2022 World Cup : Saudi Arabia creates a surprise and overturns Argentina !

Green hawks upset Messi’s Argentina (2-1)

Tuesday, November 22. Third day of competition, first upset of the tournament. In front of 88,000 spectators at the Lusail Stadium, Argentina and Saudi Arabia faced off in the first match of the day in Group C. The Albiceleste seemed to be on the right track in this match, and yet…

A big chance at the start, a penalty, converted by Messi, Argentina started strongly and logically led 1-0 after ten minutes of play. The recent Copa America winners clearly dominated the match, creating more dangerous situations and looking to extend their score advantage. Lautaro Martinez, who had been served up in the middle of the park, thought he had doubled the lead for the Albiceleste with a marvellous chip, but after checking, “El Toro” saw his goal disallowed for offside. Argentina continued to dominate until the break but did not score again.

Hervé Renard rallies his troops

Known as a true leader of men, Frenchman Hervé Renard once again found the words to boost his team. At half-time, the Green Falcons coach was vocal, criticising his men’s performance and calling for them to give it their all in the second half : “We don’t put enough intensity in the duels guys ! They don’t like the duels, so sometimes, boom ! […] We still have 45 minutes so keep calm, keep the confidence and go go go !” There is no doubt that he also gave them new tactical keys to torment Lionel Scaloni’s team. One thing is certain, Renard’s speech bore fruit. In the first half, the Saudis equalised (48′) thanks to Saleh Al Shehri’s superb cross-shot. Five minutes later, the Green Falcons continued to ignite the game and put the pressure on. On the edge of the box, Salem Al Dawsari was on the receiving end of the ball, shrugging off three Argentinians and unleashing a sensational shot. Emiliano Martinez touched the ball but could not prevent Saudi Arabia from taking the lead, and the Saudi people went wild.

As the game wore on, the Albiceleste tried to react and get an equaliser. But at the end of regular time and 14 minutes of added time, the Green Hawks’ heroism paid off and the score remained at 2-1. Mohammed Al Owais, the Saudi goalkeeper, was one of the main heroes of the match, with a huge save on his line against Lisandro Martinez. He will go home with the man of the match award.

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