Saudi Arabia's unexpected 2-1 upset win over international soccer powerhouse Argentina will go down as one of the most shocking in World Cup history, but a moment late in that win may have cost the victors of one of their players.
In the fifth minute of stoppage time, and with a 2-1 lead, Saudi Arabia goalie Mohammed Al-Owais ran toward a group of players near the net to get the ball out of there. As goalies do, he used his knee to jut the ball upward. So he ran in and took a leap with his knee out... and ended up smashing his it into the head of one of his teammates, Yasser Al-Shahrani.
A strong injury to the #SaudiArabia team player, Yasser Alshahrani, at the #FIFAWorldCupQatar2022 match against #Argentina. #FIFAWorldCup #Qatar2022 @Argentina @afa @SaudiNT @saudiFF pic.twitter.com/oC5aoYYBne
— Alkass Digital (@alkass_digital) November 22, 2022
Yikes. That is, as the tweet says, a "strong injury."
Al-Shahrani, 30 years old and one of the stars of the Saudi Arabian team, fell to the ground immediately and remained there, appearing to be unconscious. His teammates called for the trainers, who worked on him for a few minutes, but he was unable to leave the field under his own power. Al-Shahrani was eventually taken off on stretcher, but he gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he was carried away.
Saudi Arabia then had to defend their razor thin lead for another six minutes until the ref blew the whistle to signal the end of stoppage time. They were able to do it without the experienced Al-Shahrani, which is good because they may have to play without him going forward. No information about his condition has been released, but given what we saw, it's possible he could miss some time.
The next time Saudi Arabia plays is Saturday when they face off against Poland at 8am ET, so at least Al-Shahrani has a few days to rest up.