The Argentina national football team was beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia on their debut at the World Cup in Qatar. Despite being one of the big favorites to win the tournament, in its first match of the group stage they were completely taken aback by Saudi Arabia, considered one of the weakest national teams of these World Cups: they have the second worst finish in the FIFA ranking among the 32 participants (51st), while Argentina is third (and is the reigning champion of South America).
Saudi Arabia beat Argentina. @adidasfootball | #FIFAWorldCup
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 22, 2022
Argentina had taken the lead after just ten minutes of play with a penalty from their captain, Lionel Messi. She had then continued to push forward in attack, also invited by the prudent attitude of the opponents, scoring three more goals, all however disallowed for offside, for Messi and Lautaro Martinez.
In the second half, Saudi Arabia immediately began to fight back against the attacking pressure and scored two goals within five minutes, through Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari. At that point Argentina, rather bewildered, reacted in turn, but often hastening the plays in attack and finding themselves faced with a great and unexpected resistance in defense.
With this surprising result – the first of these World Cups, which will be remembered for a long time – Saudi Arabia takes the lead in Group C while Argentina – which before today had not lost in 36 official matches – remains last with zero points pending of Mexico-Poland, scheduled for today at 17.