First Shock of the FIFA World Cup 2022, Argentina Lost to Saudi Arabia by 2-1
This was supposed to be the grand farewell to the legend from his latest edition of the FIFA World Cup, with the triumph over the best of the bests in the world. But the very beginning reflected a grim smile upon the tragic hero of the 2014 World Cup. Argentina, one of the tournament’s favourites, was silenced by the Gulf country with a jaw-dropping performance.
Saudi defenders and the mammoth presence of the keeper Mohammed Alowais denied the shots again and again. An early goal from Messi in the 10th minute of the game through a penalty will not be remembered, but the following horridness will be.
Argentina appeared in the game with an unbeaten streak of 36 games, intending to match Italy’s 37-win streak. The last setback of the Argentinian side was against Brazil in the semifinals of Copa America in July 2019. The White and Sky Blue’s eighteenth appearance in the FIFA World Cup launched with their first-ever loss against Saudi Arabia.
Saudi, as the number tells us, kicked off the match with one of the oldest starting lineups (average 28Y 205D). Merely considered a sacrificial pawn before the seemingly self-confident and resilient Argentinian side, the unyoung side turned the table in the second half proving all the albiceleste crowd wrong.
Another controversy is sprouting around FIFA’s new semi-automated offside technology as it denied Lautaro Martínez twice and Leonel Messi once harshly. They numbered a total of a whopping ten off-sides in a single game.
In the 48th minute, Saudi forward Saleh Alshehri delivered tequaliserzer and kept the match alive. Within five minutes, Al-Dawsari scored another fabulous goal through Argentina’s defence, taking a lead of 2-1. Saudi’s keeper Al Owais played a pivotal role in securing the net successfully.
Five times he denied the opposition. The midfielder Al Brikan sustained injuries though physio made him run again. In the 84th minute, Messi again failed to convert the goal from Di Maria’s cross. Saudi defenders left the Argentinian side frustrated, sometimes with all eleven players crowding the penalty box. Even at the last minute, Alvarez made a chance but in vain.
Now, Argentina is at the bottom of the group with zero points, whereas the other two giants of the group, Poland and Mexico, share one point each after a draw. Argentina’s squad is now in a do-or-die situation, with each game crucial for their qualification to the next round.
They will play Mexico and Poland on the 27th of November and the 1st of December, respectively.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 23, 2022
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| Title: First Shock of Worldcup, Argentina Loses to Saudi Arabia
| Author: Trisita Aich
| Date: Nov 25, 2022