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spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA
Argentina ARG
1
Messi 9' (p)
Saudi Arabia KSA
2
Saleh Al Shehri 47',Salem Al Dawsari 52'
Finished

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia summary: 1-2, goals, highlights, Al-Dawsari the hero | Qatar World Cup 2022

Update:
LUSAIL, QATAR - NOVEMBER 22: Salem Al Dawsari of Saudi Arabia celebrates 1-1 during the  World Cup match between Argentina  v Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Lusail Qatar (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia: (as it happened)

Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia

Green Falcons stun Albiceleste (match report)

Saudi Arabia produced one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history to beat Argentina 2-1 in their Group C opener with goals by Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari stunning the favourites on Tuesday.

The 51st-ranked Saudis were trailing to Lionel Messi's 10th minute penalty, but Al-Shehri squeezed in an angled shot in the 48th minute after punishing poor Argentine defending.

Saudi Arabia's fans were then sent into delirium five minutes later as Al-Dawsari curled a stunning shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Argentina were on course to match Italy's record 37-match unbeaten run after the mercurial Messi opened his fifth and final World Cup by stroking home a 10th-minute penalty.

But for three goals being chalked off for offside, one for Messi and two for Lauturo Martinez, Argentina would have been home and dry before halftime but the game was turned on its head after the break in extraordinary fashion.(Reuters)

World Cup Group C

Mexico and Poland draw: situation in Group C

Well, well. Who had Saudi Arabia sitting pretty on top of Group C after matchday 1? 

Mexico and Poland played out a 0-0 draw this evening, meaning Saudi Arabia's win over Argentina puts them top of the group. 

All the World Cup stats and tables. 

Does Leo Messi promote Saudi Arabia?

WORLD CUP 2022

Does Leo Messi promote Saudi Arabia?

Messi’s connection to Saudi Arabia will lead to questions and potential controversy following Argentina’s shocking loss to the Arab state. More on that above.

Thanks for joining us today as we saw one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as Herve Renard's Green Falcons came from behind to record a famous 1-2 win over Argentina.

Stay with us at AS USA for all the breaking news and big World Cup stories.

Mexico vs Poland: How to watch on TV and online, time, location, etc.

WORLD CUP 2022

Mexico vs Poland: How to watch on TV and online, time, location, etc.

So, now thoughts in Group C turn to the Stadium 974 as Mexico face Poland with both sides desperate for the opening game win.

With today's win, Saudi Arabia have turned Group C on its head. 

Every pundits side to finish bottom of the group could advance now be securing a point in their remaining two games against Mexico and Poland.

For the other sides in the group, advancing to the Round of 16 just got that little bit more complex.

The biggest upsets in World Cup history

WORLD CUP 2022

The biggest upsets in World Cup history

Saudi Arabia join the list of World Cup giantkillers!

Messi

The face of dejection

Despite scoring the Argentina goal today, it was a game to forget for captain Leo Messi. The No. 10 had a discreet afternoon and his game was summed up by a poor ree kick late on that could have delivered a lifeline for the South American side.

Saudi Arabia not only secured three big World Cup points today but they are also the side to put an end to Argentina's unbeaten run....36 games unbeaten comes to and end at the hands of the Green Falcons.
​​​​​​

Next up for Argentina:

Lionel Scaloni's men face Mexico on Saturday night back at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in a game that they cannot afford to lose. Defeat could spell the end of the campaign for the Copa America champions.

Saudi Arabia will face Poland on Saturday too with that game taking place at Education City.

Reaction in Argentina

'A complete surprise' claim Ole as Argentine fans get their calculators out and start to work on possible permutations for advancing to the next stage.

Still, all is not lost for Argentina fans... 

Spain lost their 2010 opener to Switzerland on their journey to winning the South Africa World Cup.

A 1990 first game loss to Cameroon failed to deprive the Albiceleste from advancing to the final of Italia 90 though they did lose to Germany.

 

 

Saudi's shock the World Cup

Saleh Al Shehri (47)' and Salem Al Dawsari (52') secured their place in Saudi Arabian soccer folklore as their two second half strikes were enough to secure maximum points over Argentina at the Lusail Iconic Stadium today.

