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Saudi Arabia inflict shock defeat onto contenders Argentina in 2022 World Cup opener

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Argentina were delivered with a serious reality check on Wednesday as their 2022 World Cup opener went disastrously wrong, losing 2-1 to minnows Saudi Arabia despite going 1-0 ahead in the first half.

Everything looked to be going to plan when Lionel Messi converted an early penalty to put the South American champions ahead, but a string of goals ruled out for offside in the first half meant that Saudi Arabia were still in the game at half time.

Offsides aplenty

As many as three Argentina goals were ruled out for offside in the first half, with Messi having one chalked off and Lautaro Martinez being frustrated twice by the offside flag. One of those was down to his shoulder being offside.

With a lead at the break, though, few could have predicted what was to come in the second half, especially given Argentina‘s dominance.

Saudi Arabia’s spirit

Saudi Arabia, cheered on by a loud support, came out battling in the second half and were excellent.

Within three minutes of the restart they pulled level through Saleh Alshehri, leaving Argentina shocked. But things took another turn when Salem Aldawsari curled in a fine second just five minutes later, pcking out the top corner from the edge of the box.

From then, Saudi Arabia were excellen…

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