When was the final time Argentina didn’t qualify for the World Cup knockout levels?

When was the last time Argentina did not qualify for the World Cup knockout stages?

Argentina’s 2022 World Cup opener was meant to be a formality. Saudi Arabia, the 51st-ranked facet on this planet, awaited Lionel Messi & Co., who got here into the match having final tasted defeat in July 2019.

Lionel Scaloni had facilitated a mammoth 36-game unbeaten run as La Albiceleste boss. They’re the Copa America holders and one of many favourites to go all the way in which in Qatar.

A Messi penalty ten minutes in was believed to be the start of a procession for the Argentines, however Hervé Renard’s aggressive, spirited, and rugged Saudis ensured that the South Individuals by no means received away.

A 1-0 half-time deficit shortly grew to become a 2-1 benefit in 5 unforgettable second-half minutes as Renard’s males accomplished one of many largest upsets in World Cup historical past.

The consequence leaves the 2014 overwhelmed finalists in a considerably perilous place in Group C with fixtures towards Poland and Mexico upcoming. The specter of an early group-stage exit is real, however when was the final time Argentina did not qualify for the World Cup knockouts?

That is Argentina’s 18th look on the World Cup and extends their run of enjoying at each match since 1970.

They’ve had contrasting fortunes in that point, profitable the World Cup, ending as runner-up, being dumped out of the quarter-finals and likewise exiting on the very first hurdle.

The 2-time winners have endured World Cup humiliations like every other main participant within the sport.

They had been dumped out of the competitors within the first spherical means again when in 1934. Argentina did not compete within the match between 1938 and 1954 earlier than re-appearing in 1958 however a 6-1 thumping by the hands of Czechoslovakia on Matchday 3 noticed them exit the competitors in embarrassing vogue.

An early elimination ensued in 1962, and so they did not progress past the second spherical in 1974 and 1982 – Diego Maradona’s first World Cup.

Whereas the construction of the match has modified significantly through the years, for those who embody the now defunct ‘second spherical’ as not being part of the knockout part, Argentina have did not qualify for the latter levels of the World Cup six instances of their historical past.

You’d have to return to 2002 for the final time Argentina endured a group-stage exit on the World Cup.

Led by Marcelo Bielsa, La Albiceleste had been among the many pre-tournament favourites however they had been drawn into the ‘group of dying’ alongside England, Sweden and Nigeria.

Gabriel Batistuta lifted them to a 1-0 win over Nigeria of their group opener, however a vengeful David Beckham handed England victory over Bielsa’s facet on Matchday 2. A late Hernan Crespo equaliser towards Sweden on Matchday 3 wasn’t sufficient to avoid wasting them as they crashed out in an extremely tight group.

Sweden and England progressed with 5 factors, whereas Argentina completed with 4.

Defeat to Saudi Arabia is a big setback, however Scaloni’s facet can nonetheless progress into the spherical of 16.

Argentina had been famously overwhelmed by Cameroon of their 1990 group opener earlier than finally advancing to the ultimate, and supporters will likely be hoping La Albiceleste embark on an analogous journey in 2022.

Victories towards Poland and Mexico must be sufficient for Argentina to qualify.

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