Thanks to a perfect system of play and an unequalled combativeness, Saudi Arabia came to beat Argentina for their first match in this World Cup.
The Argentinians and Messi did not have to wait long to score their first goal of the World Cup. After 8 minutes of play, the referee was called by the VAR and pointed to the penalty spot to punish a foul by Abdulhamid, guilty of having belted Paredes in the box. It was the first time that a team had scored a goal in a match like this, and it was the second time that a team had scored a goal in a match like this, and it was the first time that a team had scored a goal in a match like this.
The Saudis tried to react but the Argentinians had several opportunities to break the deadlock in the first half. The Saudis had a few chances to break the deadlock in the first half, but Hervé Renard’s side were forced to settle for offside after Messi (22nd) and Lautaro Martinez (27th, 35th) had been disallowed… The game was not very dangerous, but Saudi Arabia were still alive at half-time against a dominant but unflamboyant Argentina side.
The match turned on its head after the break. In the second half, Al-Shehri took advantage of a misunderstanding between Otamendi and Romero to equalise and put Argentina in doubt (1-1, 48th). The Saudis, who had been in the game for a long time, took the lead five minutes later when Al-Dawsari put the home side ahead through a fine piece of skill (1-2, 53′).
The rest of the match was, of course, a case of attack and defence. The Argentinians pushed for an equaliser but were unable to get the game going enough to unsettle a valiant Saudi team, who fought for every ball and challenged their opponents physically to maintain their narrow lead. They succeeded in keeping the score at that level until the final whistle. It was a thunderbolt for the Albiceleste, and a great achievement for Saudi Arabia!