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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
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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:

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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: The players are out warming up!

Both teams are out for their warm-ups at the Lusail Iconic Stadium - no surprise who the biggest roar is for!

Lionel Messi is competing at his fifth - and by his own words last - World Cup in Qatar as he seeks the one trophy which has eluded him!

Will he be the star man today?

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)
Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 09:36
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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Here’s all the details in Group C!

Lionel Messi will try to finally win that elusive World Cup and fill the remaining hole on his glittering career CV as Argentina begin their Qatar 2022 campaign in Group C.

Messi’s status as one of the greatest players of all time is already secure but heading into his fifth and final World Cup, the prospect of lifting Jules Rimet is tantalising. He came agonisingly close when La Albiceleste lost to Germany in the 2014 final, before a disappointing last-16 exit four years ago, but the team have rebuilt, ended a 28-year major trophy drought in the 2021 Copa America and are among the favourites in Qatar as Messi is joined by the likes of Emi Martinez, Cristian Romero, Rodrigo De Paul and Lautaro Martinez in a formidable core to Lionel Scaloni’s side.

They are overwhelming favourites to win Group C having cruised through South American qualifying, while Mexico’s record of making it out of the groups in their last eight World Cup appearances means they’ll be fancied to take second spot, although a lack of goal threat could prove their undoing.

Poland - who certainly don’t lack goal threat with Robert Lewandowski up top - appear most likely to qualify if El Tri falter and are hoping to play a first World Cup knockout match since 1986. Saudi Arabia round out the group as the underdogs after emerging from Asian qualifying, with a promising group of youngsters that won the first U-23 Asian Cup in the country’s history earlier this year probably not yet developed enough to cause real problems at the highest level

Here is everything you need to know about Group C:

Which teams are in Group C?

Argentina, Mexico, Poland and Saudi Arabia make up Group C.

What are the venues?

Lusail (Lusail Stadium), Doha (Stadium 974), Al Rayyan (Education City Stadium),

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 09:23
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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Odds!

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia match odds

Argentina: 1/10

Draw: 9/1

Saudi Arabia: 30/1

2022 World Cup winner

Brazil: 10/3

Argentina: 5/1

England: 7/1

France: 8/1

Spain: 9/1

Germany: 10/1

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 09:10
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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: TEAM NEWS

Argentina:

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 09:00
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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: The Independent’s prediction...

Argentina play Saudi Arabia in the opening match of Group C at the Qatar World Cup.

With Poland football and Croatia football also in the group, Argentina will hope to make a winning start as they begin their campaign.

Lionel Messi is facing his last chance to win a World Cup at the age of 35 and his team comes into the tournament as one of the favourites after Argentina won the Copa America last summer.

Following on from a car crash of a campaign in 2018, Argentina have far better balance and cohesion now under Lionel Scaloni than in perhaps any other World Cup Messi has played in.

Predicting how Argentina vs Saudi Arabia will play out today

Everything you need to know ahead of the Group C clash as Lionel Messi appears at his fifth World Cup

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 08:41
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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia: Lionel Messi’s last World Cup comes in a tangled web of sportswashing

It’s the 93rd minute on a sweltering November evening in Qatar. Lionel Messi flicks a pass forward and receives the return while gliding towards the Brazil defence. There is a nibble at his shins and although Messi stumbles, he carries on, now drifting away from goal. The reverse shot across his body sends him off balance, tumbling into a backwards roll. The ball, though, nestles perfectly into the far corner and as Messi takes off, Argentina can celebrate their first win over Brazil in five years.

The year was 2010, the match two weeks before Fifa met to vote on the hosts of the 2022 World Cup. The staging of a friendly between not only international football’s greatest rivals, as well as its best player, was undoubtedly a significant moment for Qatar’s relationship with the sport, but came as Fifa’s own technical report delivered a damning verdict that the country’s bid to host the World Cup carried “high risk”. In the end, it made no difference. Two weeks later, Sepp Blatter announced the decision that would shape football for the next 12 years.

Argentina’s win against Brazil and Messi’s stoppage time winner was the start of two journeys, culminating over the next four weeks at a World Cup that will bind ambition and opportunity, of which for the hosts its legacy will be the image it leaves behind.

In terms of trial runs, though, it was not the first. England had played in the first international fixture to be staged at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, also against Brazil, one year earlier. But what at the time could have been seen as a moment of individual brilliance from Messi, a blend of balance, skill and speed that would define his career, can also now be viewed through the lens of Qatar’s early forages into hosting the big names, the big teams, and their attempts to gain power through football.

On the pitch, Messi’s last shot at the World Cup is the most compelling story of the tournament. At the time of the Qatar friendly in 2010, and in the aftermath of Argentina’s disastrous World Cup campaign under Diego Maradona in South Africa, Messi was emerging, truly, as the captain and figure who would be expected to carry his nation for the next 12 years.

Lionel Messi’s last World Cup comes in a tangled web of sportswashing

The World Cup will see a culmination of ambition and opportunity for both the hosts and the world’s best player

Kieran Jackson22 November 2022 08:23
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What TV channel is Argentina vs Saudi Arabia on? Kick-off time and where to watch World Cup fixture

Argentina and Lionel Messi begin their quest to win the World Cup against Saudi Arabia in Group C.

It’s been 36 years since Argentina last won the World Cup while the prize is the one that has evaded Messi throughout his career.

Now playing in his final World Cup at the age of 35, Messi appears to be back to his best following a difficult first season at PSG, while Argentina seem to be in good shape too.

Lionel Scaloni’s side are among the favourites following their victory in the Copa America last summer, which ended Messi’s long wait for a first international title with his country.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What TV channel is Argentina vs Saudi Arabia on? Kick-off time and where to watch

Everything you need to know ahead of the Group C clash as Lionel Messi appears at his fifth World Cup

Luke Baker22 November 2022 08:15
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Argentina vs Saudi Arabia

Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of Argentina vs Saudi Arabia from the Qatar World Cup.

Lionel Messi faces one last chance to win the World Cup with Argentina as he opens his final tournament against unfancied Saudi Arabia. The World Cup has evaded Messi throughout his career and the closest he came was in the final defeat to Germany in 2014.

Argentina suffered poor campaigns in 2010 and 2018, but they come into Qatar as one of the favourites following their Copa America triumph last summer.

It was a victory that gave Messi a long-awaited first international title with Argentina and Lionel Scaloni’s side will be confident of going far in Qatar.

Follow all the action with our live blog.

Luke Baker22 November 2022 08:05

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