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Saudi Arabia Stuns Argentina, Lionel Messi In One Of Biggest World Cup Upsets Ever



World Cup Argentina

No one saw it coming. Not even Saudi Arabia’s jubilant players believed it as they ran in all directions after scoring one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever against Argentina.

The South American champion and one of the tournament favorites slumped to a 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, in a deflating start to Lionel Messi’s quest to win the one major title that has eluded him.

Saudi Arabia’s comeback joins the list of other major World Cup upsets: Cameroon’s 1-0 win over an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup, Senegal’s 1-0 victory over titleholder France 1-0 in the 2002 tournament opener or the United States beating England by the same score in 1950.

“Prior to the match we were anointed as favorites,” Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said. “But this sort of stuff can happen in a World Cup.”

Messi gave Argentina the lead in the 10th minute with a coolly dispatched penalty and the game had the makings of a routine win for Argentina. But it didn’t turn out that way.

Goals by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span early in the second half gave the Saudis a historic win in the first World Cup staged in the Middle East.

As the time ran out, Messi stood up with his hands on his hips near the center circle, looking stone-faced as Saudi Arabia fans celebrated in disbelief in the stands.

The 35-year-old Messi, playing in his fifth — and likely his final — World Cup for Argentina, scratched the side of his head and shook hands with a Saudi coaching staff member after the final whistle.

Argentina plays Mexico in its second Group C match on Saturday.

Watch the game highlights below from FIFA.

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