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Argentina 1-2 Saudi Arabia: Lionel Messi steps out of Super Eagles’ shadow but Argentina suffer Saudi shock

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The three-time African champions are the favourite customers of the Paris Saint-Germain icon at the FIFA World Cup

Lionel Messi scored his seventh goal at the FIFA World Cup as Argentina stumbled to a disappointing 1-2 loss to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday afternoon.

Messi found the back of the net in the tenth minute, converting expertly from the penalty spot after Leandro Paredes was fouled in the box.

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Saudi Arabia striker Saleh Al-Shehri, however, equalised four minutes into the second half.

And the Arabians completed the stunning turnaround five minutes later when number ten Salem Al Dawsari struck a beauty for the third goal of the afternoon.

Before Lionel Messi’s strike inside the Lusail Stadium, the PSG forward had only managed six goals in 19 matches at the FIFA World Cup, spanning four editions (2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018).

Interestingly, half of Messi’s goals (three) at the World Cup were against Nigeria.

The Argentina legend grabbed two goals against the Super Eagles in a 3-2 win over Nigeria in a group match at the 2014 edition. That match was the only time Lionel Messi has scored more than one goal in a single FIFA World Cup match.

Messi’s other goal against Nigeria was at the 2018 World Cup, where he helped his team to a 2-1 victory over a Mikel Obi-led side. It was Messi’s only goal in the tournament.

While the Super Eagles remain the former Barcelona star’s customers, Messi has now scored more goals against other opponents than against Nigeria.