Q) Who saw that coming?

A) No-one, that was very much not in the Group C script and pressure now mounts on the South American side as the remaining games against Mexico and Poland become 'must win' affairs.

Incredible scenes here as we have just witnessed one of the biggest upsets in the history of the World Cup....

USA, North Korea, Republic of Ireland, Cameroon and now add the name of Saudi Arabia to that list as Herve Renard's Green Falcons beat highly fancied Leo Messi and Argentina. 

FT in Lusail and Saudi Arabia beat Argentina

103

Whistles ring out now in Lusail and we're on  the cusp of a big, big, big World Cup upset.

Di Maria floats the ball in and overhits and that pass epitomises the second half for the Albiceleste....

Al Owais saves again... what a performance from the Al Hilal stopper.

100

We pass the 100 min mark but that injury will see another 4-5 minutes added at least as Argentina win their ninth corner of the day.

Mohammed Al-Breik comes on for the injured man who is carried off by the medics.

We're back underway.

The body langiage of the Argentina is that of a beaten side.

Play is stopped as Yasir Al Shahrani collided with his own goalkeeper and looks to have caught a knee to the face ... this does not look great for the Al Hilal man

94

Four long minutes remain if you're a Saudi fan ....or just even a fan of the underdog story.

..of course...Italia 90... Cameroon 1-0 Argentina 

​​​​​​​another iconic upset.

This would be Saudi Arabia's first ever World Cup opening win as they win a corner.

Alamri it was who headed off the line and is the current hero for the Green Falcons fans

91

Was that 8 mins. of stoppage time?

Corner for the South American side. Argentine pressing now looking for the second goal that would lead to the draw.

The ball is now cleared off the line as Al Owais is carded.

90

Last minute of normal time and Saudi Arabia still hold firm.

Changes for the Falcons:

AlAbed & Albrikan make way for Haitham Mohammed Asiri and Abdulelah Al Amri​​​​​​

We have a stoppage as Albrikan needs medical attention .... gamesmanship, maybe ? 

The ref signals to his watch and reaffirms that all time will be added.

We've seen how games in the competion to date have had up to ten minutes of added time.

85

5 (five) minutes remain.... the clock ticks down and are Argentina about to fall for the first time in 37 games?

 

Argentina fans in the crowd now with a genuine look of concern as they know the could be on hand to witness one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever....

We have North Korea beating Italy in 1966.... the US 1950 win over England... this surely is as big as those ?

Abdulhamid carded and Saudi now just happy to break up the play as the clock continues down. 

81

Not his finest and the ball drifts wide.... Yells of delight from the Saudi fans and emotionally Argentina are not in a good place.

80

Messi fouled on the edge of the Saudi box.

Danger here now for the Green Falcons... this is the 'Messi-zone'.

 

The camera cuts to Argentine boss Lionel Scaloni and his face tells its own story. Concern and anxiety as this result cranks up the pressure on the Albiceleste to bag maximum points now in games against Mexico and Poland.

Change for Saudi: Al Shehri (goal hero) makes way for Alganham

75

Al Owais in the Saudi goal has been immense today as Ali Al-Bulaihi is carded for back-chat.

A quarter of an hour left here in Lusail.

One senses that Scaloni would settle for a point at this stage and that in itself is a shock result.

Al Owais saves well again and what a change this second half has seen. Argentina were calm and composed and utterly dominant in the first 45 but two early goals from the men in green was very much not in the script.

Albrikan now getting medical attention and this is not what Lionel Scaloni will not want. 

Sevilla's Acuña on for Tagliafico.

69

Argentina now looking to keep the tempo high as they are aware that the clock is ticking as we approach the 70 minute mark.

Messi corner for Argentina as Lautaro heads wide. 

First card for Saudi Arabia as Al Malki clips De Paul

Saudi Arabia have just 25 minutes left here in Lusail to deliver one of the biggest ever World Cup upsets and dent Argentina's run at the unbeaten record.

