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Saudi Arabia shellshocks Argentina at 2022 World Cup


Match ends with an embarrassing loss for Messi’s squad.

After a stunning comeback victory by Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Iconic Stadium, Argentina have been dealt one of the most devastating blows in the annals of World Cup history.

Coming into the Qatar tournament as one of the favorites, Argentina’s Lionel Messi served as captain, and the team had a winning streak of 36 runs going into the competition.

However, goals scored by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari within a span of five minutes in the second half gave the Saudis their greatest win and cancelled out Messi’s penalty kick from the first half.

Even though this was not the intended outcome, it consistently seems to play out this way in the end. That stooped posture, that absent-minded gaze, and that glum expression on the face. Lionel Messi’s legacy was one of Argentina’s primary motivations for participating in this World Cup.

It will remember it for quite some time as one of the greatest humiliations in its history, and it will remember it for quite some time.

A team that had traveled to Qatar on the back of 35 games without suffering a loss, with the glow of its first international honor in a generation still fresh in the memory, with arguably the greatest player of all time in top form and surrounded by teammates of the highest caliber, opened its tournament with a loss of 2-1 to an opponent, Saudi Arabia, that was supposed to be little more than a sacrificial lamb.


Because, in the end, it was nothing if not warranted, adequate punishment for Argentina’s inability to pick its way through the Saudi resistance, to keep a cool head, and to leverage all of its experience and talent to its advantage, the sting of the defeat — not just a defeat, but also an embarrassment, a shame, and a stigma that is being carved into Argentine skin in real time — will burn all the more.

READ MORE: Argentina’s profile for the 2022 World Cup

It’s possible that Saudi Arabia got lucky in the first half of their game. For much of the second, it picked off an Argentina team that was unexpectedly addled with all of the old faults, the old neuroses.

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