Yasir Al-Shahrani received a terrible injury in stoppage time during Saudi Arabia’s historic FIFA World Cup 2022 victory against Argentina. The defender’s valiant effort was cruelly cut short when he received a severe facial injury from the knee of his own goalkeeper. At the Lusail Stadium, Saudi Arabia shocked one of the tournament favourites by overcoming a bleak first half and fighting back to pull off one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever. Thanks to a penalty, Lionel Messi scored one of Argentina’s three goals that were disallowed before halftime.

The Saudis stunned the world by scoring with their only two shots on goal in the first 10 minutes after the halftime, defying expectations that they would continue and secure a statement victory to start their campaign. With their game-winning goals, Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari made World Cup history. However, the outcome was marred by a late incident at the other end. After the fourth official signalled the start of the eight minutes of stoppage time, Herve Renard’s team had to battle for their very lives to maintain the lead. And as the enormous Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais sprinted out to intercept a chipped pass into his area, he unintentionally knocked Al-Shahrani to the ground with a booming knee to the face.

The loud Lusail Stadium audience fell hushed as Al-Owais turned aside and appeared inconsolable as the 30-year-old lay unmoving on the ground. Al-Shahrani gave the thumbs up before being carried out on a stretcher and being replaced by Mohammed Al-Burayk, but there were widespread cheers as he stood back up.

Argentina’s hopes of winning Group C and advancing to the knockout rounds were severely damaged as Saudi Arabia hung on to claim their first World Cup victory since 1994. However, the people will be hoping against hope that Al-Shahrani is well and will be able to participate in the remainder of their campaign.

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