Argentina’s loss against Saudi Arabia may have helped them.

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By Creative Media News

Only three and a half weeks have passed since Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina, however, it may feel like an eternity. A tremendous upset that enlivened the entire World Cup, it raised numerous doubts, not least regarding Lionel Messi and his team’s chances in this tournament.

Argentina's loss against saudi arabia may have helped them.
Argentina's loss against saudi arabia may have helped them.

It turned out that their predictions were accurate, and any footballing obituaries now look premature, as Argentina has won five consecutive games in Qatar to stand 90 minutes (or 120 minutes, or 145 minutes with injury time) from footballing immortality.

In light of this, the Saudi surprise appears even more astonishing. Given Argentina’s unbroken run of 36 games entering the tournament, what did the Green Falcons have that dozens of other teams lacked?

Shining path
Argentina's loss against saudi arabia may have helped them.

Good fortune is likely the greatest place to begin. In the opening fifteen minutes, Argentina had a 1-0 lead and had three goals disallowed for offside. The second of these, scored by Lautaro Martnez, was the type of close call that could only be awarded by VAR.

Argentina had multiple opportunities and by far the best opportunity throughout the entire contest. According to InfoGol’s estimation of the match’s expected goals, Argentina has a 2.29-goal advantage over the Saudis (0.16).

Argentina’s first-half dominance led to complacency in the second half, when the Saudis made their comeback. Messi was dispossessed to start the sequence that resulted in Saleh al-equalizer. Shehri According to WhoScored, has had seven weak touches during the entire competition.

After receiving a swift pass forward, Shehri was able to overcome Cristian Romero’s sluggish challenge and score with a shot across the goal. The second goal was much worse, with Nicolás Otamendi mishitting a clearance and ngel Di Mara, Nahuel Molina, and Rodrigo de Paul undercooking their challenges to allow Salem al-Dawsari a free-kick, which he converted with ease.

Saudi Arabia crossed the goal line after a gallant defensive effort with their backs against the wall. It was characterized less by defensive structure and more by individual daring, with defenders taking on challenge after challenge.

Saudi Arabia played as if it were their championship game, leaving themselves so exhausted that they could never reach the same levels again. After Argentina surrendered its lead, they were never able to regain sufficient speed to win.

The Albiceleste were unnerved by a period of strong aggression from the opposition, which was maybe only matched by Australia in the second half of their round-of-16 match. Since Argentina has not trailed in a game since the question of how they would react a second time has not been posed.

The type of support that day should be taken into account as the last aspect. Although the Lusail Stadium audience appeared evenly divided, it was the Saudi supporters who generated the most noise, especially after their team’s opening goal. Argentina has not played in a similar situation since, nor will they on Sunday.

The World Cup in Qatar has become Argentina’s equivalent of a home tournament (and Morocco). Against France, they will be accompanied by a gigantic choir.

Therefore, Saudi Arabia utilized a unique set of circumstances to defeat the two-time champions. Their tenacity, vigor, and desire to succeed might serve as a model for others, but France appears to play at their best when they feel insulted.

But it is also true that whatever the Saudis accomplished, Lionel Scaloni identified shortcomings in his team, which he immediately sought to fix.

Julián Álvarez, Alexis Mac Allister and Enzo Fernández did not start. Their introduction at various moments later in the group stage infused the team with vitality and dynamism, transforming it.

The legs of Di Mara and Papu Gómez have been retired due to their advanced age. Any complacency or belief that Argentina could win at a slower pace has also been conspicuously absent.

Regardless of your opinion of the frenzied behavior that characterized the closing stages of the quarterfinal with the Netherlands, there is no question that Argentina, who were deservedly two goals up with ten minutes remaining, refused to be dragged under after a comeback that deserves to sit alongside Saudi Arabia’s victory as one of the tournament’s highlights. Their penalty shootout victory was a triumph of confident concentration.

Finally, the required Messi section. In the past two weeks, he has experienced a tremendous change. Against Saudi Arabia, he resembled a 35-year-old legend: a player with unimpaired technique but declining athleticism.

Not only was that observation erroneous, but it has been getting worse with each match. Beginning with his match-winning effort against Mexico and continuing until his ill-fated pursuit of Josko Gvardiol, Messi has become more agile, swift, and accurate.

He has participated in every minute of every game and needs only one more match to earn complete, uncontested immortality. The Saudis must be grateful for their timely capture of him.

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