World Cup newspaper: Saudi Arabia gave Argentina the biggest defeat in 20 years

World Cup newspaper: Saudi Arabia gave Argentina the biggest defeat in 20 years

After each day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Sportsnet.ca’s World Cup Daily Blog will recap the day’s events and look ahead to the next day’s slate of games.

Here’s what happened on Tuesday, in case you missed it…

The results   

Argentina 1, Saudi Arabia 2 in Lucille: Game report || Match statistics 

Denmark 0, Tunisia 0 in Al-Ryan: Game report || Match statistics 

Mexico 0, Poland 0 in Doha: Game report || Match statistics 

France 4, Australia 1 at Al Ocra: Game report || Match statistics 

Main points of conversation   

The biggest World Cup defeat in 20 years 

Lionel Messi is on record as saying that he plans to retire from international football after the World Cup is over. That day may come sooner rather than later as Argentina follow a shock 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in Group C play. Argentina, currently number three in FIFA’s world rankings, were among the favorites ahead of the tournament, and are expected to see off the 51st-ranked Saudis without any problems.

But the Arab nation suffered its heaviest World Cup defeat since Senegal beat then-reigning champions France in the 2002 tournament, snapping Argentina’s 35-game unbeaten run and sending South America to internationals. In 2002, they handed their first defeat to a team outside. The Top 50 Over a Decade.

Full credit must be given to Saudi Arabia, who for most of the game thwarted Argentina’s attacking intentions and limited their scoring chances from open play. In particular, centre-back Hassan al-Maqti was excellent for the Saudis, and made a stunning tackle on Messi in the penalty area that was denied a sure goal by the Argentine.

Lady luck also played a part in the Saudis’ upset win – twice in the first half Argentina forward Lotaro Martinez looked set to give his country a 2-0 lead, but both times the goals were ruled out for offside after VAR review. . The South American champions also didn’t help their cause with starting 11-year-olds featuring a World Cup record four players aged 34 or older (Messi, Nicolas Otamendi, Angel Di Maria and Papo Gomez). . Unsurprisingly, Argentina couldn’t keep up with Saudi Arabia in a fast-paced contest and ran out of gas in the dying minutes as their equalizing effort proved futile.

World Cup champions France are hitting it off in style  

It looked like it was going to be a day of upsets in Qatar on Tuesday when Saudi Arabia set the table with their improbable win over Argentina. France had other ideas, though, even after Australia stormed out of the gate to take a 1-0 lead in their Group D clash. The Socceroos previously had the reigning World Cup champions in the ruck because of their pace Les Bleus Settled quickly. Natural order soon returned as the French took a 2-1 half-time lead thanks to goals from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud. Kylian Mbappe and Giroud scored in the second half to complete France’s comeback attempt.

You must submit it to the French. Unlike Argentina, they didn’t lose their composure or fear after conceding a goal. Instead, they stayed focused and began to outplay Australia with their smart pressing play and quick ball movement. A good example came on the winning goal when Rabiot got possession of an Australian defender deep in his own half, and then burst into the box after latching on to a brilliant backheel pass from Mbappé. The ball wasn’t at the Juventus midfielder’s feet for long, playing a square pass for Giroud to head home from close range.

Manager Didier Deschamps was forced to make a change in the 13th minute with his side still trailing after defender Lucas Hernandez was sent off the pitch. Hernandez’s exit had the potential to be a disaster for France, who have lost several key players to injury this World Cup. But his younger brother Theo Hernandez came on and instantly helped bolster a French backline that had struggled to cope with Australia’s rushing attack until then. It has been smooth sailing for the World Cup champions since then.

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Goal of the day   

Four minutes after Saleh Al-Shehri had leveled things up for Saudi Arabia, Salim Al-Dosari brilliantly controlled a high ball that bounced inside the Argentine penalty area, spun around and slotted low and powerful past Leandro Paredes. The shot exploded before curling just inside the far post.

The moment of the day   

How great was it to see Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, who nearly died of a heart attack during a match at last summer’s European Championships, back on the field and playing in his third World Cup?

Honorable mention: Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa saves the penalty About Robert Lewandowski of Poland.

Another proud moment: France’s Stéphanie Fraparte became the first female referee at a men’s World Cup when she served as the fourth official in the Mexico-Poland match.

Daily rate  

“Really? Dead. It’s a very hard blow because we didn’t expect to start like this. – Argentina’s Lionel Messi when asked how he feels after his team’s painful start to this World Cup.

Six pack of statistics   

• Lionel Messi is only the fifth player to score in four different World Cups (2006, 2014, 2018, 2022). Peel, Yves Seiler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo are the others.

• Argentina lost a World Cup game leading at half-time for the first time since the 1930 final against Uruguay.

• There was a 0-0 draw during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. This year’s tournament in Qatar surpassed that amount just three days later.

• Robert Lewandowski is scoreless in his four World Cup games for Poland, missing all 11 shots (four on target) he attempted in the tournament.

• Mexico are unbeaten in their last seven games (five wins) in World Cup opener. The last six times, it went out of the group stage.

• Adrien Rabiot is the first French player to score and assist in a World Cup debut since Christophe Dougray against South Africa in 1998.

Statistics by Opta

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SPORTSNET in Qatar   

Sportsnet.ca contributor Peter Galindo is in Qatar covering the World Cup. She was at the match between Australia and France on Tuesday and recalled:

Three stars of the day   

1) Kylian Mbappé, France: The PSG striker’s speed and agility were too much for Australia’s defence, as he scored a goal and collected an assist.

2) Andreas Christensen, Denmark: The center back was a defensive dynamo for Denmark, recording one tackle, one clearance, one interception and four blocks against Tunisia. He also completed 96 percent of his passes.

3) Olivier Giroud, France: He equaled France’s all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry with 51 goals.

Looking forward to Wednesday   

Canada’s 36-year wait will come to an end when they face Belgium in Group F action at Al Rayyan. The Canadians made their World Cup debut in Mexico in 1986 when they were eliminated from the tournament with three shutout losses. Can John Herdman’s side get Canada’s first World Cup point on Wednesday against a Belgium side that reached the semi-finals four years ago and is ranked second in the world?


John Molinaro is one of the leading soccer journalists in Canada, having covered the game for over 20 years for several media outlets, including Sportsnet, CBC Sports and Sun Media. He is currently the editor-in-chief of TFC Republic, a website dedicated to in-depth coverage of Toronto FC and Canadian soccer. TFC Republic can be found over here.

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