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Argentina v Saudi Arabia Live Commentary, 22/11/2022

1 - 2
L. Messi (10 pen)
Saleh Al Shehri (48)
Salem Al Dawsari (53)
Lusail Iconic Stadium


That's all for today, goodbye!
Saudi Arabia's historic win moves them to the top of Group C for the time being. It is likely that Argentina will need to win their next two games to qualify for the knockout stages, starting with Mexico on Saturday. Saudi Arabia will face Poland in their next group game.
Argentina took the lead in the 10th minute as they were awarded a penalty after the referee saw a foul on Paredes on the VAR monitor. Messi rolled the spot kick past Al Owais, who dived the wrong way. The South American team put the ball in the net a further three times in the half, twice by Martinez and once by Messi, but they were all disallowed for offside. Saudi Arabia could not manage a shot in the first 45 minutes but they scored with both of their shots on target in the second half. Al Shehri equalised in the 48th minute after scoring via a deflection from Romero before Al Dawsari scored a stunning curler put Saudi Arabia in the lead. Al Owais made five saves in the game while substitute Al Amri cleared the ball off the line in the 92nd minute to secure a 2-1 win for his side.
90' + 10' CHANCE! Alvarez heads the ball toward goal but Al Owais dives well and catches the ball to his right.
Mohammed Al Burayk
Yasir Al Shahrani
Saudi Arabia
90' + 9' Al Burayk comes on for the injured Al Shahrani in the Saudi Arabia defence.
90' + 8' Al Shahrani is back on his feet and slowly walking off the pitch as he cannot continue with his head injury.
90' + 6' Al Shahrani is down after a collision with the goalkeeper.
90' + 4' Saudi Arabia are defending a lot deeper in their own half than they previously were as Argentina push forward for a goal.
Mohammed Al Owais
Yellow Card
Saudi Arabia
90' + 2' Al Owais sees yellow after he is unhappy with the referee's call and shows his anger.
90' + 2' OFF THE LINE! Alvarez goes for goal after the goalkeeper spills the ball, but Al Amri clears it off the line!
90' There will be a minimum of eight additional minutes.
Haitham Asiri
Feras Al Brikan
Saudi Arabia
89' Al Brikan makes way for Asiri for the final minutes of this game.
Abdulelah Al Amri
Nawaf Al Abid
Saudi Arabia
88' Al Abid comes off the pitch for defender Al Amri.
Nawaf Al Abid
Yellow Card
Saudi Arabia
88' Al Abid receives a yellow card for taking too long when going off the pitch.
87' Al Brikan is able to continue following help from the physios.
86' Al Brikan is down on the pitch and requires treatment.
84' CHANCE! Messi tries to score a header from Di Maria's cross, but the ball goes straight into the hands of Al Owais.
83' Saudi Arabia are doing very well to break up the play and run the clock down at every opportunity they get.
Saud Abdulhamid
Yellow Card
Saudi Arabia
81' Abdulhamid receives a yellow card for a high challenge on Fernandez.
Salem Al Dawsari
Yellow Card
Saudi Arabia
79' Al Dawsari goes into the referee's book for dissent.
Sultan Al Ghannam
Saleh Al Shehri
Saudi Arabia
78' Al Ghannam replaces goalscorer Al Shehri as Saudi Arabia look to see the game through.
77' Alvarez draws a foul in his own half to relieve some of the pressure on his goal.
Ali Al Bulayhi
Yellow Card
Saudi Arabia
75' Al Bulayhi receives a yellow card for taking too long to take a free-kick.
74' Al Owais does very well to come off his line and beat Martinez to the ball, stopping the striker from having a clear sight of goal.
72' Di Maria tries to beat Al Owais with his right foot but his effort is tame and the goalkeeper catches the ball on the second attempt.
71' Al Brikan is back on his feet and able to continue.
M. Acuña
N. Tagliafico
71' Acuna replaces Tagliafico at left-back for Argentina.
69' Al Brikan is down and receiving treatment from the physios.
Abdulelah Al Malki
Yellow Card
Saudi Arabia
67' Al Malki receives the first booking of the game after a reckless challenge.
