Argentina’s Qatar World Cup campaign began in the worst possible fashion after it lost 1-2 to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
This is the sixth time Argentina has started its FIFA World Cup campaign with a loss. It is also one of the four sides to have made it to the final of a World Cup after losing the opening game, with West Germany (1982), Italy (1994) and Spain (2010) being the others. Spain is the only one among the four to have gone on to win the tournament.
Here is how Argentina has fared the five other times it started a World Cup with a defeat.
1990 World Cup
Reigning champion Argentina fell to Cameroon in its very first game in the 1990 World Cup. Francois Omam-Biyik gave the African side a shock win against Diego Maradona’s side with a 67th minute goal.
Argentina bounced back from the defeat and eventually made it to its second consecutive final against Germany, but lost 0-1.
1982 World Cup
Argentina entered the tournament as the defending champion, only to stumble at the first hurdle. A disappointing tournament for Albicelestes began with a 1-0 reversal to Belgium, with Erwin Vandenbergh scoring for the Europeans.
Argentina though made it out of the group, only to fall in the second round after losing to Italy and Brazil.
1974 World Cup
After failing to qualify for the 1970 edition, Argentina’s 1974 campaign began on the wrong foot. Poland, which will take on Argentina later in Qatar, defeated the South American side 3-2, with Grzegorz Lato starring with an early brace.
Argentina made it out of the group, but crashed out in the second stage after being thrashed by Netherlands and Brazil.
1958 World Cup
Argentina returned to the World Cup stage after 24 years only to lose 1-3 to West Germany in its first game. Helmut Rahn starred for the eventual champion with a double. Argentina went on to exit in the group stage after a 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Czechoslovakia.
1934 World Cup
Argentina, finalist at the inaugural World Cup, travelled all the way to Italy for the 1934 World Cup, only to sink at the very first challenge. The knockout format of the tournament meant the 3-2 defeat to Sweden was the end of the road for the Argentinians.