Argentina made a nightmare start to their FIFA World Cup Group campaign after a shocking loss to underdogs Saudi Arabia, 2-1, on Tuesday, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Argentine midfielder, Leandro Paredes, was fouled in the box and, after a video assistant referee (VAR) review, Argentina were awarded a penalty kick in the eighth minute.
Lionel Messi converted the penalty successfully as Argentina took a 1-0 lead at Lusail Stadium in Qatar.
In the first half, Argentina scored three goals, but they were disallowed for offside.
Lionel Scaloni’s men were caught offside position seven times in the first 45 minutes. But Argentina finished the first half, 1-0.
In the second half, Saudi Arabia fought to turn the tables.
Saudi Arabia levelled the match in the first minutes of the second half. Saleh Alshehri took a low shot in the area that beat Argentine goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez.
In the 53rd minute, Salem Aldawsari scored a classy right-footed strike in the box to give Saudi Arabia a 2-1 lead.
After taking the lead, Saudi Arabia preferred a defensive playing style. Argentina possessed the ball much as they were seeking an equaliser.
The referee gave 14 minutes additional time in the second half, after a Saudi player was injured.
But Saudi Arabia defended well and denied Argentina’s many goal chances to secure a sensational victory against the South American powerhouse.
Separately, Saudi Arabia ended Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten record.
Victors Saudi Arabia topped World Cup Group C.
On Tuesday, Mexico will take on Poland in another Group C match at Doha’s Stadium 974. The game will begin at 1600GMT.