Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.


Argentina vs Saudi Arabia LIVE: World Cup 2022 result and reaction as Saudi Arabia claim stunning shock win

Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia: Lionel Messi scored early on but a stunning comeback ensured an all-time great World Cup shock

Kieran Jackson
Tuesday 22 November 2022 12:52 GMT
World Cup: Daily update from day 2 in Qatar

Saudi Arabia beat Argentina to record one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history with a 2-1 win over Lionel Messi’s side thanks to a scintillating second-half comeback.

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.

Saleh Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot in the 48th minute while Salem Al-Dawsari curled in a scorching strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 53rd minute to leave Argentina and Messi looking utterly shell-shocked in the Group C opener. Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina were unable to best Saudi Arabia, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game.

Relive all the action with our live blog below:


Argentina 1-0 Saudi Arabia (Messi pen, 10)

10 mins: Lionel Messi sends the keeper the wrong way - and Argentina lead!

The captain waits for Alowais to move to his left before sending the ball in the opposite direction!

A dream start for Argentina! VAR involved from the off too - a clear penalty... but where’s the consistency?

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:12

Argentina 0-0 Saudi Arabia

9 mins: PENALTY!

It’s Ali Albulayhi with the foul, with a pull on Argentina’s Leandro Paredes - it’s quite clear and it’s an early penalty! Similar to the one not given with Harry Maguire yesterday though...

Lionel Messi is over it...

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:11

Argentina 0-0 Saudi Arabia

8 mins: VAR involved before the free-kick is even taken!

It’s looking like a foul from the corner...

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:09

Argentina 0-0 Saudi Arabia

7 mins: Saudi clear their lines - via a punch from Alowais - but Argentina win another free-kick by the touchline after a needless foul on midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.

Lionel Messi over it...

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:09

Argentina 0-0 Saudi Arabia

5 mins: Tell you what - it’s feisty early on!

A few tackles flying in as both teams tussle for the ball - Argentina now have the first corner of the game...

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:07

Argentina 0-0 Saudi Arabia

2 mins: Wow - it didn’t take long for Lionel Messi to be involved, it’s a huge chance!

It’s scrappy - but the ball breaks to the Argentina captain in the box and he strokes the ball towards the corner... but it’s well-saved with a strong right hand from Saudi keeper Mohammed Alowais

It could well be a long day for the Saudi keeper - but an impressive first involvement!

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:04

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Kick-off!

We’re underway at the 80,000-seater Lusail Iconic Stadium!

Argentina in their usual blue and white strip, with Saudi Arabia in green!

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 10:01

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: We’re moments from kick-off!

A reminder of the teams!


Emeliano Martinez, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Tagliafico, Nicolas Otamendi, Nahuel Molina, Alejandro Gomez, Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes, Lionel Messi (c), Lautaro Martinez, Angel Di Maria.

Saudi Arabia:

Mohamed Al-Owais, Ali Al-Bulaihi, Yasser Al-Shahrani, Mohamed Kanno, Saud Abdulhamid, Abdulelah Al-Malki, Saleh Al-Shehri, Hassan Al-Tambakti, Salman Al-Faraj(c), Salem Al-Dawsari, Firas Al-Buraikan.

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 09:59

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: The teams are out!

The Lusail Iconic Stadium is the scene for this opening game in Group C between Argentina and Saudi Arabia!

This stadium will host the final in just under four weeks’ time - will Lionel Messi be there?!

The journey starts here. National anthems coming right up!

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 09:55

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Pundits thoughts!

Graeme Souness, speaking on ITV;

“This is the strongest team he’s played with in a World Cup. It’s such a special event, you’ve got to expect he’ll turn up. He’s arguably the greatest player ever, Ronaldo is a little bit behind him. They’ve done it for such a long time. I’m so looking forward to seeing this guy play. Such a unique talent. He gets me off the seat like no other player in world football.

Joe Cole:

“He just floats and plays on instinct. Outstanding. He is one of the strongest players. Coupled with his technical ability and mentality, he is the perfect footballer.”

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 09:45

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in