Lionel Messi scores for Argentina in 2-1 shock defeat vs. Saudi Arabia

99

Lionel Messi scored for Argentina but it was a 2-1 shock defeat vs. Saudi Arabia in the World Cup opening game in the group.

Messi scored his first goal of the 2022 World Cup and Argentina created several opportunities in the first half. Lionel Scaloni’s team scored three more times in the first half but all three were disallowed for offside.

Argentina went into the second half with a 1-0 lead but it quickly disappeared. Cristian Romero was unable to close down Saleh Alshehri who scored to draw Saudi Arabia level.

Just five minutes later, Salem Aldawsari scored a goal which no goalkeeper would have saved. Saudi Arabia had taken a 2-1 lead and Argentina came close having an effort which was cleared off the line.

Lionel Scaloni made three substitutions after the goal. Lisandro Martínez replaced Cristian Romero, Julián Álvarez and Enzo Fernández replaced Papu Gómez and Leandro Paredes. Marcos Acuña was brought on for Nicolás Tagliafico.

99 Comments

  1. It’s so hard to understand why we keep sticking with players who are proven WC failures and way past their primes.
    – Di Maria is old and slow
    – Papu is old and slow and barely even starts for his club
    – Otamendi is old and slow, and has been rubbish ever since the 2010 WC
    – RDP is so overrated
    – Paredes is average at best
    Every year there’s more tattoos over their bodies too, surely it’s affecting their brains and speed. Wish our players would concentrate more on football than on stupid, ugly tattoos. Morons are all worried about their image with their haircuts and tattoos rather than the game plan and tactics.
    I can’t wait for all the old players in our team to get so old that they’re in wheelchairs (not literally, lol). Hopefully then we’ll finally have a coach who doesn’t pick them.
    How do you not start with Angel Correa and Alexis Macalister instead of Papu and Di Maria. Papu shouldn’t even be in the squad. Di Maria can’t last 90 minutes, his old legs were so slow and tired. Bring him on for the last 35 minutes at best.
    Please bring Dybala on for at least 35 minutes also, we have wasted enough of his time and talent sitting on our pathetic bench
    Put Guido Rodriquez and Enzo Fernández in the middle.
    Stop playing with one striker, it has never suited or worked for Argentina.
    Please stop picking Otamendi in the squad. Our central defensive pairing now and for the next 2 WC’s should be Romero and Martinez.
    And please, someone donate a tattoo removing machine to the NT.

  2. tbh It’s our fault. We fans are also noisy, too loud. Our expectation is always high.

    – We are still hoping that 35 years old Messi will win world Cup for us but in reality he passed his time. Players retire at the age of 35 but we are counting on him.
    – Messi is the best player of the generation but he failed when it mattered most several times. Reason why he failed to score in any of the knockout matches.
    – We go ga ga over Messi’s brilliance in free-kicks but starting with 2014 final to today he never scored from free-kicks when it mattered the most.
    – There are some reason why Rodrigo De Paul, Paredes, Papu, Tagliafico, Emiliano, Molina, Otamendi all playing for mid level club teams and there also warming bench.
    But we see Iniesta in RDP, Xavi in Paredes, neuer in Emiliano, Mercello in Tagliafico or Dani Alves in Molina. They are average players at best so playing for average teams. Fact!!
    – Only player looks bright was Julian Alverez and so he plays for Manchester City although not as a starter and we are in no mode to give Dybala any chance. Even in last match Dybala changed Roma’s game in last 20 minutes from bench.
    – Scaloni never tried any formation other than 4-3-3 or sometimes 4-4-2 why 4-2-3-1? This never worked for us and Messi.
    – small team mentality – won Copa and that’s enough. Still celebrating Copa victory month anniversary. A certain Chile also won Copa twice. Mr. Dibu was on cloud 9.

    Infact that penalty was too soft and now I am thinking it would have been better if that penalty was not awarded. May be we would have played differently. They were defensive and we were 1 goal lead… we started the game too casually in the 2nd half and that cost us 3 points.

    • 100 percent correct. The penalty made this team think this is easy game. They were soft to start and they finished panicked because they do not have mental toughness. Even in Copa Messi choked a second goal from the grass monster against Brazil. I don’t know why we are so weak mentally. No warriors here.

  3. It is not scalonis fault IMO. When the 11 came out I didn’t see any one shouting in despair or predicting this scoreline. It means you were quietly comfortable that it is OK to rely on the skill and quality of individuals to put passes together and MOVE the damn ball. That Is exactly what scaloni did.

    What is wrong?

