World Cup 2022: Saudi Arabia beats Argentina’s star kicker to Messi

Football World Cup Qatar, Day 2
First sensation: Saudi Arabia beats Argentina’s star kicker to Messi

Group C preliminary match of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar: Argentina’s star footballer Lionel Messi fights for the ball with Saud Abdulhamid from Saudi Arabia.

© Manan Vatsyayana / AFP

Defending champions France enter the World Cup tournament tonight against Australia. Before that there was the first big surprise in Qatar: Argentina is sensationally subject to the underdog from Saudi Arabia.

Led by Lionel Messi, Argentina wanted to start their World Cup mission with a planned win against Saudi Arabia. But everything turned out very differently. Saudi Arabia surprisingly wins 2:1 (0:1) and caused the first big surprise of this tournament!

At first it looked as if everything would go according to plan for the South Americans against the blatant underdog. Captain Messi converted a somewhat questionable penalty in the tenth minute of the game. Abdulhamid had previously easily saved Paredes in the penalty area. The Argentine gratefully accepted the contact.

Argentina runs offside, Saudi Arabia callous

Then the men from Saudi Arabia had to defend themselves against a real assault by the Argentines. Three of the gauchos’ goals were called back due to sometimes very tight offside decisions. Shortly after the break, the underdog turned the game around with a double strike. Al-Buraikan scored from a tight angle to equalize (48 minutes) before Salem Al-Dawsari sent the Saudi fans into ecstasy with a flick in the corner (53 minutes). After a true defensive battle, the reigning Asian champions brought the narrow 2-1 victory home – and the first sensation of the World Cup in Qatar was perfect.

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