FIFA 2022: Saudi Arabia stun favorites Argentina in historic upset
Lionel Messi became the oldest player to figure in FIFA tournament, and was youngest too
Lusail (Qatar): Saudi Arabia showcased the first real miracle of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup first group stage match by defeating tournament favorites Argentina 2-1 here on Tuesday at the Lusail Stadium.
Saudi Arabia came from behind, scoring two second half goals, to claim a shock three points in their World Cup opener.
Lionel Messi had opened the scoring just ten minutes in with a cool penalty, and as Argentina put the ball in the net three more times before the half time whistle – with every one being ruled out for off-side – it was looking like a one-way traffic.
That said, it was a far from vintage performance from Argentina, ultimately punished when Saleh Al Shehri latched onto a long ball and lashed a left-foot shot into the far corner of Emi Martinez’ goal.
It was Saudi Arabia’s first effort – but it would not be their last. Just five minutes later, Salem scored one of the goals of the tournament to launch the Saudis into an astonishing lead.
An exceptional save at close range from Mohammed Al Owais shortly after preserved the underdog’s lead, and the Albiceleste failed to meaningfully threaten for the remainder of this astonishing match.
Messi came close to bookending the statistics for youngest and oldest World Cup goal-scorer for Argentina.
Having become the youngest (18 years and 357 days) in 2006, he today became the second oldest (35 years and 151 days).
Over one year younger than Martin Palermo and having claimed Qatar 2022 will be Messi’s final World Cup, it is unlikely he will complete the feat. (UNI)