    The fault is all the players..they were not ready and sitting back too much and bottling the basics such as ball control, passing and the offside-trap. Maybe fitness maybe injury.. but an 70% argebtina should still beat 100% KSA right? wrong, because we were at 50% (because we lacked the fire) and KSAwere at 120% because they had fire coming out of their behinds…

  4. I am just so confused as to why a team that usually has a great work rate and run for 90 minutes did nothing like this today. Why are they so slow all of a sudden? Why are they standing around? At least Julian was running and pressing. Where is the creativity? I guess my only other comment is we all missed the fact that if your best players are your oldest players that is not a good sign.
    The only question I have is how do you come back from losing to Saudi Arabia? Maybe you don’t.

  5. Does anyone in their right mind think that scaloni and Messi will panic after a game in which Argentina kind of dominated for most parts and were taken apart by 5 minutes of weak defending and Saudi resurgence? The answer is a big no, this team is not known to panic… Yes the result went against us but so did the fact the Argentina needed a wake up call.. it is time for us to support our beloved team and stop spreading negativity… Not the end , this is just the start of a new winning streak 👍

  6. Shocking result. Cannot believe.

    Emiliano Martinez – still living with Copa America Golden gloves award. No position at all for both the goals. 2 shots on goal and 2 goals. Can we trust him?
    Romero – Not fit at all. Too casual.
    Otamendi – Always rusty.
    Molina – How come he can be a first choice right back? I will rather play any makeshift player.
    Tagliafico – Very bad too casual. Should not play again.
    Rodrigo De Paul – Very very Poor. He seems forgot his role other than Protecting Messi. CM or attacking mideifleer, controller? Thank you Diago Simione for ruining him.
    Paredes – Even worse than RDP. Should not play again if Enzo or Gudio is fit.
    Papu – If he cannot even start a mediocre team like Sevilla there might be some reasons. But Scaloni failed to find that. Still played 60 minutes for doing nothing.
    Di Maria – Should watch this game to learn how to beat offside trap. Anyway Di Maria either play good or bad, so today was bad although slightly better in the 2nd half.
    L Martinez – Did nothing other than some clueless running + fall on offside trap couple of times.
    Messi – If you are not fit, no point you should play. Couple of poor headers, Poor freekicks, poor shots towards goal and a gift from referee to score WC goal.
    Scaloni – This man got everything wrong
    – starting with 4-2-3-1, which is never a formation for us
    – starting a bunch of bench warmers.
    – Cheap mentality to hold 1 goal lead.
    – Ignoring Dybala. He made few changes but no point no point.
    – Why it took 60 minutes to understand 4-2-3-1 with Papu/Parades etc not working?

    Very disappoint start of the world cup..

  7. Oops, reading match reviews in various newspapers including those in Argentina is tough. Terms like lazy, static, slow, uninspired, predictable, over the hill generation etc. Seems a bit harsh given the disallowed goals. But it is now up to the team to show character.

  8. As soon as I saw parades in the starting lineup, I knew we were conceding a goal.If guido was started, we would not be conceding any goals. Scaloni love affair with players like Parades, Papu and Molina is making this team week and unbalance. I feel bad for Messi because he will retire without winning a World Cup.

  9. After world cup I am thinking of a new argentina with tall strong fast young player. Indeed 433 is our best formation.we need to recruit Garnacho ,Ballaude, E zeballos, Buonante, P Solari, N Castro, Buendia ,Benjamin Garre , Castellano, Valentin carboni, Eric Mesa ,Jose M Lopez ,Luca Orellano

    Keeping Lo celso ,N Gonzalez ,DE paul ,Guido ,Alvarez ,Lautaro ,Molina ,Enzo ,Angel correa ,J correa ,N Perez, Balerdi, Romero, Medina ,Senesi
    433
    #######CASTELLANO
    GARNACHO#####BOUNANTE
    ###BAULLADE#LOCLESO
    ########BALERDI
    Gonzalez#SENESI#PEREZ#ERIC MESA

  10. 100 percent Scaloni is responsible for the loss. Of course players failed their part but the main culprit is Scaloni.

    1. In first half we had possession but no penetration. Saudi midfield is crowded and Messi being in the middle completely isolated. But still the end of the game Scaloni never reacted to that precisely.

    2. We should have moved Messi to right in Maria’s position and move Maria to Papu’s position subbing Papu. At least Messi might pulled the Saudi midfield crowd to the flank.

