World Cup | Argentina sounded by Saudi Arabia: “At half-time, we thought it was a weird match…”

The weather forecast had not predicted such excitement. On Tuesday, near the Lusail stadium, there were two natural phenomena unforeseen by the football sensors: a tornado followed by an earthquake. Overthrown by the fury of Saudi Arabia, Argentina fell victim to the first sensation of this World Cup in Qatar (1-2). If the tornado was initiated by green hawks in Qatar, the earthquake was felt as far as Latin America…

This inaugural defeat was not a realistic option to listen to all the players in this match. Riding on a historic series of matches without defeat (36) but above all on a very significant accumulated confidence, Lionel Messi’s troop had to bend this uneventful match. So, inevitably, after the fact, it was an almost stunned Lionel Scaloni who appeared at a press conference. “It’s difficult to analyze this match since in 4 or 5 minutes, they scored twiceblew the Argentine coach at a press conference. I think those were their only shots on goal“.

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Offside then straight out of the way

The analysis, however, he had done before this match. Hervé Renard had a genius plan that almost shattered in a first act where the Saudi defensive line-up almost offered goals on a plateau to Argentina. Already in front thanks to Messi’s penalty, the Argentinians scored three times… before being caught by the semi-automatic offside patrol.

We knew how to play against Saudi Arabia, we knew they were going to defend with a high line. The offsides were whistled a few millimeters…”, again regretted Scaloni. “In the first half, we must score more than one goal“, confirmed again Lautaro Martinez, author of a canceled double.

Three pawns erased and only one small goal in advance at halftime. “At half-time, in the locker room, we said to ourselves that it was a strange match, that a goal could change everything“, thus revealed Scaloni after the fact. They did not think so well to say. shaken by Hervé Renard at half-timetriggered a furia that left the Albiceleste without a solution.
Panic took hold of the Argentine team when the Saudis came back up as soon as they returned from the locker room (1-1, 48th). What followed was even more surreal with this second goal, resulting from a loss of ball transformed into match point by the vista of Salem Al-Dawsari (1-2, 53rd). “They equalize and on the next action, they put the goal of 2-1…“‘, summed up Scaloni again.

From Doha, the Argentine troupe was transported to Moscow: this Albiceleste 2018 suddenly looked furiously like that, without head or tail, of Jorge Sampaoli. Lack of personality, erased leaders (Di Maria, Paredes or Rodrigo de Paul) and defensive procrastination: Argentina have fallen back into their ways. “We lost the match on our mistakes, especially in the second half. These are the details that make the difference, we must correct these errors“, enraged Lautaro Martinez at the final whistle.

Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi after the loss to Saudi Arabia

Credit: Getty Images

Already in the red for qualification

In the Argentinian locker room, it was inevitably the head of the bad days. “The players are like everyone else, affectedScaloni further explained. But, at the end, they were already talking about the sequel to reverse things“.”It’s a very hard blow, a defeat that hurts“, confirmed Lionel Messi in the mixed zone. The rest, precisely, is already the subject of the articles of a devastated Argentine press this Tuesday. Because if the Albiceleste missed their entry into the running, they did so against the supposedly weakest opponent in the group.

To hope to see the 8th and avoid a last express dance to Messi, the Argentinians will have to refuel against Mexico (Saturday, 8 p.m.) then against Poland (Wednesday 30, 8 p.m.). No small feat. “We have no other option but to get up and continue. Today is a sad day but we must raise our heads and carry on“, concluded Scaloni. Hoping that the weather will be a little more lenient this time…

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