Saudi Arabia: Argentina took an early lead thanks to Messi’s penalty, but Saleh Al-Shehri equalised early in the second half. And Salem Al-Dawsari scored a spectacular winner.
Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina on Tuesday. Defeating the two-time World Cup champions 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
The red-hot favourites were defeated by a stunning winner from Salem Al-Dawsari, ending the South American side’s 36-match unbeaten run.
After Saleh Al-Shehri cancelled out an early Lionel Messi penalty, Saudi Arabia came from behind to win.
The athletic Saudis rode their luck in the first half. Playing a risky high defensive line, when Argentina had the ball in the net three times. Only to be denied by an offside call.
Lionel Scaloni’s team
However, the Saudis swarmed all over Lionel Scaloni’s team in the second half and scored twice. As the Arab nation defeated the South Americans for the first time in five attempts.
In a first half dominated by Argentina, it appeared that Saudi Arabia’s risky defensive tactics would cost them.
The Asian side happily allowed Argentina’s back four to pass the ball among themselves. Reducing the game to a sliver of green turf around the halfway line.
After VAR intervened to award a penalty. When Saud Abdulhamid wrestled Leandro Paredes to the ground in the box at a corner. It appeared Saudi Arabia would have a long afternoon.
Messi patiently awaited goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais’ dive to his left before coolly rolling the ball into the opposite corner.
However, if the Saudis were dissatisfied with the technology, it would later help them stay in the game.
Argentina had the ball in the net three times only to be denied by razor-thin offside calls.
The equaliser came three minutes into the second half. When Al-Shehri ran onto a touch from Feras Al-Brikan. Beat Cristian Romero on the outside, and slotted the ball back across goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez and into the far corner.
The large Saudi contingent in the Lusail stadium, which will host the World Cup final, erupted in joy.
The Argentines were stunned, and the turnaround took only five minutes.
Al-deft Dawsari’s turn in the box beat two defenders. Before slipping the ball past a third and launching an unstoppable shot into the top far corner.
Hassan Al-Tambakti punched the air with delight after his desperate sliding tackle denied Messi a clear shot at goal.
Every Al-Owais save, including a point-blank stop from Nicolas Tagliafico’s close-range prod.
Late drama ensued when Al-Owais collided with Yasser Al-Shahrani and appeared to knock him out. When his knee struck the defender’s head.