Messi: We messed up

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Lionel Messi and his Argentina side walk off the pitch after their loss to Saudi Arabia
Lionel Messi and his Argentina side walk off the pitch after their loss to Saudi Arabia

Following Saudi Arabia's historic victory over Argentina in their opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Lionel Messi has opened up about his side's shock defeat on Tuesday.

The Saudis became the first Asian team to beat Argentina at a World Cup when they claimed a shock 2-1 win over the South Americans at the Lusail Stadium on day three of the tournament. 

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The Albiceleste had a promising start to the match, scoring in the ninth minute through a penalty that was calmly converted by captain Messi.

The two-time world champions would go on to score three more times, but all three strikes were ruled out for offside following a video review.

Argentina seemed to struggle with the high defensive line Herve Renard's side employed, though, with the Albiceleste being deemed offside as many as 10 times in the game.

The Gulf nation, meanwhile, made excellent use of their chances, scoring twice from their only two attempts on target in the entire match. They came out firing in the second half, scoring twice in five minutes soon after the restart thanks to fantastic strikes by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari, and were able to hold onto their lead until the final whistle.

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Messi was left unimpressed by his side's performance in the tie, admitting that his team had "messed up".

"In five minutes of errors, we lost the lead and found ourselves 1-2 down," the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner told reporters after the match, according to the Daily Mail.

"We messed up, we threw crosses into the box and the game became a little complicated."

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Regarding the three offside calls, the Paris Saint-Germain forward added: "I saw that the offsides were very fair. I didn't see them through images, but if they were annulled, they would be the right decisions. There is no excuse.

"We knew that it was a team that if we let them play, they played well and that they pushed us a lot with their high (defensive) line.

"I had never suffered such a hard blow with this group of players. Things happen for a reason.

"Now, obviously, we have to win or win [to qualify for the knockout stages]."

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