 

Al Owais saves well as Argentina almost draw level. Messi with the resulting corner kick.

Saudi do well to clear the ball away and the move breaks down.

Argentina are starting to exude a palpable nervousness. 

This game is so incredible well balanced... Can Saudi Arabia manage the game and hold the lead. Pressure will also be mounting on the Argentina team as no-one in the sky and white shirt will want to be remembered as part of the team that participated in one of the great World Cup upsets.

​​​​​​​

60

We pass the hour mark.... Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia... yes, that is not a typo...

Two second half goals from Herve Renard's men have turned this match on its head.

Changes for Argentina:

Romero, El Papu and Paredes off 

Alvarez, Martinez and Fernandez on

What a turnaround

Still more than 30 minutes to go, but who anticapated this?

What a finish from the Saudi No. 10....as Salem Al-Dawsari drills the ball into the top corner for a superb strike

Oh my Word .......Saudi Arabia go ahead

ARG 1-1 KSA

The noise levels have been cranked up to 11 as the green clad fans are in dreamland

Al Shehri finds space and slots past Martinez to stun the Albiceleste fans ....

Gooooool. Saudi Arabia pull one back... incredible scenes here...

Di Maria goes to ground but the Juve man is slowly able to get to his feet again and the game continues.

All set in Lusail ... Argentina start the half

Saudi still believe

Just the Messi penalty to separate the sides but a blow for Herve Renard in losing captain Al Faraj.

So Saudi Arabia have yet to muster a real threat on the Argentina goal it's true but a 1-0 scoreline sees the game very much alive.

If Argentina were capable of reading the offside rule a little better it is true that the score could be 3 or 4 nil for the Albiceleste.

The whistle sounds after more than six minutes of stoppage time and it remains 1-0 to Argentina.

Messi (10th minute) from the spot the difference between the teams

A blow for Saudi as captain Al Faraj fails to shake off the earlier injury and is replaced by Al Abed

More Messi history !

The Argentine continues to write new chapters in the history books.

Argentina now just playing out the half in a comfortable fashion as we see Messi dropping deeper and demanding the ball.

Five minutes of stoppage time have been awarded.

ARG 1-0 KSA

Last minute of the half and Saudi Arabia are still in contention despite being outplayed in swathes of this game.

40

Into the final five minutes of the half as win their second corner of the day.

Papu Gomez and Messi work it short as the Sevilla man is clipped.

Free for Argentina which Messi will hit. The ball falls to De Paul and the Atleti man blazes high and over.

40

Salman Al Faraj needs attention after taking a whack to the shin. The Al Hilal man is good to go again after a dose of the magic spray and the action re-commences.

36

The ball is in the Saudi net again with Lautaro tapping home but for the 7th time in the half the flag is up and it won't count.

Messi has been quiet this afternoon with the PSG man not getting on the ball as much as Argentina fans would like to see.

34

Saudi Arabia has grown in confidence after a sluggish start. 

There seems to be a little more belief now from the Saudi side and whilst they are just a goal behind they are very much at the races.

Another break for Argentina and yet again, the flag is up... that's the sixth in 30 mins.

31

We've past the half hour mark and despite Argentina's dominance, the slender scoreline means that Renard's side are still very much in the game.

Free for the Green Falcons but poorly delivered and Martinez gathers.

The finish from the forward was sublime too but heartbreak for Argentina as it appears to be ruled out for offside.

So, as we were.... 

Great run and finish from the Inter striker as we may have a VAR check....

27

Lautaro makes it 2-0

Offsides stats: ARG 4-0 KSA

Argentina dominate in terms of possession with the Asian side still yet to threat the Albiceleste goal.

possession
59.7
40.3
Yellow cards
0
0
red cards
0
0
fouls won
2
1
fouls committed
2
2
Contested balls where possession is lost
8
8
Ball recoveries
13
4
Offsides
4
0
Penalties
1
0
disparos
3
0

Messi has the ball in the net but, wait... the flag was up... ruled out... the No. 10 was indeed a mm (or 2) offside?

