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Lionel Scaloni urges Argentina to 'chin up' after shocking FIFA World Cup defeat to Saudi Arabia

FIFA World Cup: Lionel Scaloni urged Argentina players to "chin up and keep going" after the Lionel Messi-led side suffered a shock defeat 1-2 against Saudi Arabia in their opening match on Tuesday.

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Lionel Scaloni reacts after Argentina lost its World Cup opener. (AP Photo)

In Short

  • Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia 1-2 in a Group C match
  • Argentina's 36-match winning streak came to an end
  • Argentina will next play against Mexico on November 27

By India Today Web Desk: Argentina manager Lionel Scaloni urged his players to "chin up and keep going" after the Lionel Messi-led side suffered a shock defeat 1-2 against Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup match on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team, also ended Argentina's 36-match winning streak in their opening World Cup Group C match after a second-half comeback at the Lusail Stadium.

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Scaloni said that his team would analyse its mistakes going into the next matches against Mexico (November 27) and Poland (December 1).

"Today is a sad day but as we always say, chin up and keep going," Scaloni said in a press conference. "We were considered favourites before the match but at the World Cup, these kinds of things can happen. We have to work on the things that didn't work well."

The Argentina coach also heaped praise on Saudi Arabia defence for their stunning performance against his team and catching Argentina offside, which resulted in three disallowed goals in the first half.

Scaloni added that Saleh Al-Shehri's goal in the second half, which cancelled out Messi's first-half penalty set the stage for Argentina's nightmare.

"I think the first half was all ours, but one goal can change everything," Scaloni said.

Meanwhile, Messi, who is playing in his fifth World Cup, said that the defeat was a "very heavy blow" for Argentina's 2022 campaign.

"We did not expect to start this way," Messi said after the match. "We need to prepare for what is coming. We need to win or win, and that depends on us. We have to return to the foundation of who we are."