Lionel Messi-led Argentina suffered a shock 1-2 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia in the Group C match in the ongoing FIFA World Cup at the Lusail stadium on Tuesday.
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Messi converted a penalty in the 10th minute to put Argentina in the lead. Saudi Arabia equalised in the 48th minute when Saleh Alshehri slotted home from a tight angle. And just five minutes later, the stadium erupted when Salem Aldawsari netted a curler to set Saudi Arabia on course for a historic win.
The loss means Argentina has now failed to equal Italy’s 37-match unbeaten run.
Argentina came into the World Cup in red-hot form with a 36-match unbeaten run achieved under manager Lionel Scaloni. La Albiceleste’s streak started way back in 2019. The last time Argentina lost before today was on July 3, 2019, against Brazil. This is also the second time Argentina has lost a World Cup match after leading at half time (1930 against Uruguay).
Before the win against Saudi, Argentina recorded 25 wins and settled for 11 draws. It included the title-winning run at the Copa America 2021, where Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in the final to claim the trophy.
The 1978 and 1986 Word Cup champion, Argentina lost the 2014 World Cup final to Germany, and four years later, in Russia, it was eliminated by France in the pre-quarterfinals.