Qatar World Cup's Biggest Shock: Argentina vs Saudi Arabia

Argentina's loss to Saudi Arabia among most stunning upsets ever. Argentina saw their 2022 World Cup campaign get off to a catastrophic start as Lionel Messi & Co. suffered a shock 2-1 defeat against Saudi Arabia in the opening game of Group C

lionel messi argentina

The Summary of the Match

This one was something out of this world for both fans and bettors on Betting Kenya. First, Argentina seizes the lead in just 10 minutes as soon as Messi scores a penalty into Saudi Arabia's net. Now, Argentina entered the competition on an incredible streak, unbeaten for 36 matches in a row, something dating back to the summer of 2019—the team was on its way to matching Italy's 37-match unbeaten streak, the absolute world record. The fans were optimistic that this was just one in a series of upcoming goals for La Albiceleste, who were putting on pressure with a number of their shots canceled for offside.

Two quick goals signed by Al-Shehri together with Al-Dawsari have led to the Saudis ultimately recovering and seizing the lead right after halftime. The latter goal is already a front-runner for the Cup's best goal. Herve Renard's team continued to play defense for the long 40 minutes, with Argentina's assaults resolutely rebuffed in one more bout that lasted longer than 100 minutes.

As Argentina lost their lengthy undefeated streak to an underdog team below FIFA's top 50 in the global rankings, a celebration unlike any other at the tournament broke out at the Lusail Stadium after the referee blew the final whistle.

What Were the Pre-Match Odds?

This shocker for the history books early on in the Cup is quite possibly the largest in the event's entire run of almost 100 years.

We remind you that according to a number of bookies, Saudi Arabia had an impossible odds of 23.5 against their legendary opponent.

Meanwhile, Argentina had the second-lowest odds when playing against the Saudis at approximately 1.2. Nevertheless, their chances as they march forward are at around 12% despite the humiliating defeat.

Even after this enormous stunner, Saudi Arabia's chances still rank low in the overall field—keep in mind that the odds of them defeating Argentina sat at 23.5.

Argentina’s Comments on Why Their Team Lost

Lionel Scaloni, the manager of Argentina's national team, has explained why their shocking World Cup defeat at the feet of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday somehow took place.

For Argentina to hang on to the hope of making it to the next round, it must now defeat first Mexico and then Poland as well.

The South Americans realized that they had the upper hand at the start, yet the Saudis were blazing fast as they snatched the win, scoring two goals in what felt like two seconds.

According to Scaloni, it's hard to explain how the Arab country got two goals in the net as quickly as they did.

He now says that the only way to console their supporters is for his team to crush it in the upcoming matches.

The team was prepared for the match, expecting airtight defense that they would have to penetrate, thinking they had their tactics completely figured out. Another upsetting element was the offsides decided by mere millimeters. Argentina's not looking for excuses, however, as they go back to the drawing board to draft their potential comeback.

How Can Argentina Qualify for Playoffs?

On November 26, the South American team will play Mexico, and on November 30, they will play Poland.

If Argentina really wants to move forward, it has got to win the two matches. With two victories, it would have six points, which might guarantee the top slot just yet.

However, a chance remains that Group C will have the teams all finishing with a total of six points, which would mean one of them would be eliminated based on goal differential. Argentina must outscore Mexico by a lot, as with Poland, so the goal differential is on their side.

Argentina's chances may suffer even more unless it wins in both of the upcoming matches. It would be sitting at four points after a victory with a draw, which would force it to rely on other outcomes. Argentina may face the threat of the reigning champions—France—in Round 16. What's interesting, in Round 16 of the 2018 Russia World Cup, France got the win over Argentina with a close score of 4-3.

There's one more outcome where Argentina might still make it to the playoffs even with losing, but it has limits. Argentina would need to win one of the two, then it would need to pray that the Saudis, the Mexicans, and the Polish win all of their matches without any games being tied. If this situation comes to pass, nine points would go to the group leader, with the rest receiving just three points, again—depending on the goal differential.

Argentina has now lost a total of six first World Cup bouts. The previous time it occurred was in 1990 when Diego Maradona's team fell to Cameroon at 1-0 before coming back and reaching the finals.

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