Saudi Arabia defender Yasser Al-Shahrani suffered a horror head injury in the closing moments of his team’s historic 2-1 win over Argentina in their World Cup opener on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old was accidentally knocked out by a flying knee from his own goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais during stoppage time, which prolonged the game further.
Thankfully, Al-Shahrani received swift medical treatment and was able to prove he was awake by giving a thumbs up while being stretchered off and substituted.
The player has now been flown to Germany to undergo surgery.
The game then resumed for the final few minutes as Saudi Arabia saw out their stunning triumph,
talkSPORT2 co-commentator David Connolly reacted: “His own goalkeeper is down on his knees, he looks distraught here at the injury he caused his teammate.
“He’s got his head in his hands. It’s a knee to the jaw. That’s awful, absolutely awful…
“The good news is he’s up and about, I think the goalkeeper asked the ref why he didn’t stop the play sooner.
“It looks like an awful injury to the face.”
In the game itself, Argentina capitulated against the Asian nation – ranked 51st in the world.
Saudi Arabia are the second-lowest ranked team at the tournament, but remarkably they made their opponents look ordinary in the second half.
The South Americans went into the break 1-0 up through Lionel Messi‘s 10th minute penalty and were well on top having had three goals ruled out for offside.
Just eight minutes after the restart though, they were behind.
Saleh Al-Shehri equalised in the 48th minute after his low left-footed strike snuck beyond Emiliano Martinez into the bottom right corner.
And moments later, Salem Aldawsari’s fiercely struck shot proved too hot too handle for Martinez as he sent the Saudi fans into delirium.
They then defended fiercely to secure the historic victory.