World Cup loss to Saudi Arabia stuns Argentines

Argentina soccer fans in Buenos Aires watch their team lose to Saudi Arabia at a World Cup Group C match.

Gustavo Garello/AP

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — It was a match Argentines had no doubt would be victorious and joyful. Instead, shock and sadness engulfed the streets of the capital Tuesday morning as the long-awaited debut of the national team in the World Cup ended in a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia.

“The truth is, this is a disappointment, a big disappointment,” said Alejandro Pintos, a 36-year-old locksmith who was opening his shop a bit later than usual because he first wanted to watch the game. “This was the match that we had no choice but to win.”

Pintos described the national team as being “very disorganized,” something he found particularly frustrating given its 36-match unbeaten streak leading up to the tournament.

Led by Lionel Messi, Argentina entered the tournament as one of the favorites, but instead suffered one of the biggest World Cup upsets after Saudi Arabia rallied with two second-half goals in Lusail Stadium.

“I’m really quite bitter,” Josefina Licera, a 27-year-old social worker, said as she waited for the bus to go to work. “I was really sure we were going to win and it was a big surprise.”

Susana Leguizamón, 55, woke up half an hour before the match was set to start at 7 a.m. local time and put on her blue-and-white-striped Argentina jersey, ready to celebrate what she thought was going to be a fabulous debut for the national team in Qatar.

“I was very, very, very surprised,” Leguizamón said. “The truth is, we underestimated our rival.”

Argentines were counting on a …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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