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Sensational World Cup stunt: Saudi Arabia beats Argentina and Messi | football world cup

The omens are in any case not favorable for the 35-year-old Messi, who participated in a World Cup four times before. Only once did a country grab the world title after losing in the opening game. In 2010, Spain lost 1-0 against Switzerland, only to become world champion a month later by a victory with the same figures against the Dutch national team. ,

Messi took part in a World Cup for the first time in 2006. Then Germany turned out to be too strong after penalties in the quarterfinals. Four years later, things went wrong again against Germany in the quarter-finals. Argentina was thrashed 4-0.

Despite his early goal, Messi had it anything but easy.

Despite his early goal, Messi had it anything but easy.

Nothing lost yet

In 2014, Messi came closest to a global triumph, but again Germany turned out better. This time through a victory in the extra time of the final: 1-0. Finally, four years ago, the later world champion France closed the Argentinian door in the eighth finals: 4-3. Nothing has been lost in Qatar yet, but then things have to be sharper and better.

Already after two minutes it was almost hit for Lionel Messi. It was an immediate opportunity for goalkeeper Mohammed Khalil Al-Owais to distinguish himself on the placed shot of the Argentinian star. Seven minutes later, however, it was hit, when Messi was allowed to moor from eleven meters. Initially, no penalty kick was given, but VAR Pol van Boekel found that it was holding. Messi sent Al-Owais to the wrong corner and scored his first goal of the World Cup.

In the following phase, Saudi Arabia showed that it could play football quite nicely at times, but the real danger always came from the Argentines. Messi, for example, thought he would make 2-0 halfway through the first half, only he was narrowly offside. Lautaro Martinez also saw a nice goal – a nice marker – rejected for that reason, this time only on the advice of Van Boekel. Moments later, the Inter striker was more widely offside, when he again found the net in vain. All in all, Saudi Arabia’s best weapon was the offside trap.

Saudi Arabia strikes

As a result, Saudi Arabia was still alive at the start of the second half and the Asians quickly struck surprisingly. Striker Saleh Al-Shehri got the ball and passed Emiliano Martinez in the far corner. Argentina lost the thread for a moment and shortly after Cristian Romero had already headed away a dangerous shot, it was hit again. Salem Al-Dawsari found the net with a beautiful curling shot towards the far corner.

Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates his brilliant 1-2.

Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates his brilliant 1-2.

Argentina had to go hunting, but Saudi Arabia’s players fought like lions. For example, Yasir Al-Shahrani prevented Messi from playing for his second within the hour. Shortly afterwards, Lisandro Martinez, Julian Alvarez and Lorenzo Fernandez came within the lines of the South Americans. That quickly led to a huge opportunity for Nicolas Tagliafico, but the former Ajax player – who was replaced a little later – had too little time to direct the ball.

Lots of stoppage time

The chances came with difficulty for the Argentines. Messi was able to head from close range seven minutes before the end, but his ball was not far enough towards the corner. In stoppage time – eight minutes – another ball from Alvarez was headed out of the goal mouth. It was the only great opportunity – which also turned out to be offside – in the final phase. Argentina must repair the damage against Poland and Mexico. While Saudi Arabia can gradually dream of the second round.

Argentina now has to try to collect enough points against Poland and Mexico to survive the group stage. These countries will play against each other on Tuesday from 5 p.m.

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