Unlike scenes we've seen at the US-Wales and Senegal-Netherlands games, there is not a single spare seat in the house.

19

The atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium is absolutely electric.

The Argentina fans are making volumes of noise and with a solid showing of green clad Saudi fans, the whole thing makes for a tremendous visual and audio delight.

19

We've seen a decent spell from Saudi in the past five minutes or so and now it's Argentina's turn to sit deeper.... 

The ball breaks and Lautaro slips past the men in green but just as the Inter man strikes, the flag goes up.

So, what can the Saudi's offer by way of reply? It's been one way traffic so far with the Green Falcons very much second best. 

Messi's goal from the spot in the 10th minute the difference between the teams 

ARG 1-0 KSA

Messi makes it 1-0 after ten minutes

Messi, left footed ... the No. 10 slots home ... Easy and Argentina take a 1-0 lead

Messi to take

Penalty for Argentina.... ref Vincic spotted some holding at the corner and it's a spot kick for Argentina.

Messi with a free and the ref s consulting the monitor for a possible penalty.

6

It's all Argentina as Saudi Arabia are forced to sit deep. Decent play from Papu Gomez and the Sevilla player wins the first corner of the day for the South American side. Al Owais does well in fisting away.

Argentina looking to tie with Italy's unbeaten record of 37 games.

2

Messi goes close and forces Al Owais to save well

1

We're underway at the Lusail Stadium with Argentina in their classic sky and white stripes, black shorts and socks. Saudi in green shirt and white shorts and socks.

Sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin .... first of four games today in day 3 of the 2022 World Cup.

So it's 3rd ranked vs 51st ranked....

Next up the Saudi anthem and my world it's loud !!!!

Amazing scenes at the Lusail stadium which is a sea of green (Saudi fans) and sky and white with the Albiceleste fans... a few San Lorenzo, Tigre, Rosario Central and Boca shirts spotted too as the Argentina anthem plays.

Messi

Messi's boots today

The other teams in Group C (Mexico and Poland) will face off later this evening at the 974 Stadium close to Doha's waterfront. Everything points to that game being pivotal in potentially deciding who will finish second in Group C with most anticipating that Argentine will top the group.

Today's match at Lusail's Iconic is the first of ten games at the biggest stadium at the World Cup. This will also be the setting for the final on 18 December.

Renard

Renard / Julian Finney / Getty Images

Renard: 'We're not here as tourists'

Speaking pre-game, Saudi coach Herve Renard stated: We enjoyed a good preparation period and all the players benefited from it. We look forward to presenting an honorable performance for Saudi Arabia," he said. "We did not come to Doha to enjoy the city."

Saudi midfielder Abdulelah Al-Malki said: "We are not coming to the World Cup to just be in it. We are here to produce our best and make Saudi proud."

Saudi Arabia have never won their first game in a World Cup since they took part for the first time in 1994. Their best result was a 2-2 draw to Tunisia in 2006.

They got thrashed 5-0 by hosts Russia in the opening game of 2018 finals and were humiliated 8-0 against Germany in 2002.

Argentina and Saudi Arabia have played each other four times, with two draws and two victories for Argentina. Their last meeting ended 0-0 in a 2012 friendly.

Messi

Messi's Last Dance

Despite winning the Copa America with Argentina, a World Cup winners medal is what Lionel Messi really wants and few would begrudge the Rosario born to go out at the top as a WC winner.

70% of the locals in Doha too seem to be willing Argentina to the final with Messi undoubtedly the most popular player at the competition.

ARG-KSA: match day weather

It's another blue sky in Doha and we've yet to see even a cloud in our few days in Qatar. As things stand it's a hot 27C-81F which may take its toll on the players as the second half advances.

and now 100% official

and here is the official confirmation of the Argentina side via the WC2022 Twitter feed.
​​​​​

ARG XI

This is the Argentine XI: Emiliano 'Dibu' Martínez, Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, Nicolás Tagliafico, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Alejandro 'Papu' Gómez, Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martínez & Ángel Di María

Yet to be 100% officially confirmed, but it is being suggested that the Albiceleste will start with Di Maria, Lautaro and Messi in the attack

3-0 seems to be the most popular prediction (via a FIFA poll) with very, very few giving the Green Falcons any hope. 

