By Gharny Yeku
Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as they came from behind to stun two-time winner, Argentina in an incredible Group C opener in Lusail.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Argentina had three goals ruled out for offside.
But Saudi, the oil-rich nation ranking 51st in the world, turned the game on its head in a stunning 10-minute period after half-time with Saleh Al-Shehri levelling with a low effort and Salem Al Dawsari firing them ahead to spark pandemonium in the stands.
Having shown their ruthlessness at one end, they demonstrated a ruggedness at the other, holding a star-studded Argentina front line at bay to secure only their fourth World Cup win and throw the group wide open.
Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina came into the tournament among the favourites, on the back of a 36-game unbeaten run that included winning the 2021 Copa America.
They now have it all to do to keep alive their hopes of a first global triumph since 1986 and give Messi a fitting ending to what is very likely his World Cup swan-song.
They face Mexico on Saturday, while Saudi Arabia takes on Poland.