It’s really bitter, but we’ve got to keep growing and we’ve got to think about the next games. … My ankle is fine” Sporting News quotes Messi.

Saudi Arabia now has a higher chance of reaching the final 16. They face Poland next whilst Argentina faces Mexico.

Argentina can still win the Cup

Argentina was the favourite to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the team still has a chance to do so.  In the 1990 World Cup, Argentina the defending champions were anticipated to captivate the world in the opening match against Cameroon. The Argentinians, however, never got going and were beaten by Cameroon. Both sides eventually qualified, with Argentina reaching the final and losing to West Germany.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world.

Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink correspondent based in Auckland.

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