Lionel Messi and co. had been expected to breeze past the rank outsiders, on their way to Group C dominance and a potential world record, but after taking a 10th-minute lead courtesy of their talisman from the penalty spot, and seeing three other efforts ruled out for offside, they were stunned by a pair of Saudi strikes.
Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari struck with a pair of stunning goals, as Argentina flopped again on the biggest stage of all, and made a mockery of their tag of the leading challengers for the trophy.
Meanwhile, Denmark and Tunisia got Group D started with a tame 0-0 draw, which was more notable for the return of Christian Eriksen to the major stage, after his cardiac arrest on the pitch during Euro 2020 last year.
Mexico and Poland was also largely lacking in drama, although in the one flashpoint El Tri were thankful to their 37-year-old goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who saved a Robert Lewandowski penalty to preserve 0-0 in that one also.
It’s been the biggest schedule of matches-wise at the tournament so far, with four games taking place throughout the day.
Dark horses Denmark then left frustrated by Tunisia in Group D action, before the evenly matched Mexico and Poland failed to take advantage of Argentina’s surprise slip-up.
The late kickoff saw Kylian Mbappe get his goalscoring campaign underway as France begin their World Cup defence with a comfortable victory over Australia.
Below is the list of matches that took place on November 22.
England got their World Cup campaign off to a fantastic start with an emphatic 6-2 win over Iran, with Bukayo Saka netting twice and captain Harry Kane getting two assists. The Netherlands then left it late to secure victory over a Senegal, with the African side’s keeper Edouard Mendy being at fault for the first goal.
In the final action of the day, a late Gareth Bale penalty for Wales secured them a share of the points against the USA in a 1-1 draw. The USA were strong in the first half and took a deserved leave through Timothy Weah, but the introduction of Kiefer Moore changed the game for Wales and they secured a draw that was a fair reflection of the match, their first in the World Cup for 64 years.
As Groups E and F get underway, were are beginning to see more and more enticing contests in this group stage. The 2018 finalists Croatia have a difficult game against Morocco, before Germany take on Asian powerhouse Japan.
Spain are heavy favourites to defeat Costa Rica, though they are a side who has surprised before, and Canada take part in their first World Cup game for 36 years when they play the late fixture against Kevin De Bruyne’s Belgium, who are looking to better their third-placed finish last time out.
England will be looking to book a last-16 spot when they take on the United States in their second Group B clash.
The Three Lions got off to a superb start in their group following a 6-2 thrashing over Iran and will look to carry over their form into the match at the Al Bayt Stadium.
Victory would ensure them of a last-16 spot and give them the luxury or option of resting key stars in a final group game against Wales.
The USA though won’t be keen to roll over, especially as they will be desperate for a win after drawing 1-1 with Wales in their opening game.
USA hold a psychological advantage over England though having remained undefeated in their only two previous World Cup meetings.
With the clash quickly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know below.
England vs USA will be a pivotal game in their World Cup campaigns on Friday November 25. The game will start at 7pm GMT, 2am EST in the USA and 11pm for Australian Eastern Time.
The England vs USA game will be aired live on ITV One and can be screened on the ITV HUB for UK viewers.
US based World Cup fans can view the match on Fox Sports 1 and the Fox Sports website with a valid login. Telemundo and Peacock will also be screening the game.
Australian fans can watch the game for free on SBS, including the live stream.
England’s clash with the USA will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium – which is located in Al Khor, 35km north of Doha.
The Al Bayt Stadium has a capacity of around 60,000, and is a purpose built facility for the tournament.
The stadium will hold several group stage matches and will play a major role in the knockout stages by holding a last-16, quarter-final and semi-final.
England could be without defender Harry Maguire after he was forced off injured with a suspected concussion during the victory over Iran.
James Maddison’s fitness will also be checked having not trained ahead of the previous game with Iran.
USA were given a scare during the draw with Wales after star man Christian Pulisic was seen hobbling following a tangle with Gareth Bale that saw resulted in him being accidently trod on near his achilles. Despite playing through the rest of the game he will take a precautionary assessment ahead of the England match.