67' Argentina have lost three of their last five matches at the World Cup (W1 D1), as many as in their previous 24 combined (W16 D5). They lost two games at the 2018 edition (0-3 vs Croatia, 3-4 vs France), the first time they’d lost multiple games in a single tournament since 1994.
65' Saudi Arabia are slowly retreating toward their own goal as Argentina increase the pressure on them.
63' WHAT A SAVE! Al Owais makes an incredible save to stop Martinez from equalising for Argentina.
61' Both sets of fans in the stadium are creating a lot of noise for their respective teams as they look to push them on for the final 30 minutes.
E. Fernández
L. Paredes
59' Fernandez replaces Paredes to add more attacking quality in the Argentina midfield.
J. Álvarez
P. Gómez
59' Alvarez comes on for Gomez in the Argentina attack.
Lisandro Martínez
C. Romero
59' Martinez replaces Romero in the left centre back role for Argentina.
57' Argentina are trying to increase the tempo of this game now but Saudi Arabia are doing well to keep up the pace and cause problems for Scaloni's side.
55' Saudi Arabia are continuing to press high and hold their defensive line close to the centre circle. Argentina are struggling to push forward.
Salem Al Dawsari
Saudi Arabia
53' WHAT A GOAL!! SAUDI ARABIA 2-1! AL DAWSARI! Saudi Arabia take the lead through Al Dawsari! He cuts inside onto his right foot and curls it into the far corner. Martinez gets a fingertip to it but cannot keep it out.
50' The stadium is erupting with noise from the Saudi Arabia fans, who are pushing their team on for another goal!
Feras Al Brikan
Saudi Arabia
48' Al Brikan plays Al Shehri into a good position with a bobbling pass, which ends up helping the striker score.
Saleh Al Shehri
Saudi Arabia
48' GOALL!! AL SHEHRI! 1-1! Al Shehri equalises for Saudi Arabia! He gets around Romero in the box before scoring across Martinez and into the bottom right corner! Game on!
46' Martinez gets the second half underway for Argentina!
Argentina players were called offside seven times in the first half as Saudi Arabia held a very high line throughout the half. Although it is working for them so far, they will need to be careful in the second period as Argentina will look to target it even more now.
Argentina took the lead in the 10th minute as they were awarded a penalty after the referee saw a foul on Paredes on the VAR monitor. Messi rolled the spot kick past Al Owais, who dived the wrong way. The South American team put the ball in the net a further three times in the half, twice by Martinez and once by Messi, but they were all disallowed for offside. Saudi Arabia could not manage a shot in the first 45 minutes.
Nawaf Al Abid
Salman Al Faraj
Saudi Arabia
45' + 4' Al Faraj can no longer continue due to his injury and Al Abid comes on for him.
45' + 2' Argentina are attacking very patiently at the end of this half as they look to double their lead before the break.
45' There will be a minimum of five additional minutes.
43' De Paul tries his luck from the edge of the box as the rebound falls to him, but he leans back while shooting and his effort flies into the crowd.
41' All seven of Messi’s goals at the World Cup have been scored in the group stages, never finding the net in 756 minutes of play in the knockout phase of the tournament. Meanwhile, Messi is also the only player to have registered an assist at each of the last four World Cup tournaments.
39' Al Faraj is able to continue for the time being as the referee resumes play.
38' Al Faraj is receiving treatment on the pitch for a leg injury.
36' Al Dawsari is visibly frustrated with the referee as he is penalised for a foul on Gomez despite the player thinking the challenge was clean.
34' A THIRD OFFSIDE! Argentina put the ball in the net for the fourth time today but it is once again ruled out for offside!
32' Saudi Arabia are beginning to control a bit more of the possession as they get closer to the opposition box. They are also leaving themselves very open for a counter-attack.
30' Al Faraj takes a corner for Saudi Arabia but they cannot force an attempt at goal from it.
28' OFFSIDE AGAIN! VAR disallows Martinez's goal after he makes his run slightly too early. Saudi Arabia are riding their luck now defensively.
