Martinez on as sub as Saudi Arabia stun Argentina

Tuesday 22 November 2022 13:12

Lisandro Martinez became the fourth Red to play at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday (22 November), but the defender was powerless to prevent Argentina's shock 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia.

Licha was introduced by Albiceleste manager Lionel Scaloni in the 59th minute, replacing Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero.

However, the competitive United star's team-mates were already behind by that stage, due to quickfire strikes from Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari.

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Argentina took the lead after just 10 minutes, thanks to a cool Lionel Messi penalty, and the Copa America holders should have been further ahead by half-time.

On three separate occasions, they had further goals ruled out due to offside decisions, as smart finishes from Messi and Internazionale's Lautaro Martinez (two) went unrewarded.

Still, at the interval, the two-time world champions looked destined to start their campaign with a straightforward victory.
However, the contest had completely flipped within eight minutes of the restart, inspiring a deafening noise from the thousands of travelling Saudi Arabian fans present inside the Lusail Stadium.

Martinez was part of a triple Argentina substitution just before the hour-mark, along with Julian Alvarez (Manchester City) and Enzo Fernandez (Benfica).

But Licha and his compatriots were unable to find an equaliser, despite spending almost the entire last half an hour, including a sizeable amount of stoppage time, camped in the Arabian half.

It's a big blow for Messi and co, but two further group games remain, with Argentina's next challenge coming on Saturday (26 November), when they meet Poland at the same venue (19:00 GMT).