The teams have played on 11 previous occasions with England winning eight of them – but the Three Lions have never beaten the United States at a World Cup.
They famously lost their first meeting at the tournament in 1950 by a 1-0 scoreline, and their last meeting at the World Cup in South Africa, where they also met in the group stage, produced a 1-1 draw.
It’s been four years since the teams last played, with England triumphing 3-0 in a November friendly at Wembley, with Jesse Lingard, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Callum Wilson all on target.
At Qatar 2022, Olivier Giroud had an extra impetus to get on the scoresheet. The AC Milan player started the tournament within reach of France’s all-time goal scoring record which has been held by Thierry Henry since 2010. Giroud had to score twice during the World Cup to match the Arsenal legend’s record of 51 goals for Les Bleus.
The talented Real Madrid midfielder is in the France squad at this year’s World Cup and will be hoping to play an important role with injuries to both N’Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba.
Saudi Arabia lead Group C after the first round of games, beating Argentina 2-1 to cause a major upset earlier in the day. Mexico and Poland are behind them with a point apiece after their 0-0 draw. Argentina, many people’s favourites for the tournament, a bottom.
Andy’s live coverage has been building for a while and he is ready for kick off which is just moments away.
Hurry, head over and join him now…
Have you had enough of grown men kicking a ball around a field for the day? Of course not!! We love the Beautiful Game!
Well, guess what, we have the reigning champions up next… France are all set to play the Socceroos from Australia.
He was meant to be focusing on winning the World Cup with his country but after that interview, things were headed south.
Still no goals but I have a feeling one is coming soon. My money is on El Tri given the way they’re currently knocking at the Polish door.
You can follow Kieran’s chat and see if I’m right… or, more likely given recent betting record, completely wrong.
A peak of 13 million people tuned in to ITV’s television and online coverage to see Wales clinch a draw against the United States in their opening game at the World Cup on Monday, the British broadcaster said. From kick off to final whistle, the match was watched by an average of nearly 10 million viewers, it said, adding that the game contributed to its most watched Monday night since England’s Euro 2016 exit against Iceland.
According to the BBC, England’s opening World Cup match – a 6-2 victory over Iran – attracted an average audience of 7.4 million viewers in an earlier time slot on Monday when many people were at work.
The tallest player at the Qatar World Cup has also emerged as one of the biggest surprises after the 2.03 metre (6.66 feet) tall Andries Noppert made an unexpected international debut for the Netherlands on Monday. Veteran Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has penchant for springing a shock or two but picking the 28-year-old to keep goal in Monday’s World Cup win over Senegal was one of his more outrageous moves.
However, the giant Heerenveen goalkeeper, with a total of only 32 appearances in the Dutch topflight, did not put a foot wrong as he made a handful of impressive saves and kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory at the Al Thumama Stadium.
It capped a remarkable rise for a player quick to admit: “This is also bizarre to me, even a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have expected it. It’s special. You dream this, I never thought it was possible. As a little boy everyone dreams of it, later you don’t assume it. If anyone can do this, it’s me,’ he told Dutch NOS television.
Van Gaal was pleased too. “Not a bad choice,” he crowed in the Dutch television studio. “I picked him because he is the player in form.”
Only two years ago, Noppert’s parents were advising him to quit the game and his girlfriend suggested signing up with the police after a meniscus injury saw FC Dordrecht fail to extend his contract and left him without a club for six months. But in the space of two years things have changed dramatically. “Louis van Gaal told me that I had to play like I do at my club, but in a different guise. I just have to stop balls. Does it make sense that I started the game? When is it the right time then?” he said. “In the Netherlands we all complain that we don’t have good keepers, but then you have to give boys a chance. I don’t care if it makes sense, I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do”.
Before a ball was kicked, few would have given Saudi Arabia a chance at a point far less a win. Yet, two Saudi stars reminded us that football can be a funny old game.
Saudi Arabia stunned two-time winners Argentina, one of the favourites to lift the World Cup on Tuesday – the latest upset in the tournament’s history. We look at some of the other major upsets the World Cup has seen over the years.