Longest unbeaten run in international football: Argentina fall short of levelling record after Saudi Arabia upset at the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Unheralded Saudi Arabia came from behind to notch up a 2-1 win over Lionel Messi’s Argentina thanks to a scintillating second half display in a Group C encounter at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail.

The 35-year-old Messi scored a 10th minute penalty in a dominant first half display where he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside.

But Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana, scored two goals in the space of five minutes to change the tie in their favour.

Saleh Al-Shehri equalized in the 48th minute, while Salem Al-Dawsari scored the eventual winner in the 53rd minute to leave Argentina and Messi looking utterly shell-shocked in the Group C opener.

This result ended Argentina’s quest of overtaking Italy or at least matching them for the longest unbeaten run in international football. The Azzuri’s run was ended by Spain last year at 37, while Argentina’s ended at 36.

Here is a look at some of the longest unbeaten runs in international football:

Country Unbeaten Run Won Drawn Streak Ended by Streak Period Italy 37 30 7 Spain October 2018 – October 2021 Argentina 36 27 9 Saudi Arabia July 2019 – November 2022 Spain 35 32 3 USA February 2007 – June 2009 Brazil 35 28 7 Mexico December 1993 – January 1996 Algeria 35 26 9 Equatorial Guinea November 2018 – January 2022 Argentina 31 21 10 Colombia February 1991 – August 1993 Italy 30 24 6 Switzerland November 1935 – November 1939 France 30 22 8 Czech Republic February 1994 – June 1996