Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead at Lusail Stadium, but Saudi Arabia roared back in the second half to seal a famous win.
Saudi Arabia produced one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as they came from behind to beat Argentina 2-1 in their Group C opener on Tuesday.
La Albiceleste, who are one of the favorites to win Qatar 2022, started well at the Lusail Stadium and went ahead after 10 minutes thanks to Lionel Messi’s penalty.
Lionel Scaloni’s side saw three attempts ruled out for offside before half-time – a reprieve that Saudi Arabia took full advantage of within five minutes at the start of the second half.
Saleh Al Shehri drew Herve Renard’s side level before Salem Al Dawsari sealed a famous win soon after with a sumptuous strike from the edge of the penalty area.
Mohammed Al Owais denied Messi in the opening two minutes but was unable to stop the superstar’s superb penalty after 10 minutes, a free-kick after Saud Abdulhamid had pulled down Leandro Paredes.
La Albiceleste twice thought they had extended their advantage before the half-hour mark, but strikes from Messi and Lautaro Martinez were ruled out for offside.
Remarkably, Martinez was tried for another offside 10 minutes before the break as Scaloni’s side looked to take full advantage of Saudi Arabia’s high defensive line.
Saudi Arabia equalized with their first shot three minutes into the second half, Al Shehri slotting past Cristiano Romero and sending Emiliano Martinez’s low shot into the far corner.
They completed the extraordinary turnaround just five minutes later when Al Dawsari cut in from the left with a superb strike from 18 yards.
Messi struggled to get off the line in the closing stages as Saudi Arabia held on for a famous victory against the side 48 places above them in the world rankings, despite a lengthy stoppage after Mohammed Al Burayk took a knee to the face. own goalkeeper.