    3. Dybala should be introduced for long range shooting in place of Lautaro as Dybala can pull at least few players.

    Papu Tagliafico Paredes De Paul below average today. Still we got time to recover. But sorry for harsh language..Emi Martinez.. you should stop your fucking gestures..mocking the Mexican team after they landed in our group.. Mexico will not forget that and try their best with extra motivation..

    Nothing to say.. days and nights goes.. but upto next match very slowly and very sadly.. sorry for being negative.. hope for the best..

    And finally.. please avoid asado..it won’t help us anyway in the tournament.. Vegetarians are less injured than nonvegetarians ( no offense to either) and recovery time of vegans are more quicker than nonvegetarians..

  11. Is it the end of the world? Probably not, but now we are in a position where goals against / in favor can hurt. You know maybe this team needed a wakeup call, I’d rather lose the winning streak in the first game and not in the 7th. I think it’s not impossible to make it to the next round, but it’s not going to be easy. Spain lost the first game in 2010 and we know how that turned out.

  12. It is clearly understands messi is concentrating more in deep midfld than top.of mid Locelsos injury and Nico and Joaquin’s sub players taken is bad I think.Offside trap of Saudi is appreciable . And lack of creativity in mid and dmarias lack of speed and lack of speed in leftwing two lazy wing backs cause main reason for args current defeat.

  13. Messi was one of the main reasons Garnacho was kept out of the team, anyone who thinks otherwise is probably naive. After Messi and Di Maria there’s a huge drop off in quality within this team. This team is not good enough to win the World Cup. The World Cup goes to Europe again for a 5th straight time. All this talk about quarterfinals before a ball being kicked was arrogant at best. 2014 was the best version of Argentina we have had in a long time, it’s been downhill since then when it comes to the quality of players.

  14. But truth be told Messi was lazy and sluggish in second half. The ball he gave away resulted in second goal. But DePaul, Paredes and Papu Gomez were the most disgraceful players. I hope in the future Argentina come up with a policy of dropping players 30years and above.

  15. I don’t think we need a lot of changes. This group played for the last 4 years and went unbeaten for 35 games, this is not possible that they all of a sudden became worse than Saudi Arabia. Truth is we could not hold the nerve, you could see that from the body language of the players. It appears to me that their legs were too heavy. Keep trust in players and coach. We will overcome this.

  16. Who is the vocal leader of this team? Not footballing leader, vocal leader? Who holds others accountable? If I am asking, that should answer your question. As hard as it is to admit for me, and sad, teams that go far usually aren’t this fragile mentally and can overcome adversity. I have my doubts that if Mexico scores an early goal this team may crumble emotionally.

    • agree too. we had all thought the core and base of this team was solid. that they’ve been together, they’ve won together, and it is this slight glimmer of hope we’re all clinging on to and hoping that it would help us overcome this (major) blip, wake us up and get us going on another unbeaten run of 5-6 games. but like you, somehow the way things slowly unfolded after the 2 goals, it just doesn’t show the above and leaves much to be desired. 🙁

  17. It’s very sad to see Argentina are close to out of the WC22. When you win there are no question in general even for questionable decisions. I don’t have answer how a WC seeking team replace a injured forward with a midfielder in the squad!! Next, what is your back up? Who is your plan B to score a goal? If you don’t put Dybala, the only backup striker in the team who can create and score, why he is in the team?
    People will say, this is only one game, but this is the game you prepared for last 4 years.

      • This is the trend Argentina team and coach do every time. Some general aspects they think very differently and exit the tournament with saying that opponent was parking the bus! I can remember their game vs Iran last time. That Iran lost to Eng conceding 6 goals.

        • yah!!! it was galling!!! thay the f#&£&,÷ egnlish scored 6… while we struggled the last time. I for one hate comparisions with the english coz I always think they suck and are always overrated. but after conceding 1, they just carried on their business and scoring more. why couldn’t we have controlled the game even in the 2nd half! still thinking that they can play it easy just like the first half!

  18. Today they played like it was a training session. And yes we do lack speed. DiMaria gets the ball and he needs the overlapping run from Molina (Zabaleta was great at that). The problem is we could easily get hit on the counter.

    We fell in love with that through ball for DiMaria that gave us the Copa victory. It’s like this was the play we kept looking for as the game went on. Do we have another style of play? Can we utilize Enzo’s ball skills? Where is the team that beat Italy? I thought tango was back.

    We took this game for granted. Everyone else took care of business.

    We cannot waste another world cup due to thinking we deserve it. We have to get over the delusion of living in past glory. We have to treat every time like it’s a final against Brazil because I know if the 1st match was against Brazil, no goals would leak.

    Let’s do what we have to do in order to get to the Round of 16.

    Let’s pray for this team.

