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