If Argentina's win last week over UAE is anything to go by, it could be a very long day for Herve Renard's side.

Less than an hour to kick-off and still no sign of the official Argentina starting 11. Despite training apart from the team earlier this week, Leo Messi is expected to start for Lionel Scaloni's side today.

Argentina arrive

Serious faces all round as the Argentina national team arrive at the Lusail Stadium for today's Group C clash.

ARG-KSA: match official

Today's referee is Slovenian Slavko Vincic with the 42-year-old on the FIFA official listing since 2010 with his biggest test coming as he oversaw a series of games at the 2020 European Championships.

Saudi XI announced

Herve Renard has named his eleven players that will face Argentina today as the French coach opts for a 4-3-2-1 system with Al-Hilal striker Saleh Alshehri leading the line.

ARG

Argentina fans packing into Lusail Stadium

Over 100,000 Argentina fans are reported to have made the trip to Qatar with a ticket for today's clash against Saudi Arabia like gold dust.

The Green Falcons too are expected to be supported today by thousands of fans who have crossed the border separating both Gulf nations

Argentina's Lionel Messi

Argentina's Lionel Messi / ALBERT GEA / REUTERS

Messi feeling fit ahead of 'special' last World Cup

Argentina captain Lionel Messi said he was physically ready for the World Cup in Qatar and that it will be a special occasion as his side are one of the favourites in what is likely to be his last appearance in the global tournament.

"I feel very good physically, I think I'm in a great moment, both personally and physically and I don't have any problems," Messi, who did light training away from his team mates on Saturday, told a news conference on Monday.

"I heard that they said I trained differently. It was because I had a knock but there is nothing strange (happening). It was just a precaution."

The 35-year-old, who in Qatar will be playing his fifth World Cup, added that he did not prepare differently for the tournament which for the first time is being played in November and December.

"I didn't do anything special," the forward said.

"I took care of myself and worked as I have done all my career, knowing that this is a special moment, as this is probably my last World Cup, my last chance to achieve this great dream that I have, that we all have."

 Lionel Scaloni

Lionel Scaloni / ABIR SULTAN / EFE

Scaloni: 'Argentina are not obliged to win World Cup'

Argentina have no obligation to win the World Cup, coach Lionel Scaloni said ahead of their opener against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, adding that it was mere details that will decide who will become the champions.

Argentina won the 2021 Copa America but despite always being one of the World Cup favourites they have not lifted football's most precious trophy in the last 36 years.

"In a national team like Argentina you always carry pressure being the coach. And if the results don't go your way, I know how it works", Scaloni told a news conference on Monday.

"But I am also clear about the path I choose. Let it be clear that under no circumstances are we obliged to win a World Cup. Not at all. We are wrong if we believe that.

"We are going to compete with other very good teams. We are going to enjoy this World Cup. And we hope that both the Argentinians and the rest of the fans will be happy to see a team that plays the kind of football we like." Argentina's two World Cup triumphs came in 1978 and 1986 and they have lost in the final twice since then in 1990 and 2014 - both times to Germany.

Lionel Messi at the World Cup: goals, assists, participations, awards, best team finish...

WORLD CUP 2022

Lionel Messi at the World Cup: goals, assists, participations, awards, best team finish...

Messi at the World Cup.... all you need to know about the striker from Rosario

Lusail Stadium awaits

Lusail / Nigel Young

Today's match will take place at the 80,000 capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium with the ground being the biggest of the eight WC stadia. Today's game is the first at the venue to the north of Doha and will also be the stadium to host the 18 December final.

The Group C opener between ARG-KSA gets underway at 1pm local time/ 11:00 am CET or 05:00 am ET

Hello and a warm welcome to day 3 of the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

We have four games to look forward to today as Group's C and D kick-off.

First up this morning for us is a trip to the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium as Argentina face Saudi Arabia.