Fans think Argentina deliberately lost to Saudi Arabia at the World Cup
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Football fans are questioning if Argentina intentionally lost their Group C match against Saudi Arabia at the World Cup.
The South American team went into their first game of the Qatar 2022 tournament on a high from a 36-match winning streak that had been unbroken for three years.
But it was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who had the last laugh, with the team coming out on top in a staggering 2-1 upset.
Saudi Arabia currently sits at number 52 on the overall FIFA men's ranking.
Argentina is in third place, as per the global list, which is what has led some to ask if the South American team had thrown the match on purpose.
Argentina threw that game to avoid Brazil in the semis. 👀— Zeve 🇦🇷 (@Zeve_G) November 22, 2022
Argentina definitely threw the game. No way they lose to KSA 😂— snackin’ 4-tay (@yeah_Tyler) November 22, 2022
Argentina coming in 2nd in the group to avoid Brazil til the finals pic.twitter.com/dpZFrtnn1k— Reed Simpson (@reedsimpson) November 22, 2022
One social media user claimed that the move was a master stroke by the club's coach: "Now Argentina and Brazil won't face each other in the semi-finals. What a mind game by [Lionel] Scaloni."
Another person added: "Argentina definitely threw the game. No way they lost to [the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia]."
A third shared a meme featuring a thoughtful, smiling man tapping his temple to make their point: "Argentina coming in second in the group to avoid Brazil until the finals."
If Brazil is victorious against Serbia on November 25 and take out the top prize in Group G – as they are assumed to do – then they would have faced-off against Argentina in a knockout game.
But that would have only happened if Argentina had topped Group C.
Now, if the two South American sides continue to progress through the rounds, the two will have their showdown in the semi-finals at Lusail Stadium on December 13.
Plenty of punters were sure that Argentina would knock Saudi Arabia out of the water.
TAB confirmed that one football fan dropped tens of thousands of dollars on Messi's team to kick off the tournament with a win during yesterday’s (Tuesday, November 22) match.
At odds of $1.13 (£0.63), the bet would have returned the punter $180,800 (£101,063), meaning that they would’ve made only a profit of just $20,000 (£11,182).
Argentina will now face Mexico on Saturday evening in a huge game.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia will play Poland on Saturday afternoon.