Saudi Arabia produced one of the greatest World Cup upsets in history on Tuesday, stunning South American giants Argentina in a 2-1 group stage victory in Doha.
Held in Lusail Iconic Stadium, football favorites Argentina were defeated by Saudi Arabia 2-1, conceding goals from Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari.
Playing in his last World Cup, Lionel Messi shot a left-footed shot from the center of the box that Saudi keeper Mohammed Alowais Al-Owais saved swiftly.
Messi would get on the scoreboard a few minutes later as he nailed in a penalty in the 10th minute.
Several offsides were caught on the Argentinan side, with Messi passing in a through ball but catching Lautaro Martinez offside.
Papu Gomez was caught offside in the 20th minute, with Nicolas Tagliafico passing in another through pass.
Lautaro Martinez would eventually be on the right side of the pitch as he shot a goal from the middle of the field.
A VAR check overturned the goal placing the score back 1-0 for the South Americans.
The first half ended with the possession in control for Messi’s squad, with Saudi Arabia playing an offside trap that found the Argentinians on the wrong side of the pitch.
Saleh Al Shehri became the hometown hero for the Middle East worldwide as he finished with a neat goal after a straight pass through the Argentinian defense.
The 29-year-old striker alleviated the momentum by leveraging the game to an equal balance.
In the 52nd minute, Salem Al Dawsari curled another finish from inside the box, shocking the Argentina defense once again.
Anxiety was set in for Messi’s superstar team as several attempts were made for the box of Al-Owais, but all were waved off.
The game’s first yellow card was gifted to Abdulelah Al-Malki early on in the second half.
It appeared that Saudi Arabia quickly became the team to beat as shots became desperate for the Argentinians.
Messi wins a free kick over the box’s right side, and Angel Di Maria fails to put in a point by performing inconsistently on the attack.
The game provided eight minutes of added time, leaving only sloppy shots in from the Argentine side, eager to put one in.
The referee for this match is Slavko Vincic, assisted by both Tomaz Klancnik and Andraz Kovacic; the fourth official is Maguette Ndiaye.