Argentina's forward Lionel Messi: This is why we were beaten 2-1 by Saudi Arabia

Argentina's Lionel Messi reacts disappointed during the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The football world was thrown into shock on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia pulled one of the greatest upsets in the history of the World Cup by defeating Qatar tournament favorites Argentina 2-1.

Messi opened the scoring for the South American nation from the penalty spot after a highly contentious spot-kick decision before Saudi Arabia came back from the dead with two quick-fire early second-half goals from Salah Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari to win 2-1.

It was a shock result, which has thrown the group wide open, with Saudi Arabia the rank outsiders in pot four with Argentina now having tricky matches coming against Poland and Mexico.

Argentina captain Lionel Messi now wants no excuses after the shock defeat and has called on his teammates to brush aside the result and prepare for the next game so that they can turn around their fortunes.

Speaking after the match, the PSG star player said he was disappointed they lost despite going ahead early in the match.
"The truth is I feel dead. It's a very hard blow because we did not expect to start in this way," Messi posed.

The former Barcelona attacker agreed many errors gifted their opponents a chance to come back into the game.

"In five minutes of errors, we lost the lead and found ourselves 1-2 down. We messed up, we threw crosses into the box and the game became a little complicated."

"I saw that the offsides were very fair. I didn't see them through images, but if they were annulled, they would be the right decisions. There is no excuse."

"We knew that it was a team that if we let them play, they played well and that they pushed us a lot with their high (defensive) line."

However, Messi has rallied his teammates ahead of their remaining Group C matches against Poland and Mexico.

"There are no excuses. We have to be more united than ever. This group is strong and has shown it. It's a situation we haven't gone through in a long time. Now we have to show that this is a real group," Messi said.

"It's a very hard blow for everyone, we didn't expect to start like this. Things happen for a reason. We have to prepare for what's coming, we have to win and it depends on us."

Argentina's defeat will go down as one of the biggest shocks in the history of the World Cup and on a par with Argentina's defeat by Cameroon in their opening clash of the 1990 World Cup.

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