Roy Keane has criticized Argentina and former Manchester United star Angel di Maria after Saudi Arabia’s shock win over one of the favorites at the World Cup.
Lionel Messi’s first-half opener from the penalty spot was wiped out after goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari early in the second half when Saudi Arabia secured one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
Argentina, who had three first-half goals ruled out for offside, struggled against their fierce competitors as the former United captain condemned Lionel Scaloni’s side’s lack of fight.
Analyzing Saudi Arabia’s second goal, a superb Al Dawsari save, Keane pointed to Di Maria as Argentina ‘lost their heads’ trying to prevent the goal.
He said to ITV: “There is no aggression, there are bodies there but you have to go and attack the ball, there is no composure, they have lost their heads. Look at Di Maria here! Di Maria, my God.”
Keane also tore through Argentina’s decision-making as they chased an equalizer in vain with Di Maria once again being criticized.
“They [Saudi Arabia] had something to hold onto by this point, when they go 2-1 up they are looking at Argentina going, “Listen, this is a long way back for you”.
“They needed quality but they didn’t show that quality. Di Maria, decision making… they get into one or two positions, they were hesitant, Saudi Arabia were getting bodies on the line, they were fantastic.
“But Argentina have got to do better. Saudi Arabia were aggressive, they were big and strong, had a bit of luck as you need, the goalkeeper did very well but the quality from Argentina was poor.”
Keane added: ‘Saudi Arabia said, “Listen if you want a street fight we are ready for it.” They didn’t even want that.
“They were depending on their quality and even that wasn’t at it. This desire and fight we always talk about with Argentina, it wasn’t there.
“But if you start a game slowly like they did, I know they went one up, but you can’t get momentum into the game. They weren’t a team today. It is a huge setback for them.”
Argentina hope to regroup when they face Mexico on Saturday night with their final group stage game against Poland next Wednesday. It seems that Messi and his teammates have a lot of work to do. Forgeting the final or semi-final, they have to focus on the group stage, which is not considered a problem for La albiceleste just few hours ago.