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Saudi Arabia Shocks Argentina at World Cup

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Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts disappointed during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2022.

Saudi Arabia scored a major upset win Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over Argentina in their opening match at the men’s World Cup in Qatar.

Argentina entered the tournament as the third-ranked team in the world, with Saudi Arabia ranked number 51.

Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead in the tenth minute with a goal on a penalty kick, and Argentina looked to be in control of the game despite having multiple goals negated by offsides calls.

But Saudi Arabia mounted a quick comeback in the second half, evening the score with a 48th-minute goal by Saleh Alshehri.

Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2022.
Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2022.

A Salem Aldawsari goal five minutes later put Saudi Arabia ahead for good.

Saudi Arabia's goalkeeper, Mohammed Alowais, helped secure the victory by stopping several solid chances in the closing minutes as Argentina tried to equalize.

Argentina will try to bounce back Saturday when it faces Mexico in another Group C matchup. Saudi Arabia will play Poland.

Olivier Giroud, right, scores France's fourth goal and his second of the match in a 4-1 victory over Australia at the World Cup in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2022.
Olivier Giroud, right, scores France's fourth goal and his second of the match in a 4-1 victory over Australia at the World Cup in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Nov. 22, 2022.

Also Tuesday, defending champion France defeated Australia 4-1. Kylian Mbappe scored once and set up the second of Olivier Giroud’s two goals.

In other matches Tuesday, Denmark and Tunisia played to a 0-0 draw in a Group D matchup. Mexico and Poland also played to a 0-0 draw in Group C.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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