Saudi Arabia stun Argentina in major World Cup upset

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/ AFP

Saudi Arabia registered a shock 2-1 win over Lionel Messi's Argentina in their FIFA World Cup Group C encounter on Tuesday.

Messi converted a penalty in the 10th minute to give his side an early lead but Saleh Al-Shehri (48') and Salem Al-Dawsari (53') scored two brilliant individual goals to leave Argentina, one of the tournament favourites, shell-shocked.

The result broke Argentina's 36-match undefeated run and stopped them from matching the previous international record of 37 games unbeaten held by Italy.

On his fifth and final quest for the only major trophy to elude him, the 35-year-old Messi scored a 10th minute penalty in a dominant first half display where he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside.

But Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana, threw caution to the wind at the start of the second half, charging at Argentina's defence in front of a frenzied 88,012 crowd at the Lusail Stadium.

Al-Shehri squeezed in an angled shot in the 48th minute after punishing poor Argentine defending.

Saudi Arabia's fans were then sent into delirium five minutes later as Al-Dawsari curled a stunning shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina were unable to penetrate Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game.

More from Sports

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • The Business Breakfast

    6:00am - 10:00am

    The Business Breakfast is the day’s must listen for the UAE’s business leaders, and those who aspire to be.

  • The Agenda

    10:00am - 1:00pm

    Broadcasting every weekday, Georgia Tolley goes beyond the headlines to speak to government ministers, decision makers, analysts and local experts to find out how the news will impact those of us living in the UAE.

BUSINESS BREAKFAST LATEST

On Dubai Eye

  • Halloween-onomics!

    Talking about the economics of Halloween with the General Manager of Spinneys, Tom Harvey. We asked how inflation is affecting the supermarket industry in the UAE.

  • Shipping Rates Are Coming Down - What Does It Mean For Us?

    Dr. Krishna Prasad, President of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Middle East Chapter explains what the drop in prices & easing of port congestion could mean for our packages and deliveries.