Argentina Chances of Winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup

By Jeff Stinger

It’s only the third day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the competition gifted us with interesting storylines from the get-go. Following a couple of scoreless draws, England trashed Iran in their opening game. But the biggest narrative so far features a 2-1 Saudi Arabia victory over +445 finalists Argentina.

Can Argentina win the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

READ MORE: England Chances of Winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Lionel Messi’s World Cup hopes shattered

Superstar Lionel Messi led the charge as +1,135 top goalscorer of the tournament. This is probably the last time we’ll see the 35-year-old in the FIFA World Cup. With that comes an urgency to win the major international title. Many believed that this is their year after winning the 2021 Copa America. However, the Saudis had other plans for them.

While Messi drew first blood with a penalty kick, The Green Falcons came out victorious thanks to two goals in five minutes as soon as the second half kicked off. Saleh Al Shehri drew the scoreline with the team’s first shot on goal of the match in the 48th minute. Shortly after, Salem Al-Dawsari scored what would end up being the nail in the coffin in the 53rd minute.

Saudi Arabia comes out big

Saudi Arabia shocked the South American squad and its fans after pulling off a 2-1 underdog victory. The middle eastern side defied the odds and produced one of the biggest single-game upsets in the tournament’s history. They entered the matchup as +333 underdogs to win Group C.

The defeat snapped Argentina’s 36-game unbeaten streak, ending the second-longest winning streak of all-time and only a game behind Italy’s 37-game streak from 2018 to 2021. This is only the fourth win ever for Saudi Arabia in the World Cup, and they did it in style. Furthermore, the result was La Albiceleste’s first loss in a World Cup opener since the 1990 competition hosted by Italy.

Although Argentina held on to possession nearly 70% of the time and a massive 14-3 advantage in shots attempted, the second proved disastrous for Lionel Scaloni’s men. We’ve seen sub-par defending come from the South American side. They controlled the final half hour of the game, but Al-Owais was born ready for the moment, highlighted by an acrobatic save that kept Julian Alvarez’s header out of goal.

It was a poor defensive performance for the side. If they want to rebound from the victory, all players need to be more consistent on both ends. The only saving grace they have right now is Poland and Mexico’s match that ended in a deadlock. This means they can still catch up and book a ticket to the knockouts with a win over Mexico. It’s another strong entrance for Argentina as they take on their fellow South American team as -196 favorites to win.

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