Connect with us

Football

Player ratings as favourites stunned in opener

Published

on


Pre-tournament favourites Argentina endured the worst possible start to their World Cup campaign as their 36-game unbeaten run came to an end with a deserved 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.

Lionel Messi scored a penalty inside ten minutes but a fight-back from Saudi Arabia was sealed with excellent goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari after the break.

Messi’s first sight of goal came inside two minutes as he ran on to a loose ball but just couldn’t bend his effort away from Saudi stopper Mohammed Al Owais.

Advertisement

Their fast start continues as VAR chimed in to award Argentina a penalty in the eighth minute as Saud Abdulhamid was seen pulling Leandro Paredes’ shirt, and up stepped Messi to open the scoring with a composed finish from 12 yards.

Saudi Arabia responded well, however, with their high press causing plenty of problems for Argentina as Lionel Scaloni’s men retained possession but didn’t always look comfortable doing so.

The Saudi high line created plenty of space in behind and Messi looked to have exploited that when he finished off a one-on-one 22 minutes in, only for the offside flag to correctly rule it out. Lautaro Martinez had the ball in the back of the net twice in the next ten minutes but both efforts met the same fate.

Despite Argentina having the ball in the back of the net four times in the first half, they were only 1-0 up at the break, with Saudi Arabia still very much in the game.

Advertisement

That profligacy was punished as Saleh Al-Shehri beat Cristian Romero for pace and arrowed a great strike across the goal and into the bottom corner.

Eight minutes into the second half, Argentina were behind as Salem Al-Dawsari curled a glorious effort from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner. A truly sensational strike.

A sensational challenge from Hassan Altambakti prevented Messi from tapping home an equaliser, before Nicolas Tagliafico failed to convert from around two yards as Al Owais pulled off a superb save to keep his side ahead.

Argentina’s search for a second goal came through constant crosses into the box but they rarely posed any real threat, aside from a soft Messi header which was gleefully collected by the goalkeeper.

Advertisement

Julian Alvarez saw an effort hooked away off the line in stoppage time as Argentina desperately tried to claw their way back into the game, but they just couldn’t find another way through the sensational Saudi defence.

The game ended on a sour note as Yasir Al Shahrani was caught by the knee of his goalkeeper in a desperate attempt to clear the ball. The left-back was moving before being stretchered off and was seen giving the thumbs up, determined not to let his condition spoil a momentous victory for Saudi Arabia.

Lautaro Martinez

The offside flag was not Martinez’s friend / BSR Agency/GettyImages

GK: Emiliano Martinez – 6/10 – Didn’t have much to do at all aside from picking the ball out of his net.

RB: Nahuel Molina – 5/10 – Didn’t offer enough going forward and faded at the back.

Advertisement

CB: Cristian Romero – 5/10 – Got brutally nutmegged in the first half and beaten for the goal. Didn’t look fully fit.

CB: Nicolas Otamendi – 6/10 – Had a tough battle against the Saudi forwards and largely did alright.

LB: Nicolas Tagliafico – 6/10 – Most of Saudi Arabia’s early threat came down Tagliafico’s side and the left-back did very well to deal with it.

RM: Angel Di Maria – 4/10 – Felt wasted out wide. In a lot of space but not always involved in the game.

Advertisement

CM: Leandro Paredes – 4/10 – Didn’t do enough and was caught out for the equaliser.

CM: Rodrigo de Paul – 3/10 – Not involved enough and guilty of unforced errors which invited pressure.

LM: Alejandro Gomez – 3/10 – Really struggled to impact the game from out wide. Not his strongest showing.

ST: Lionel Messi – 6/10 – A threat to the Saudi defence from the first minute, although he found space hard to come by in the second half.

Advertisement

ST: Lautaro Martinez – 4/10 – Some dangerous attacking runs but needs to revise the offside rule before the next game.

SUB: Julian Alvarez (59′ for Gomez) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer a whole lot down the left.

SUB: Enzo Fernandez (59′ for Paredes) – 6/10 – Restored a bit of control to the midfield battle.

SUB: Lisandro Martinez (59′ for Romero) – 6/10 – Didn’t have much to do as all the action was at the other end of the pitch.

Advertisement

SUB: Marcos Acuna (70′ for Tagliafico) – 5/10 – High crosses towards Martinzez and Messi didn’t make much sense.

