Saudi Arabia in FIFA World Cup 2022 - FAQs about its Qatar WC journey

Saudi Arabia could not qualify for the knockouts of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, after finishing last in the group, but scripted history after clinching a 2-1 win against Argentina in its opening match.

Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022, in Lusail City, Qatar.

Salem Al-Dawsari of Saudi Arabia celebrates after scoring their team’s second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at Lusail Stadium on November 22, 2022, in Lusail City, Qatar. | Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia could not qualify for the knockouts of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, after finishing last in the group, but scripted history after clinching a 2-1 win against Argentina in its opening match.

Saudi Arabia was paired in Group C of the Qatar World Cup along with Argentina, Mexico and Poland at the time of the draw.

Touted to be the weakest team of the group on paper, Saudi pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history after it notched a 2-1 win against Argentina in its opening match of the tournament.

Given the present context, the win seems even more impressive as Argentina went on to become lift the World Cup title after beating France 4-2 on penalties in the final at the Lusail Stadium. So effectively, Saudi Arabia was the only team which beat Argentina in its title-winning run - a big achievement for not only Saudi Arabia, but Asian football.

With Saudi Arabia putting its name on the global stage after the win against Argentina, here are some frequently asked questions about the Asian team.

How many World Cups did Saudi Arabia participate in before the Qatar World Cup?

Saudi Arabia participated in five FIFA World Cups before the 2022 edition in Qatar. It made its first appearance in the 1994 World Cup, hosted by the USA. Since then, it has participated in the 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2018 editions.

What is Saudi Arabia’s best finish at the FIFA World Cup?

Saudi Arabia’s best World Cup finish was at its debut edition in 1994., where it reached the Round of 16 stage. Since then, it has not been able to qualify for the knockouts in any of the five editions.

How did it qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar?

Saudi Arabia qualified for the Qatar World Cup 2022 after finishing as the AFC Third Round Group B winner.

Who is the coach of Saudi Arabia?

Herve Renard is the head coach of Saudi Arabia. The Frenchman became the first coach to win the Africa Cup of Nations with two different countries - Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015. Angola and Morocco are the other two teams he managed. His success in Africa made Saudi Arabia  choose him as its coach after Juan Antonio Pizzi failed to deliver in the 2018 Russia World Cup and the Asian Cup the following year.

Who were the goalscorers in Saudi Arabia’s historic win against Argentina?

Saleh Alshehri and Salem Salem Al-Dawsari were the goalscorers for Saudi Arabia in its 2-1 win against Argentina in the Group C match at the Lusail Stadium. Alshehri scored the equaliser in the 48th minute for the equaliser, while Al-Dawsari scored in the 53rd minute for the winner.

Where did Saudi Arabia finish in the FIFA World Cup 2022?

Despite starting the campaign on a high after the 2-1 win against Argentina, Saudi Arabia went on to lose its following group matches against Poland and Mexico. It finished last in Group C with three points from three matches.

How many goals did Saudi Arabia score in the FIFA World Cup 2022?

Saudi Arabia scored three goals in three group-stage matches of the Qatar World Cup. It scored two against Argentina and one against Mexico.

Who was the top scorer for Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup?

Salem Al-Dawsari scored two goals in the Qatar World Cup. The first came against Argentina in Saudi’s opening group stage match, and the second was in its final group match against Mexico.

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