Saudi Arabia on Tuesday afternoon performed nothing short of a miracle with one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, defeating Argentina 2-1 with goals by Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari that clobbered a team considered until 90 minutes ago to be the favorites to go all the way.
Ranked 51st in the world, the Saudis dropped to 0-1 after mega-star Lionel Messi’s penalty kick in the 10th minute, but Al-Shehri angled a beautiful shot in the 48th minute to tie the game. And only five minutes later, the same Al-Dawsari kicked a magnificent shot from 16 meters into the top corner of Argentina’s goal.
It should be noted that the referee canceled three offside goals, one by Messi and two by Lauturo Martinez. Had those been legal, Argentina could have put away the game before the end of the first half. Judging has not been stellar in Qatar so far. On Monday, a Qatari referee awarded an 11-meter penalty kick to Wales against the United States which was leading 1-0. The game ended with a 1-1 tie, and “we was robbed.”
For now, in Group C, in first place is Saudi Arabia with 3 points, and last place Argentine with none.
In response to the victory, the king of Saudi Arabia has declared a public holiday will be celebrated on Wednesday.