Manager: Lionel Scaloni – 4/10 – Couldn’t adjust to the Saudi high line and his triple substitution on the hour mark didn’t change much.

Saleh Al-Shehri, Firas Al-Buraikan, Abdulellah Al-Malki

A sensational showing / Alex Livesey – Danehouse/GettyImages

GK: Mohammed Al Owais – 8/10 – Benefitted from a number of offside calls but usually did his job when required. A great save from Tagliafico.

RB: Saud Abdulhamid – 7/10 – A really foolish decision to concede the penalty which marred an otherwise superb performance.

Advertisement

CB: Hassan Altambakti – 9/10 – Some really intelligent positioning to continuously catch Argentina offside. Made an unreal challenge to stop Messi early in the second half. Celebrated every tackle like a goal.

CB: Ali Al-Bulayhi – 8/10 – Similarly, made some brave decisions that regularly paid off.

LB: Yasir Al Shahrani – 7/10 – Really impressive down the left. Caught Di Maria out on a number of occasions.

DM: Abdulelah Al Malki – 7/10 – Probably a little too aggressive with his challenges but can’t argue with the efficiency.

Advertisement

RM: Saleh Al-Shehri – 7/10 – Took his goal incredibly well and was a real pest for Argentina.

CM: Mohamed Kanno – 8/10 – All over the pitch as he dominated the midfield battle at both ends of the field. Really impressive.

CM: Salman Al-Faraj – 6/10 – Picked up an injury early on and battled on with it until just before half-time.

LM: Salem Al-Dawsari – 7/10 – An utterly sensational goal. They don’t come much better on a stage like this.

Advertisement

ST: Firas Al-Buraikan – 7/10 – A rather fortunate assist for the first goal but it was no less than his play deserved.

SUB: Nawaf Al-Abid (45′ for Al-Faraj) – 6/10 – Brought some nice energy in midfield.

SUB: Sultan Al Ghanam (78′ for Al-Shehri) – 6/10 – Did his job to help out at the back.

SUB: Abdulelah Al Amri (88′ for Al-Abid) – N/A

Advertisement

SUB: Haitham Asiri (88′ for Al-Buraikan) – N/A

SUB: Mohammed Al Burayk (99′ for Al Shahrani) – N/A

Manager: Herve Renard – 9/10 – A really bold strategy which saw his side allow three offside goals in the first half, but you can’t argue with the results. Renard took a massive risk and it paid off.

Player of the match – Hassan Altambakti



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Football

England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

Published

on

England vs Senegal: Confirmed lineups

On Sunday, England and Senegal, their opponents in the last-16 of the World Cup, square off at Al Bayt Stadium in a battle for a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Three Lions take on the Lions of Teranga, who advanced to the knockout stages thanks to a crucial intervention from their captain, in a first-ever meeting after Gareth Southgate’s team defeated Wales to win Group B.

Line-up

England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Henderson, Bellingham; Saka, Foden, Kane.  

Senegal XI: E. Mendy; Sabaly, Koulibaly, Diallo, Jakobs; Ciss, N. Mendy; Diatta, Ndiaye, Sarr; Dia. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Football

USMNT players apologize for World Cup elimination

Published

on


US men’s national team players took to social media to apologize to fans following their elimination from the 2022 World Cup.  

After failing to qualify for the 2018 edition of the tournament, the American side entered Qatar with high hopes. The team kicked off with draws against England and Wales, before triumphing 1-0 over Iran to make the knockout round as second place of Group B. 

Gregg Berhalter’s side was forced to face the Netherlands on Saturday at Khalifa International Stadium for the highly anticipated match up. Despite an energetic start to the game, the USMNT ultimately lost 3-1, with goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries proving to be the difference between the two sides.

The Americans will now look forward to the 2026 World Cup where they will serve as hosts alongside Mexico and Canada. 

Advertisement








Source link

Continue Reading

Football

France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

Published

on

France vs Poland: Confirmed lineups

In Sunday’s last-16 matchup at the Al-Thumama Stadium, Poland and France, the current champions, prepare for battle after both teams lost in their World Cup 2022 group stage campaigns.

Les Bleus completed first in Gathering D to endure to the knockout rounds, while Czeslaw Michniewicz’s men set up a bind with the holders subsequent to putting second in Gathering C.

Line-up

Continue Reading

Trending

Home
Live Scores
Use App
Live TV
Predictions