Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari — The two bright lights who led Saudi Arabia to their biggest win at international level
The names of Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari have been etched in history books after their goals led Saudi Arabia to a shock 2-1 victory over Argentina in their opening match of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday, November 22. Having gone behind early in the match and then being completely dominated, to turning the game on its head, the Saudis who scored against the two-time world champions have come a long way.
Saudi Arabia pulled level with their first shot three minutes into the second half after Al Shehri powered past Cristian Romero and flashed a low shot into Emiliano Martinez's far corner. Then, just five minutes later, Al Dawsari sealed a famous win soon after with a sumptuous strike from the edge of the penalty area, almost 18 yards from the goal.
But who are the two players who shone for the Arab powerhouses?
Saleh Al Shehri: From Saudi's first goalscorer in Europe to FIFA World Cup glory
29-year-old Saudi striker Al Shehri plays for Al-Hilal Saudi FC in the Saudi Pro League. He scored the equalising goal in the second half for his side after Lionel Messi gave the Albiceleste the opener in the first half via a penalty. It was his 11th international goal.
Al Shehri's shot to fame came in 2012 when he became the first Saudi Arabian to score in Europe, for Portuguese club Beira-Mar against Moreirense.
Salem Al Dawsari: Head-butting referees, one-month fine and a winning goal vs Argentina are his biggest achievements
Back in 2015 while playing for Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League, Al Dawsari was unhappy with a decision taken by the referee. Instead of keeping his cool, the forward chose to rush towards the referee and make a move that almost looked like a headbutt.
The move was definitely deemed a red card offence and then he rushed at the referee, costing him a month's salary. Al Dawsari has also played in Europe, for Villarreal, making a league appearance against Real Madrid. It all came together on the biggest stage with the greatest footballer watching him on the field. Even Messi would have wished he could have conjured such a dream goal.