Argentina crisis country of the round at the World Cup

Argentina crisis country of the round at the World Cup

It is not how who planned things to unfold. It is Lionel Messi’s last World Cup, and Argentina is already on the verge of elimination following a devastating 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in their first game.

It was not the intended course of events. After 10 minutes, Messi scored the game’s first goal on a penalty kick. An offside call against Lautaro Martinez prevented Argentina from getting too far ahead early. And then the World Cup occurred, or Herve Renard’s earthquake of a half-time speech.

Where does it leave Argentina now? Let’s talk our way through it, therapy-style, in the first edition of crisis nation of the week, a unique piece coming your way during Qatar 2022.

As an aside, I’d like to tell the whole country of Germany that they should count themselves very fortunate that they are not in Argentina’s current position. I will probably see you next Monday.

What’s the crisis?
Just do it. After avoiding loss for 36 matches, Argentina went and lost. In their first game. At the World Cup. People were picking them to win the World Cup. Okay, so you’re interested in football, eh?

Additionally, the team lost against a Saudi Arabian squad rated below the top 50 in the world. A squad that many people thought would finish last in Group C. Lionel Scaloni and Argentina have the unenviable challenge of taking against obstinate opponents Mexico and Poland. If they don’t win both games in the group stage, which may eliminate, the country may suffer.

Even if they do be eliminated, the fact that this is Messi’s last World Cup will increase the magnitude of the disappointment. Many football fans and experts worldwide expected Messi to end his international career with the trophy in his hands and his legacy as the game’s greatest player cemented. What a dramatic way to go out on your terms. However, hope for that outcome is dwindling, if not completely gone.

I don’t understand why they’re having this problem.
In all honesty, I can’t tell. Argentina could breach the high Saudi defensive line relatively easily in the first half. The offside trap was successful twice against Messi and Martinez, but the Inter striker had a second goal controversially disallowed by VAR.

Had Lautaro’s shoulder stuck out just a hair less, Scaloni’s team would have taken a two-goal lead into halftime and been in cruise control. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia would have been disappointed rather than buoyed by the fact that they were still within striking distance at 1-0.

Only complacency can explain the second half. Both goals were scored with great finishes from Saleh al-Shehri and Salem al-Dawsari, although who might have prevented them if Emiliano Martinez had done a better job?

After falling behind, Argentina failed to produce and relied heavily on Lionel Messi despite having a talented supporting cast. They also faced a goalkeeper, Mohammed al-Owais, enjoying a career day.

And what steps can they take to fix it?
Taylor Swift famously said, “shake it off,” so let’s all do that.

Who should use no one game to label Argentina as a terrible squad? It is a team that won Copa America only a year ago by defeating Brazil in the finals in the Maracana. They boast one of the most lethal attacking triumvirates in the competition thus far in Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, and Lautaro Martinez, and Paulo Dybala is yet to arrive.

Mexico and Poland looked rather bad in their 0-0 match, and they should be easily able to overcome both.

As for where they stand in the group, they may also take heart from that outcome. Who would have diminished Poland’s progress chances if Robert Lewandowski had scored on a penalty kick against Guillermo Ochoa?

They, very simply, must win against Mexico. Once they achieve that, things will start looking up, even if they are no longer considered a genuine contender for the championship.