Biggest Shock in World Cup History

The choice of Qatar to hold the 2022 FIFA World Cup was hotly debated, the scheduling change to winter created an almighty fixture problem for competitions elsewhere, but on the pitch this tournament is now proving it was all worthwhile. This quadrennial event is matching up to expectations, and then some, with group matches producing some remarkable outcomes.

Encouraging for those of us taking the time to watch, and even more so for anyone wagering on games, particularly across the Middle East region itself. Although whenever looking for the best Arabic betting sites, known in Arabic as أفضل موقع مراهنات عربي -- getting reliable expert advice is always recommended, highlighting where great value odds and promotions can be found. And if any fans of Saudi Arabia have been backing their team, they will be in dreamland right now.

Easily the biggest headline so far was the shock defeat suffered by Argentina, tipped as one of the tournament favorites before a ball had been kicked, although Saudi Arabia had entirely other ideas about such predictions. Truth be told, they had ridden their luck during what became a frustrating first period for Argentina, who dominated the game and even had three goals disallowed.

This was all following an opening strike by 35-year-old Lionel Messi, playing at the final World Cup tournament of his international career, who calmly gave his Albiceleste selection the lead inside ten minutes. Having edged ahead, and were it not for the offside decisions and missed opportunities to score, the debate surrounding this encounter might have been entirely different. But in a game of two halves, anything remains possible.

During the halftime interval, commentators and football pundits around the globe were convinced, feeling confident that Argentina would comfortably put this game to bed in the second period. But when Saudi Arabia came out for the second period, they proceeded to turn the game completely on its head, filled with an unrivaled level of newfound belief and hope. Their head coach, Herve Renard, was truly inspirational, motivating his team wonderfully.

Unless you happened to be cheering for the South American champions, who had won the Copa America in 2021, what came next was an absolute joy to behold. No less than three minutes after the restart, Saleh Al Shehri somehow found space inside the area following a hopeful ball forward, then managed to squeeze his low shot beyond reach of the Argentina goalkeeper.

And if that was quite the surprise for Argentina, they hadn't seen anything yet. Clearly buoyed after leveling the game, Saudi Arabia now became fearless, as their illustrious rival appeared stung by what had happened. While they were still weighing up what had just happened, the Green Falcons flew in for the kill, another speculative ball forward, equally devastating in terms of the outcome just five minutes later.

This time, the forward ball seemed to have been dealt with by the Argentina defenders, although not well enough, dropping to the feet of Salhem Al Dawsari who took full control. He jinked away from two markers, lifted his head for a quick glance at the target, then fired a magnificent curling effort into the top corner. His backflip celebration as the stadium roared, the icing on the cake of a spectacular comeback by the Saudis.

If goals are often considered the deciding factor in football, then do spare a moment for the goalkeepers, as they can be just as crucial towards the final results. Mohammed Al Owais certainly was between the posts for Saudi Arabia, making a string of exceptional saves to deny Argentina the chance their own comeback. Those safe hands ensured the scoreboard stayed the same until the final whistle, amidst the most emphatic scenes of celebration.

Images beamed live from the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar, along with those posted by fans back home in Saudi Arabia, they all highlighted the absolute sense of joy being felt by an entire nation. This is a game they will never forget, and now according to reports via CNN, the outcome is even being considered as the greatest upset in World Cup history. The stature of Argentina making this result all the more surprising, various football experts are insisting.

While there have been many monumental surprises at previous World Cup tournaments, including the USA beating England back in 1950, or Italy being defeated by Cameroon in 1990, this exceptional result by Saudi Arabia is certainly up there with the best of them. But for fans of the Saudi team, there will simply be no comparison to equal their own achievement.

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