In one of the biggest, if not the biggest, upsets of the FIFA World Cup history, Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1 in a Group C match on Tuesday.
Argentine, one of the favourite sides in the world’s biggest sports event, were shocked as Saudi Arabia scored twice in the second half.
Despite having 70 percent possession during the clash, Lionel Messi’s team could only score once and that too through a penalty in the 10th minute. It was the star striker beat the Saudi goalkeeper Al Owais.
However, Al Owais played the most important role in securing the victory for his side as he saved five certain goals. During the game, Argentina, two times FIFA World Cup winner, had created 15 chances while six of them on target.
On the other hand, the Saudi side – the second lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana – produced fewer number of chances (three) but managed to score on two of them. These were the only shots on target.
The two heroes for the Kingdom were Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawasari who netted the ball in the 48th and 53rd minute respectively.
Interestingly, the pass accuracy ratio for Saudi Arabia was only 67 percent against 85 percent of Argentina but their better defence resulted in the famous win which would be remembered forever not only in the Kingdom but also across the globe.
The entire game was played in an extraordinary atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium, with Argentina’s traditionally massive and raucous following matched by the thousands of Saudis who had come over the border to cheer on their team.
“Our team fulfils our dreams!” and “Where is Messi? We beat him!”, the green-clad Saudis chanted over and over in the Lusail Stadium, on their feet and greeting every clearance from their defence with a deafening roar.
Both teams have Mexico and Poland to come, with Argentina needing an immediate reaction if Messi is to have a realistic chance of matching Diego Maradona’s immortality in his homeland by bringing home the World Cup.
The result broke Argentina’s amazing 36-match undefeated run and stopped them from matching the previous international record of 37 games unbeaten held by Italy.
Meanwhile, the supporters of Saudi started celebrating the victory not only inside but also outside the stadium.
In one of the video clips, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad can be seen wearing the Saudi flag, as he watched the thrilling encounter in the stadium.