BY JAMES BRINSFORD
Tuesday November 22, 2022
Lionel Messi, above, looks forlorn after Argentina suffered a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup 2022. GETTY IMAGES
Saudi Arabia has set the FIFA World Cup in Qatar alight with one of the biggest shocks in the history of the tournament.The South Americans are two-time champions of the World Cup and arguably one of the greatest players of all time in their team, Lionel Messi, who looked forlorn at the final whistle.
The Middle Eastern country is not even in the top 50 soccer teams in the world, according to the FIFA rankings, while Argentina only has Belgium and Brazil above them.
Messi had opened the scoring from the penalty spot but two goals in five minutes after half-time turned the game around in favor of the Saudis, and despite intense pressure from Argentina, they held out for a historic win.
Argentina was listed as the favorite or second favorite after Brazil in the World Cup by the vast majority of bookmakers and experts heading into the tournament.
This was mainly due to Argentina being unbeaten for 36 games and not losing for three years, since their defeat to Brazil in July 2019.
Until this moment, Saudi Arabia had previously only won one game at a World Cup in their entire history, when they beat Egypt 2-1 in 2018 but both teams had already been eliminated so this was a dead rubber.