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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Kieran King

World Cup punter loses £90,000 bet as Argentina vs Saudi Arabia prediction backfires

It proved to be a costly day for one punter who lost an eye-watering sum following Argentina's shock defeat against Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium.

Lionel Scaloni's side were hot favourites to get their World Cup campaign off to a positive start, but they were unable to claim a much-needed first win thanks to an inspired performance from the Green Falcons. Lionel Messi gave Argentina the lead with a cool penalty inside the opening quarter of an hour as the White and Blue dominated the first-half in Qatar.

However, Argentina, who saw three goals ruled out for offside, were made to pay at the start of the second period as Saudi levelled thanks to a neat finish from Saleh Al Shehri. Moments later, Herve Renard's men turned the game on its head when Salem Al Dawsari scored from just inside the box to spark delirium in the stands.

The result send shockwaves all over the world as the Saudis ran out 2-1 winners, but the score-line proved to be a disaster for one over-confident punter. TAB, via the Daily Mail, have confirmed that a better placed £89,000 on Messi's side to get their World Cup campaign off to a winning start, with the Paris Saint-Germain star desperate to add another trophy to his illustrious cabinet.

At odds of 1/6.3, the bet would have returned the punter £101,000, representing a profit of just £12,000, which is just under a seventh of the huge sum they had to put on in the first place. The Green Falcons were ranked 51st in the world heading into the game, with Argentina 48 places above them in the FIFA World rankings.

Meanwhile, another better placed £56,000 on Argentina to win by over 2.5 goals against Saudi Arabia, meaning they needed to win by a margin of three or more goals for the punter to take home winnings of £95,000. They, however, also went home with nothing thanks to one of the shocks in World Cup history.

Did Saudi Arabia deserve to beat Argentina? Let us know in the comments below!

Saleh Al-Shehri celebrates scoring for Saudi Arabia against Argentina (Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Not many saw the Saudis winning and Graeme Souness shared his surprise at Argentina's performance. The ITV and Sky Sports pundit admitted he was "gobsmacked" with the level of hunger and desire showed by Messi's side.

Souness told ITV : "I am gobsmacked, I have never witnessed an Argentinian team not be up for the cup, in terms of a physical encounter. They were wishy-washy today, the referee was obviously going to be lenient, Saudi Arabia were super aggressive, the referee let it go.

"At that point, Argentina have to say: 'We have to match this otherwise we’ll be in trouble.' That’s exactly what happened, I thought Argentina had another gear, they don’t have another gear.

"Unless they find a yard of aggression from somewhere, they can be rolled over. Really good news for England, if they have to meet them in the competition."

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