Argentina were stunned by Saudi Arabia 2-1 in their opening Group C match on Tuesday as co-favorites Argentina started their World Cup campaign with a shock defeat. Argentina’s Number 10 Lionel Messi broke the deadlock from the spot in the 10th minute as the South American team seemed to have the game under control. However, they soon became frustrated as Messi and Lautaro Martinez were denied twice by a strong Saudi defence line and their goals were ruled out as offside.
As Argentina looked to equal Italy’s record of 37 consecutive matches unbeaten, they were stunned when Saudi Arabia’s top scorer in qualifying, Saleh Al-Shehri, equalized in the 48th minute. The ball was curled into the top corner by Salem Al-Dawsari to send Saudi Arabia into the lead. Messi and his teammates were once again surprised. After making fantastic saves to deny Nicolas Tagliafico from close range and a late Messi header, Saudi keeper Mohammed Al-Owais helped Saudi Arabia record their first-ever win against Argentina.