Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over Argentina, which entered the tournament on a 36-match winning streak.
It is the first time Saudi Arabia has won a World Cup opening match and their second victory in their last five World Cup appearances. The team defeated Egypt 2-1 in the final match of the 2018 World Cup.
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Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Argentina in the 10th minute with a penalty kick. The early scoring potentially signaled an offensive attack. Argentina would score three more times after that, but each goal was disallowed.
Saudi Arabia were down on goal in the second half until Saleh Al-Shehri scored in the 48th minute to tie the game. In the 53rd minute, Salem Al-Dawsari scored the go-ahead goal.
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Goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais would make some key saves towards the end of the match to keep Argentina at bay and seal the deal for Saudi Arabia.
Argentina entered the tournament ranked No. 3 in the FIFA rankings and were favorites to potentially win the tournament in what is considered Messi’s last World Cup run. It is the first time they have lost a first game since 1990.
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The team only managed one goal and failed to pick up any points in a loss. The calendar is not doing Argentina any favors. The squad will have to play against Mexico and Poland during the next week.