Lionel Messi (left) and Marcus Acuña. Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

No matter how much debate, analysis, critique and reasoning, the headline is unequivocal: Argentina loses to Saudi Arabia, 1-2, in the Qatar World Cup. As opening matches go, this is a shocker that practically no one saw coming. Not the betting houses, the fans, the experts, the casual observers. There really is virtually no precedent of this magnitude in World Cup history.

Sure, there have been some upsets. In 1990 World Cup Italy, defending champion Argentina lost to Cameroon, 0-1. And in the Brazil World Cup of 1950, United States surprised the pioneers of soccer, England, by a minimal 1-0. And in England 1966, surprising North Korea beat Italy 1-0, and went on to becoming the first team outside of Europe and the Western Hemisphere to move on to the next phase in a World Cup.

But in this instance, Messi-led Argentina was a favorite. They were riding a 36-match unbeated streak. That's more than 3 years without a loss. In the match against Saudi Arabia, Argentina, after going up 1-0, had three goals disallowed, due to a novel technological offside VAR implementation.

Now the attention shifts to Argentina's next match, on Saturday against Mexico. A loss there eliminates Argentina from advancing to the knockout round of 16. A draw would be a nightmare for Argentina. From now on it is win on out.

Has a team ever lost their first match and gone on to win the World Cup? It has happened before. Spain lost to Switzerland 0-1 in their opening match in South Africa 2010 and went on to hoist the championship trophy for the first (and only) time. So there is hope for Argentina.

Meantime, millions of fans are crying for Argentina.

While others effusively celebrated, leaving the stadium after the match.

Saudi Arabia will be partying through the evening.

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