26' Argentina are controlling the ball well now as Saudi Arabia ease up on their press. They are still however refusing to sit back and let Argentina attack.
24' The linesman raises his flag for offside again, this time for Di Maria. Argentina are clearly looking to expose Saudi Arabia's high line but the players in green are doing well at the moment.
22' OFFSIDE! Messi puts the ball in the back of the net with a cool finish but the linesman raises his flag for offside!
20' Molina makes a good overlapping run to get Argentina into the opposing half and around the Saudi Arabia press.
18' Saudi Arabia are holding a high line when out of possession to avoid the pressure piling on them. Di Maria is trying to exploit this by using his pace to get in behind.
16' Al Faraj sends a cross to the back post from a free-kick but it comes to nothing and Argentina clear their lines.
14' Saudi Arabia are reacting well to going a goal behind but are struggling to find the right passes in the final third of the pitch.
12' Al Shahrani makes a run in behind the Argentina defence on the left wing, but is not fast enough to reach the pass and the ball goes out for a goal kick.
L. Messi
Penalty Goal
10' GOALLL!! 1-0 ARGENTINA! MESSI! Messi puts Argentina in the lead from the spot! He waits for Al Owais to dive before rolling the ball into the bottom left corner.
8' PENALTY! Argentina win a penalty after a foul from Al Bulayahi on Paredes in the box.
8' The referee is checking for a possible penalty on the VAR monitor from the corner a few minutes ago.
6' Messi takes an out-swinging corner for Argentina and Al Owais does well to punch it away from danger.
4' The referee has a word with Al Malki after he fouls Martinez near the halfway line with a sliding challenge.
2' SAVE! Al Owais makes a great reflex save low to his right to stop Messi's first-time effort from 12 yards out!
1' Al Brikan gets the game underway for Saudi Arabia!
The players are making their way out of the tunnel and onto the pitch!
Argentina are unbeaten in all four of their previous meetings with Saudi Arabia (W2 D2), with this the first meeting between the sides at the World Cup.
Scaloni makes four changes from their previous game as Molina, Tagliafico, Gomez, and Martinez all come into the team. Renard makes just one change to his starting lineup from his team’s defeat to Croatia last week as Tambakti replaces Al Amri.
SUBS: Mohammed Al Yami, Nawaf Al Aqidi, Sultan Al Ghannam, Abdullah Madu, Abdulelah Al Amri, Mohammed Al Burayk, Abdullah Otayf, Ali Al Hassan, Sami Al Naji, Nawaf Al Abid, Hattan Bahbri, Abdulrahman Al Obud, Nasser Al Dawsari, Haitham Asiri.
Saudi Arabia (4-4-1-1): Mohammed Al Owais; Saud Abdulhamid, Hassan Tambakti, Ali Al Bulayhi, Yasir Al Shahrani; Feras Al Brikan, Mohammed Kanno, Adbulelah Al Malki, Salem Al Dawsari; Salman Al Faraj; Saleh Al Shehri.
SUBS: Franco Armani, Geronimo Rulli, Juan Foyth, Gonzalo Montiel, German Pezzella, Marcos Acuna, Julian Alvarez, Exequiel Palacios, Angel Correa, Thiago Almada, Guido Rodriguez, Alexis Mac Allister, Paulo Dybala, Enzo Fernandez, Lisandro Martinez.
Argentina (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Nahuel Molina, Cristian Romero, Nicolas Otamendi, Nicolas Tagliafico; Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes; Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Papu Gomez; Lautaro Martinez.
Saudi Arabia finished third in their group four years after winning one of their three group games. They have only managed to make it out of the group stages once in their history when they made their debut in 1994. Herve Renard’s side did top their qualifying group ahead of both Japan and Australia as they conceded just six goals in 10 games.
Argentina come into the tournaments as of one the favourites to win the competition. A 5-0 win over the United Arab Emirates in preparation for this match extended Argentina’s unbeaten run to 36 games under Lionel Scaloni, winning the Copa America and 2022 Finalissma in that time. All eyes will be on Lionel Messi, who has hinted that this will be his last World Cup.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the World Cup fixture between Argentina and Saudi Arabia!