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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Nathan Ridley

Saudi Arabia star undergoes emergency surgery after Argentina World Cup win

Saudi Arabia's historic 2-1 win against Argentina at the World Cup came at a painful cost for defender Yasser Al-Shahrani.

The Al Hilal left-back was forced to undergo emergency surgery following a horrific collision with his goalkeeper in the latter stages of Tuesday's incredible victory. As Saudi defended for their lives in the dying embers, Al-Shahrani took a brutal knee to face as Mohamed Al-Owais rose to attempt to claim a high ball and relieve the intense pressure on his teammates.

Al-Owais - who failed to beat Argentina's Nahuel Molina to the ball and forced centre-back Abdulelah Al-Amri into a spectacular goal-line clearance - was visibly distressed after seeing Al-Shahrani crash to the floor, screaming for medical assistance as Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic halted play in the 96th minute.

Fortunately, Al-Shahrani was able to put two thumbs up and be substituted on a stretcher, receiving treatment as his side pulled off one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history. Less fortunately, however, the 30-year-old is unlikely to represent his country again during their already memorable campaign in Qatar following surgery on his face.

Al-Shahrani reportedly suffered a fractured jaw, broken facial bones and endured internal bleeding as a result of the incident which threatened to mar a day of glory for Saudi Arabia. "Yasser Al-Shahrani underwent a successful surgery in the pancreatic gland at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh," the Saudi Federation stated on social media.

Al-Shahrani said from his hospital bed in a video published on the Saudi national team's Twitter page: "I wanted to assure you that my health is good, your prayers are for me, and the fans of the Saudi national team deserve to win."

Yasser Al-Shahrani underwent emergency surgery after beating Argentina (Saudi Arabia NT)
Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais collided with his teammate (Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

While he recovers back home in Saudi Arabia, the rest of his nation enjoyed a public holiday on Wednesday in celebration of the win. Herve Renard's side even did it the hard way by coming from behind after none other than Lionel Messi had given Argentina the lead in just the 10th minute from the penalty spot.

Dazzling second-half strikes from striker Saleh Al-Shehri and captain Salem Al-Dawsari turned the game on its head before the hour mark, though, as the Green Falcons clung on thanks to heroic defending from the likes of Al-Shahrani and superb saves by Al-Owais.

Have your say! Will Saudi Arabia make it out of their group? Let us know your prediction in the comments section.

Yasser Al-Shahrani was stretchered off as Saudi Arabia held onto their 2-1 lead (GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Renard's men finished the opening day of their World Cup campaign top of Group C, upsetting the odds after being tipped as the group's whipping boys. Mexico's dower 0-0 draw with Poland puts Saudi in a dream position heading into the second round of matches on Saturday, knowing that one more win would secure qualification for the knockout stage.

The Green Falcons will once again by backed by thousands of travelling fans against Poland, as supporters can make the short trip from over the border to the Education City Stadium in Doha. They'll then face Mexico on matchday three next Wednesday, but by then could've sensationally already qualified.

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