  19. Hi Iam from Bangladesh!!
    We have missed an one important point. The game was around 1 pm locally; Playing conditions were not ideal for our most of the players who mostly played in Europe. An other thing I Don’t find any reason why we played Against UAE in hot and humate climate…. AFC played this game for money surely…… We should have rested our players…. They all looked tired…
    Finding no reason why he played MAC allester in practice match and now pappu in WC match.
    Pappu is small and also tagliafico was weak and small….

  20. The defeat was very painful, but It’s wasn’t the most painful defeat I’ve ever experienced.

    For those of you who are hopeless let me give you some hopium. Real Madrid vs Sheriff 1-2 full time and guess what? Real Madrid won the Champions league that season. Everything is possible. I still have big hope!

    • @Dadir10 Stop it, bro. This is the world cup. Not a champions league match where you play two legs. Please stop. We cannot get cocky as fans like 2018 after Iceland. Let’s support, but don’t act like this is not a big issue. We need to wake up now before we have to wait another 4 years.

      • I can uderstand your frustration. This could be the worst defeat you have ever seen, but to me it’s not and I have big hope till the last minute. Many years back there was a day that I was on the verge of a heart attack that could’ve taken my life and that happened because of a defeat to my team. That day I learnt a huge lesson. Let’s hope things will change to the best.

        • I hear you and I’m sorry to hear that happened to you bro. Glad you are here to experience more games from your team. I’m hoping for the best. There’s a part of me that thinks now they will wake up, but a result like this against the worst team in the group is not good. Granted they could have been up 4-0 at the half, but the mistakes made and play style is a cause for concern. We just can’t say oh will get the next one. Teams lose that way. Germany spoke like this in 2018, “we’ll be okay”. Golden State Warriors in NBA vs Toronto Raptors, “we got this”. The attitude needs to be more sense of urgency and demand & support from fans. We cannot expect success, we have to work hard to earn it.

  21. I don’t know what was the exact strategy……….long passes and get behind the whole game?
    I saw what the whole world saw, there was no midfield passing or down the pitch chance creation, sure they could have scored 6 if it wasn’t for the offsides trap but surely they would have changed up in the 2nd half.
    Hopefully they learned for the next 2 games and beyond.

    Messi didn’t seem himself either, injury or didn’t want to risk one in his first game Vs a weak opponent …..weak ;/

    • i share the same sentiment! We will be okay… Spain lost the first game in 2010! Argentina lost the opening game in a shocker against cameroon in 1990. We will be okay… but scaloni & the coaching staff really need to be wise on the decision for the next game! I think the midfield needs enzo a lot more than we thought…

      The last thing we need is a complete overhaul ala Sampouli… keep the same team. let Licha and Otamendi play together, start acuna.

      Those goals scored were defensive blunders! both goals came because we failed to clear the ball…

      Vamos Argentina!

  22. Not sure Paredes should start. I’ve been saying since day 1, he is a liability defensively. We need Guido Rodriguez to shield the defense. Enzo Fernandez was really good, I think he should start instead of Papu Gomez. We need to go back to a 4-3-3 system. Finally Acuna is better suit for our style of play because he gives you width option better than Tagliafico. Unfortunately, we don’t have speed in the group, we need to adjust. Next game against Mexico is critical, all hope isn’t lost just a bump on the road to final…Vamos Argentina

    • After world cup I am thinking of a new argentina with tall strong fast young player. Indeed 433 is our best formation.we need to recruit Garnacho ,Ballaude, E zeballos, Buonante, P Solari, N Castro, Buendia ,Benjamin Garre , Castellano, Valentin carboni, Eric Mesa ,Jose M Lopez ,Luca Orellano

      Keeping Lo celso ,N Gonzalez ,DE paul ,Guido ,Alvarez ,Lautaro ,Molina ,Enzo ,Angel correa ,J correa ,N Perez, Balerdi, Romero, Medina ,Senesi
      433
      #######CASTELLANO
      GARNACHO#####BOUNANTE
      ###BAULLADE#LOCLESO
      ########BALERDI
      Gonzalez#SENESI#PEREZ#ERIC MESA

  23. A small lucky win or even a draw can be a wake up call.

    A loss in the first match against the worst team in your group? This is a disaster.

    We should be prepared for group stage exit. I heard we brought lots of meats for asado. Not sure we will take them back?

