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Keeper Mohammed Al-Owais stands tall as Saudi Arabia stuns Argentina at the World Cup

In what is being hailed as one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history Saudi Arabia, the 51st-ranked team in FIFA rankings, shocked one of the tournament’s favorites, Argentina, 2-1 in the opening match for both teams.

And it took a frenetic display at the goal line from Saudi Arabia, and keeper Mohammed Al-Owais, to preserve the upset.

Saudi Arabia took the lead in the 53rd minute, on a beautiful strike from Salem Al-Dawsari, but that set the stage for Argentina to push forward, and put an incredible amount of pressure on Al-Owais and company.

Their first scoring chance came in the 63rd minute. A cross in front of Al-Owais found the right foot of Argentinian defender Lisandro Martinez, who put a shot towards goal. That shot was deflected by fellow defender Nicolas Tagliafico, right in front of Al-Owais.

Somehow, some way, Al-Owais was able to turn it aside:

The effort from Al-Owais drew the attention of Chad Johnson, in Qatar as part of the FOX studio coverage:

Al-Owais’s save preserved the lead, but the pressure from Argentina was just beginning. The next threat? A free kick from the legendary Lionel Messi, still searching for his first World Cup. Messi, who scored on a penalty in the 10th minute of the match, had a chance to equalize on a free kick with time winding down. In the 80th minute Messi attempted a free kick from outside the box, but the rocket off his left foot was off the mark, and Saudi Arabia remained in the lead:

Argentina’s next threat, and perhaps their biggest scoring chance of the match, came in stoppage time. In the 92nd minute, a ball into the box drew Al-Owais off the line. The keeper’s clearance punch did not make it to safety, and instead found forward Julian Alvarez, who fired towards goal. Al-Owais was still down on the pitch, having collided with Nicolas Otamendi, and it looked like Alvarez might notch the equalizer.

But defender Abdulelah Al-Amri had other ideas:

Argentina still had time to equalize, and in the 100th minute, Al-Owais would be called upon again, using every inch of his frame to deny a header from Alvarez right in front of goal:

Soon, the whistle would blow for full-time, and Saudi Arabia had done it, knocking off Argentina in one of the most shocking results in World Cup history.

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