Saudi Arabia Player Ratings vs Argentina: Shock Win for Saudis

There was an electric atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium as Saudi Arabia came away with a shocking 2-1 win over Lionel Messi and Argentina. Goals from Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari saw Herve Renaud’s Green Falcons come from behind to defeat World Cup heavyweights Argentina in the Group C opener. So, here’s our Saudi Arabia player ratings in their phenomenal win against Lionel Scaloni.

Saudi Arabia (4-4-1-1):

Mohammed Al Owais – 8

Superb performance by the Saudi goalkeeper here and he played an influential role in the win. He made a good save to deny Messi in the opening minutes but was easily beaten from the spot soon after. Fantastic save to deny Nicolas Tagliafico midway through the second half and was good with his distribution too.

Saud Abdulhamid – 7.5

Penalised early on for a foul in the penalty box that allowed Messi to put Argentina in front but much improved from then on, advancing well down the right. Made a couple of decent tackles and interceptions, playing high up the pitch and causing Tagliafico problems. Little careless at times and was booked for a late challenge on Enzo Fernandez was but heavily involved throughout.

Hassan Al Tambakti – 9

Was crucial for the Green Falcons’ victory and looked strong and sturdy at the back, making excellent tackles and interceptions throughout. Helped play the defensive line well to catch Argentina offside a number of times in the first half. Made a brilliant sliding tackle to deny Messi in a dangerous position when they were 2-1 up. Mammoth performance.

Ali Al Boleahi – 7

Solid at the back alongside Al Tambakti but his centre-back partner’s performance overshadowed his.

Yasser Al Shahrani – 7

Made a couple of good runs, advancing down the left flank early on but was a little sloppy in possession. Solid defensive display at left-back and was able to contain Angel Di Maria for the most part.

Firas Al Buraikan – 7

Not involved much in the first half but was able to assist Al Shehri for the equaliser and was more involved in the second. Tracked back well at times too and battled hard.

Mohamed Kanno – 7

Looked to drive forward and support the attack from deep, linking with the full-backs and trying to progress the ball forward. Accurate in possession in the first half and was solid overall.

Abdulelah Al Malki – 6

Gave away a free kick in a dangerous position towards the end of the first half. Little sloppy at times. Booked in the second half for a late tackle on Nicolas Otamendi.

Salem Al Dawsari – 7.5

Picked the ball up a couple times down the left flank but struggled to do much with it in the first half. However, he did put Saudi Arabia ahead less than ten minutes after the break with a phenomenal finish, cutting in from the left onto his right foot.

Salman Al Faraj – 5

Captain was subbed off just before half time due to injury and failed to make much of an impact on the match.

Saleh Al Shehri – 8

Led the press, helping to push Argentina back and made it difficult for them to play out in the opening 20 minutes. Was one of Saudi Arabia’s best players and also scored the equaliser at the beginning of the second half with a great finish into the far right corner, also displaying an excellent first touch to get past Cristian Romero.


Nawaf Al-Abid – 5

Put himself about when he came on and helped in the press but was subbed off again late on.

Sultan Al Ghanam – N/A

Abdulelah Al Amri – N/A

Haitham Asiri – N/A