Saudi Arabia Stuns Messi and Argentina in World Cup’s First Shock Win
The shock of a World Cup title in England that began in the same way it finished in Chile.
In a matter of two hours, a team of 30 players showed that, in a World Cup, when the goals aren’t flowing, it’s the team around the goals that determine the outcome.
At 10 minutes past the hour of Saturday’s second-round match between England and Argentina, when the second half got underway, England looked like the better of the two – with the advantage of a goal by England’s striker Wayne Rooney just before the break.
England had won all three of its matches against Italy, Germany and Australia and, in so doing, showed it was better than the others.
But, in a game Argentina dominated throughout, England found a way to win by two goals to nothing. At 28.09 into the match, the ball entered the net through goalkeeper Jeronimo Neuer.
“I am used to being an opportunist,” he told reporters from the bench as he walked off to celebrate a dream of a World Cup title with his team-mates.
“But I’m not a selfish player. I know the only thing I can do right now is put all effort in to the team.”
Argentina had not scored a goal in 13 matches.
The goal was the first by a player on one of the three teams entering the round of 16 in a World Cup since Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored in a 1-0 win over England in Mexico a decade ago. In the four previous rounds, only Spain had managed to score in a World Cup.
The goal came against the backdrop of an Argentina team whose players had left the pitch at half-time and were sitting on the ground, a scene reminiscent of a team that had left the field on Saturday.
In the 10 minutes of stoppage time played while the players were on the ground, England had scored once, before winning the match, the first away victory over Argentina since England beat them at Wembley in 2010, while Argentina