(CNN) — Saudi Arabia caused one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history on Tuesday by defeating Argentina’s Lionel Messi 2-1 in an incredible Group C match.
Ranked third in the world and undefeated for three years, Argentina was one of the favorites to win the tournament. Saudi Arabia ranked 51st.
All the pre-match talk focused on Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, who is playing in what may be his last World Cup. The Argentina captain scored a penalty early to give his side the lead, but two goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari in the second half turned the game on its head.
Al Dawsari’s incredible distance winner – and subsequent acrobatic celebration – will become one of the moments of this or any World Cup.
As the match neared the end, the fans cheered every att*ck and save as if they were goals, and when the match actually ended, the Saudi fans reacted with fury.
Both sets of players fell to their knees in disbelief and exhaustion. Messi, whom so many had come to see, looked distraught as he walked away with Saudi fans cheering his name ironically.
According to the Nielsen-owned sports data group Gracenote, Tuesday’s result was the biggest upset in the competition’s history, surpassing the US victory over England in 1950.
Argentina will hope to recover against Mexico in their next group match on Saturday, while Saudi Arabia takes on Poland.
Denmark 0, Tunisia 0: In the second match of the day, Christian Eriksen made his return to top international football. In June, the Manchester United midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pitch during the European Championships.
Tunisia, which had the support of tens of thousands of fans, held onto an impressive point. Denmark improved in the second half and had an offside goal ruled out before substitute Andreas Cornelius was sent off by the post.
The Danes also had a last-minute appeal rejected.
Poland 0, Mexico 0: Another goalless game followed, but it was not without drama as Poland’s star Robert Lewandowski saved a penalty kick.
The striker was fouled by Hector Moreno in the second half, but was denied his first World Cup goal as Guillermo Ochoa made a brilliant save from the penalty spot.
France 4, Australia 1: In the last match of the day, the reigning French champions got back up after a shaky start.
The Australians took an unexpected lead after Craig Goodwin shot into the roof of the net, but it only served as a wake-up call for the French team.
Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud counteratt*cked in quick succession as France began to purr.
Striker Kylian Mbappe, who was unstoppable at times, added a third goal in the second half before providing a superb second night assist for Giroud.
The 23-year-old blew past the Australian defense on the flank and forced his att*cking partner into a nod. Mbappe knew how good the assist was as he stood with his arms up in front of the French fans.
Giroud is now on par with Thierry Henry as France’s all-time joint top scorer with 51 goals.
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