World Cup lore: Saudi Arabia beat Messi’s Argentina 2-1

RUSAL, Qatar (AP) — Saudi Arabia beat Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-1 on Tuesday in one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever.

Messi’s bid to win the only Grand Slam title that has eluded him has been shocking and reminiscent of Cameroon’s 1-0 win over Diego Maradona’s Argentina in their 1990 World Cup opener team.

Goals from Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari within five minutes of the second half gave the Saudis the win. Argentina took the lead thanks to Messi’s penalty in the 10th minute.

Argentina’s defeat matched other World Cup upsets, such as Senegal’s 1-0 win over champions France in the 2002 World Cup opener and the United States’ 1950 defeat of England by the same scoreline.

Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten run ended at the Lusail Stadium in Messi’s fifth – and possibly last – World Cup.

The Paris Saint-Germain star shook hands with a member of the Saudi coaching staff after the final whistle and stood with his hands on his hips near the center circle in an all-too-familiar scene for the yet-to-win player of all time The highest award in football.

The unlikely victory was sealed by a somersault from Aldousari, who lobbed a ball inside the penalty area, turned one defender, flashed another, and fired a powerful shot past keeper E. M. Martinez, who got the ball but couldn’t make it. Don’t let the ball into the net in the 53rd inning.

A stunned Messi watched as dozens of green-clad fans from neighboring Saudi Arabia celebrated in disbelief in the stands. Saudi Arabia’s substitutes swept the pitch.

Messi put Argentina ahead from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee told the referee to take a look at Saoud Abdulhamid to snatch the jersey of Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes.

With Saudi Arabia’s first shot, Saleh Alshehri found the corner through the legs of defender Cristian Romero.

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