  24. Our knick out stage will start from Mexico game Mark my word Argentina will go far in this tournament We will beat Mexico and Poland and whowever come our way in last 16 , Saudi outplayed us it’s shocking but if we ever going to lose game in world Cup should have been in group match at least this nonsense unbeaten thing is off our back come on Argentina let’s go war starting from Saturday vs Mexico
    Hey brothers I know it’s hard to take but please calm down don’t be too hard to yourselves

  25. We have seen this film before.
    We will probably panic.
    we will probably try formations we never tested before.
    our players don’t react well to adversity.
    pressure is on and chances are they will crumble under it.
    it’s probably over for us.
    what a nightmare.

    • It’s over for us. There is nothing like ‘probably’. Let’s accept another heartache. The team put all its heart in place but injury, health issues, unfit players and poor strategy from the coach let the fighting team down. Goal line saves, 4 close call of offside … we ran out of luck. Let’s accept destiny. May be we would be tearful tonight. But let’s again start hoping for 2026. May be someday all of us on this forum would have a combined luck to see the cup in the hands of … may be Enzo … may be Alvarez … may be Garnaccho … may be the next Maradona. But 2022 … adieu World Cup.

  26. Was expecting tight game not like other members taking 5-0. 4-0. But lost is very shock. We can still beat maxico and poland. But we can qualify if we beat both ??? I don’t think saudi will beat maxico or poland…. 2 playes are injured 5-6 startes got yellow….

  27. It seems our dreams are shattered once again. Playing Di Maria and not playing a pressing footballer like Alvarez from the beginning proved costly. Saudi Arabia’s tactics worked. But if a team like Argentina cannot beat such an obsolete and bad tactics of trapping opponents in offside net, then they don’t deserve to win. Period. This tactics has been done to death and all coaches have a strategy to beat it. But Scaloni seemed not to have any clue. What lacked was a forward with the pace of MBappe, who can start couple of meters behind the offside line and beat the defenders in pace. Alvarez is closest to MBappe or Haalande in terms of speed and you don’t bring him immediately after half time. Saudi coach beat Scaloni by tactics. So Messi now gets ready to retire without the cup. And we would again gather in this forum from the next qualification round with a whole bunch of new players and with the same old dream which remains unfulfilled since 86.

    • right on @MarioKempes. no one, not my family not my friends, but only the ones here, can understand the heart ache I’m going through right now. you’re all probably going the same shitty feeling I’m going through now too. and the reason why I’ve resurfaced here to find that joint solace.

      I’ve not been cursing and swearing in this forum for some time now. but this is a damn damn f×_=ing familiar feeling… that old cycle of WC, CA, WC, CA, CA Centennial, WC, all over again. broken by the CA victory. but it has returned. what’s damning is we scored through a soft penalty and were well beaten by a team that got the tactics right and scored two brillant goals. f#&%. when it was 2-1 and they were stringing 5-6 across the backline and we were passing the ball around trying to probe, messi skying the freekick, adm can’t put in good crosses, opponents playing the best game of their lives, f#^%. that feeling again. was there going to be a Messi vs Greece or vs Iran moment. F@&£ no. and i was just thinking before the game started – this is probably the first time we got here without any drama – no Martin Palemro late goal in a rain soaker qualifer decider, no hoohaa of the dissatisfaction amongst the ranks or woth the coach or AFA or “Messi’s favourites”. just stable solid quiet qualification.

      right now we are truely f#*£ed. Poland and Mexico win SA and draw each other, we’re screwed. Even if we win Poland, we’re going to go into the Mexico match just like how we went into Nigeria last time round – it’s have to win. it a f#&%ing nervous breakdown.

    • So Messi now gets ready to retire without the cup. And we would again gather in this forum from the next qualification round with a whole bunch of new players and with the same old dream which remains unfulfilled since 86. -> yes, this is what is going to happen to us. guys, we’ve gone through this before right? we should be familiar with this feeling… hang on tight coz it’s going to be a nervous jumpy next few weeks for us. again. if everyong has been praising the solidarity and togetherness of this current team, well there is no other time and they better show it now. but even if we win both, it might not even be enough. things are out of our hands now. again. f×<£.

  28. first of all this is not scaloni’s fault. Im surprised was seeing first 45 minutes. There was too lazyness,casual pass.not high intensity.suadi arabia defended 10 men.in previous Argentine played good against bus parking team but today there was so lazyness.if Argentina played the whole match like how they play after conceding second goal this match would have been Argentina’s pocket.

  29. In 2010 ppl were just as shocked as this when they saw spain lose against swiss in their opening WC match. They came in as clear favorites to win the world cup after their 2008 Euro win…prob they were too confident…Our players might have been overconfident too..Let this be a wake-up call for them..VAMOSSSS ALBICELESTEEEEE