Argentina offside more times in first-half than entire 2018 World Cup

Argentina were offside SEVEN times in the first half against Saudi Arabia – more than their ENTIRE 2018 World Cup run – with three goals disallowed… but they are a long way off the all-time record of England’s TWENTY against Kuwait in 1982

  • Argentina were ruled offside seven times in the first-half with Saudi Arabia
  • Lionel Messi opened the scoring but later had a goal disallowed for offside
  • Lautaro Martinez also had two ruled out to add to Argentina’s frustration 
  • England hold the record for most offsides in a World Cup game with twenty 
  • Follow Sportsmail’s live blog of Argentina’s opening game with Saudi Arabia 
  • Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for all the latest World Cup news here
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Argentina would have been sick of the sight of the linesman’s flag after they were ruled offside seven times in the first-half against Saudi Arabia. 

To make matters worse, the South American nation had three goals disallowed – with their opponents fighting back to take a shock lead in the second-half.  

They have some catching up to do though with England holding the all-time World Cup record for twenty offsides in a full match – against Kuwait back in 1982.

Lionel Messi scored one of three goals that were disallowed against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday

Players will have been sick of the sight of the linesman’s flag and the VAR board inside the Lusail Stadium after they were offside seven times in total during the opening-half

England hold the record for most offsides in a World Cup match in their 1982 1-0 win over Kuwait where they were flagged a total of 20 times

Lionel Messi had given his side the lead after just ten minutes after slotting the ball home from the penalty spot.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar thought he had a second when he got in behind the Saudi defence and coolly slotted the ball home one-on-one, only to turn and see the raised flag from the assistant after a marginal call/

The unfancied Saudis played a very high line but it continued to pay off as Lautaro Martinez slipped through, and showed great composure to wait for the goalkeeper and to chip the ball home.

Martinez though had just strayed a fraction offside – with his shoulder past the Saudi Arabia defender – to Argentina’s disappointment.

Just minutes later he raced through again, rounded the keeper and slotted home, only to be judged offside again in a much more obvious decision. 

Messi had given Argentina the lead but was frustrated not to bag a second in the first-half

Lautaro Martinez narrowly strayed offside for his first of two which were disallowed

The offside decisions appeared to add to the nerves for Argentina as their opponents started to put on the pressure.

Remarkably, Saudi Arabia turned the game around eight minutes into the second-half with Saleh Alshehri opening the scoring before Salem Aldawsari added a second.

England occupy two of the top three spots for countries that have had the most offsides in a World Cup game.

Their 20 against Kuwait in 1982, is followed by Czechoslovakia also getting 18 against the same team in 1982, with the Three Lions getting 16 against France at the 1966 tournament. 

Messi and his team-mates have endured a frustrating start to their World Cup campaign despite being one of the favourites to lift the trophy next month.

It is likely to be Messi’s final chance at lifting football’s grandest prize – the only major trophy missing from his illustrious CV.

Most offsides in World Cup history 

England against Kuwait in 1982 – 20

Czechoslovakia against Kuwait in 1982 – 18

England against France in 1966 – 16

Italy against Argentina in 1990 – 16

Spain against Algeria in 1986 – 15

France against Belgium in 1986 – 14

Scotland against Holland in 1978 – 13

Holland against Costa Rica in 2014 – 13

Northern Ireland against Austria in 1982 – 13

Spain against Republic of Ireland in 2002 – 13

Poland against Tunisia in 1978 – 13 


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