Yesterday was a day of shock and upsets in the World Cup as Saudi Arabia pulled off an exemplary performance to beat Copa America champions, Argentina captained by Messi and end their 36-game unbeaten streak.
A football fan lost more than Sh. 16 million (£134,000) after placing a seemingly safe bet on Argentina beating Saudi Arabia.
Online betting platform TAB has confirmed that someone placed Sh. 20 million ($160,000) on Lionel Messi’s side to kick off their World Cup campaign with a win in Doha.
The Copa America champions are tipped as one of the favorites of the tournament alongside fellow South Americans, Brazil.
However, the team which sits at number three in the Fifa rankings did not even manage to scrape together a draw against their 51st-ranked counterparts, instead losing 2-1 in the day three opener.
At odds of $1.13, the bet would have returned the fan Sh. 11 million (£90,000), representing a profit of just Sh. 2 million (£16,000) when compared to the huge sum they had to put on in the first place.
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How did Saudi Arabia beat Argentina?
Argentina took the lead through their talisman, Lionel Messi who scored from the penalty spot but two quickfire second-half goals from the Saudis produced one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, less than a week into the tournament.
Argentina had a further three goals disallowed before half-time – and then the game turned on its head in the second half as Saudi Arabia scored two goals in five extraordinary minutes.
Saleh Al-Shehri scored Saudi’s equalizer, steering the ball past Argentina goalkeeper Emi Martinez.
Salem Al-Dawsari then scored an early contender for the goal of the tournament, curling an unstoppable strike into the opposite corner of the net, stunning Argentina in the process.
This wasn’t in the script.
Argentina, one of the pre-tournament favorites, suddenly found themselves a goal down despite dominating the opening 45 minutes.
Despite having well over a half-hour to get themselves back into the contest, Argentina was unable to salvage a point.
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Lionel Scaloni’s side will now be under intense pressure to win their next Group C games against Mexico and Poland.