Betting Odds: Saudi Arabia shock Argentina at the 2022 World Cup

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A bet on a win by Saudi Arabia at the half-time break could have made one rich: After 45 minutes the big favorites from Argentina were leading against Saudi Arabia 1-0, but the Saudis turned the game around and celebrated a sensational 2-1 victory against the Albiceleste. What implications does this have for Lionel Messi and his team-mates?

A penalty kick by Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead after only ten minutes. Later, further goals by the South Americans were disallowed because they were ruled offside. However, the 1-0 lead at the break was justified and no one suspected that the big underdogs could bounce back.

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Brilliant second half from Saudi Arabia

Immediately after the break, however, the Saudis struck back: Saleh Al-Shehri’s 1-1 was the result of a strong duel in midfield. The goal to make it 2-1 was a beautiful strike, scored by left winger Salem Al-Dawsari.

The weak Argentines seemed to be stunned after that and Saudi Arabia suddenly pressed higher up the pitch, putting Argentina under massive pressure.

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There were no extreme high-pressure situations and Argentina never put Saudi Arabia under enough stress.

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Argentina’s stars disappoint all along the line

Argentina’s star players were utterly disappointing. Of course, most eyes were on Lionel Messi in his last World Cup, but the PSG star largely stayed invisible and his body language looked rather indifferent.

But in the second half, none of the Argentine players performed well anyway. The midfield, which was supposed to be led by Rodrigo de Paul, was completely devoid of ideas and struggled to keep up with the Saudis.

Match Odds Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia BEFORE kick-off

Logo Bet365 klein22bet logo 50Betsson Logo 50
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Argentina to win1.181.171,17
Saudi Arabia to win15.016.021,0

The attacking efforts were far too clumsy. Time and again, Scaloni’s team tried to open up spaces with chip balls behind the defense and thus surprise Saudi Arabia.

But at the same time, the Copa America winners completely lacked physical presence, which is why the underdog’s defense was practically impossible to break down. Even in the closing stages and in the 14 minutes of injury time, Argentina created far too few clear-cut scoring chances.

Group favorites with their backs to the wall

Advancing from Group C will thus be a tricky affair for the Argentines. After the 2-1 loss against Saudi Arabia, they cannot afford to lose any more points. So, it should be obvious that they need two wins against Mexico on November the 26th and against Poland on November the 30th if they want to qualify for the round of 16.

Overlyzer Infographic - Saudi Arabia at World Cup 2022
Overlyzer Infographic: Saudi Arabia at World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Of course, Argentina’s individual class is great enough to achieve this, and the “Gauchos” are unlikely to put up such an uninspiring performance as they did against Saudi Arabia. The Argentines don’t need to look at the results of the other games – they just need to look after themselves and get the two wins they need.

Not enough to win the title

However, the performance against Saudi Arabia also showed that Argentina can probably be removed from the list of favorites to win the World Cup. Even if Argentina makes it through the group, they would face an opponent like France or Denmark in the round of 16, which are significantly stronger teams than they have to face in their group.

We are betting that Argentina will not qualify for the quarter-finals. Lionel Scaloni’s team has been too weak, too inconsistent, and even if they do make it through the group stage, their opponent in the round of 16 will be too strong for the Albiceleste.

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