Thu, 30 Nov 2023

New Delhi [India], November 23 (ANI): Argentina started their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign on a disastrous note as Saudi Arabia defeated Lionel Messi's goal with two goals in the second half to register a historic 2-1 victory in Group C here at the Lusail stadium.

Speaking during the Match Centre on Viacom18 Sports' FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 presentation, the Portuguese legend said that all Saudi Arabian players were very devoted.

Luis Figo shared his thoughts on Saudi Arabia's performance and said, "I think this is what football is about, sport is about. In the beginning, nobody could say that this result would happen. But watching the game, it was not a surprise at all. I think we have to congratulate Saudi Arabia for the excellent work. All the players were very committed with the idea of the coach. They were very physical and surprised me that they could hold the game at this level. I am really surprised and just want to congratulate the spirit."Sol Campbell also shared his thoughts on the Argentina loss and said, " You always want to win the first game and get into the table with a few points and a nice little cushion. Now, there is not much manoeuvre, they can't afford to slip up again. Hats off to Saudi Arabia, what an incredible result. Every single ball, they wanted it more."Coming to the match, Argentina got off to a great start as Lionel Messi converted a penalty in the 10th minute to give his side a 1-0 lead. Playing in his fifth World Cup Messi beat Saudi Arabia's goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais to find the net.

The Argentines also had three goals ruled out for offside as they went into half-time with a 1-0 lead. The second half was a different story altogether as 51st-ranked team Saudi Arabia came with a new vigour with Saleh Al-Shehri scoring a goal for them to level the score 1-1. Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot into the nets.

Five minutes later the Saudis took the lead as Salem Al-Dawsari tapped in a goal in the 53rd minute to give them a crucial 2-1 lead. Despite a lot of possession after conceding the goal, the two-time champions were unable to level the score. Saudi's goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais made many important saves and their defence also stood tall in the match's dying moments.

Abdulelah Al Amri was awarded the 'Player of the Match' award for his brilliant performance.Lionel Scaloni's Argentina came into the FIFA World Cup 2022 as one of the favourites. Saudi Arabia broke Argentina's 36-match unbeaten streak, including winning the Copa America 2021.

The two-time champions had 69 per cent of possession in comparison to Saudi Arabia who had only 31. There were six shots on target for Argentina in comparison to Saudi who had just two.

Argentina will face Mexico on Saturday in their next group C match, while Saudi Arabia will take on Poland (ANI)

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