Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia: how many eventual World Cup winners failed to win their first game?

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Argentina kicked disconnected their World Cup run successful the worst mode imaginable yesterday, falling to a daze 2-1 decision against Saudi Arabia. Because of their ‘favourites’ presumption heading into Qatar 2022, we inquire the question: How galore eventual World Cup winners besides failed to triumph their opening game?

Their disappointing encounter against Saudi Arabia started perfectly. Following a VAR check, Argentina received a punishment for immoderate wrestling astatine a corner. Lionel Messi seized the accidental to instrumentality the lead, casually rolling the shot home.

From here, the Albiceleste continued to endanger Saudi Arabia’s goal. However, the offside emblem continually thwarted their hopes of doubling their advantage.

Argentina had the shot successful the backmost of the nett 4 times, but Messi and Lautaro Martinez saw 3 strikes ruled retired for offside.

Saudi Arabia combat backmost to manus Argentina World Cup defeat

After specified a ascendant archetypal half, galore expected the aforesaid one-way postulation aft the break. But Saudi Arabia had different ideas. Just 3 minutes into the second half, Saudi Arabia equalised. Saleh Al-Shehri got the important goal, turning the shot past Emi Martinez from an acute angle.

Incredibly, 5 minutes later, a infinitesimal of genius from Salem Al-Dawsari gave Saudi Arabia an improbable lead. The winger bushed 3 Argentina defenders earlier rifling a changeable into the acold apical country from the borderline of the box.

Clearly shell-shocked, Argentina looked disjointed arsenic they searched for a mode backmost into the game. Unfortunately for Messi and co., though, the Saudi defence stood steadfast and absorbed the pressure.

A scary collision betwixt Saudi keeper Mohammed Al-Owais and his defender, Yasser Al-Shahrani, brought a heap of added time. Despite this, the Gulf Kingdom held connected to unafraid a memorable victory.

This decision is simply a horrific commencement for an Argentina broadside considered 1 of the favourites to triumph the World Cup. And, unfortunately, past does not bode good for Albiceleste’s imagination of a 3rd title.

It turns retired conscionable 3 eventual winners person failed to instrumentality triumph successful their archetypal game.

#1: Spain, 2010

Argentina volition anticipation to mimic 2010 World Cup winners Spain, arsenic they are the lone federation successful past to triumph the tourney aft losing their opening match.

That’s right, the iconic broadside containing the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, and David Villa suffered a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland.

Gelson Fernandes got the only extremity of the game successful the 50th, bundling the shot location aft a melee successful Spain’s punishment area.

However, this astonishing decision did not dent Spain’s tourney hopes. They bounced backmost with wins against Honduras and Chile to decorativeness connected six points. These 2 victories helped them decorativeness apical of Group H connected extremity difference.

In the knockout stage, Spain’s tiki-taka benignant proved excessively overmuch for each hostile successful their path. Despite dominating possession, though, La Furia Roja did not people a lot.

From the circular of 16 done to the final, they won every game 1-0. Portugal, Paraguay, and past Germany each fell by conscionable the smallest of margins to the Spanish squad.

Andres Iniesta scored Spain’s all-important extremity successful the final arsenic they defeated the Netherlands.  

Regardless of however they won, Spain’s quality to travel backmost from an opening-round decision could supply Argentina with anticipation for 2022.

But Spain successful 2010 is an objection to the norm. In general, you request to triumph your archetypal match. Only 2 different countries person started a tourney without a dub earlier going each the way.

#2: Italy, 1982

Italy managed to gully their archetypal 3 matches up of lifting the trophy astatine Spain 1982. Even though they had the prolific Paolo Rossi starring the line, the Italians started their tourney with an underwhelming 0-0 draw against Poland.

Then, a brace of 1-1 ties versus Peru and Cameroon meant that Italy scraped done to the second radical stage.

During the adjacent round, though, the Azzurri turned connected the style. Facing a brace of tricky matchups successful Brazil and reigning champs Argentina, Italy took 2 wins from two. They bushed Argentina 2-1 earlier knocking retired Brazil with a 3-2 victory.  

From here, Italy booked their spot successful the last acknowledgment to a 2-0 win implicit Poland. Clearly, they had learnt from their 0-0 gully against the aforesaid hostile successful the opening game.

With momentum gathering passim the tournament, the Azzurri enactment successful a superb show to triumph the 1982 World Cup final. Three second-half goals proved the difference, arsenic Paolo Rossi cemented his aureate footwear with the opener. Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli besides got connected the scoresheet.

Meanwhile, Paul Breitner got a consolation for runners-up Germany.

This World Cup triumph made Italy the 2nd squad to gully their archetypal crippled and triumph the tournament. The archetypal federation to bash truthful happened to beryllium the squad that won the 1966 edition.

#3: England, 1966

Finally, hosts England won their sole World Cup successful 1966 pursuing a winless opening game. Just similar Italy successful 1982, the Three Lions drew 0-0 successful their archetypal fixture, with Uruguay earning a point.

However, dissimilar the victorious Italians of Spain ’82, England responded with 2 victories successful their remaining group-stage matches. Sir Alf Ramsey’s broadside registered 2-0 wins implicit Mexico and France to scope the quarterfinals.

In the past eight, Geoff Hurst grabbed the lone extremity arsenic England knocked retired Argentina 1-0 astatine Wembley. Following this, successful the semi-final, the Three Lions eliminated Eusebio and Portugal with a 2-1 victory. Manchester United fable Bobby Charlton got some goals successful that game.

Most England fans cognize the communicative erstwhile it comes to the final. It took a travel into other time, but England managed to assertion the Jules Rimet Trophy acknowledgment to a 4-2 win implicit West Germany. Geoff Hurst was the leader connected the day; helium scored the first, and presently only, World Cup last hat-trick. Martin Peters was England’s different scorer.

Despite their dilatory start, England managed to unrecorded up to expectations arsenic hosts to bring shot location for the archetypal time.

Qatar 2022 – could Argentina inactive win?

Looking astatine Qatar 2022 now, and it is wide that Argentina person their enactment chopped out. They decidedly request to triumph their different 2 radical matches against Poland and Mexico to guarantee their way to the knockouts.

But if these 3 aforementioned winners person shown them anything, it is that claiming the trophy is inactive possible.

Featured representation credit: Getty