The World Cup in Qatar has claimed its first shock result, as Saudi Arabia – 51st in the FIFA rankings – beat Argentina 2-1 at Doha’s Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.
To rub salt into the wounds, Saudi Arabia also ended Argentina's 36-game unbeaten streak. The South Americans had not lost a match since a 2-0 defeat to Brazil on 3 July 2019 in the Copa America. Italy, absent from the 2022 World Cup, will keep their unbeaten record of 37 matches between September 2018 and October 2021.
Saudi Arabia are one place below Qatar in the FIFA rankings, while Argentina were seen as one of the favourites to win the tournament – adding to the sense of humiliation for the Albiceleste.
Three offside goals disallowed
Lionel Messi gave the Argentinians the lead from the penalty spot after 10 minutes, and it could have been more, after Argentina had three goals disallowed for offside in 13 minutes.
The game turned on its head when Al Shehri (48th) and Al Dawsari (53rd) gave Saudi Arabia a shock lead, with the Saudis managing to hold on for the rest of the game.
Saudi Arabia have become the first Asian nation to beat Argentina at the World Cup.
This is only the second time that Argentina has lost a World Cup match after leading at half-time. The first time was against Uruguay in the final of the first World Cup in 1930, which the Uruguay won 4-2.