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Argentina's defeat to Saudi Arabia costs Australian bettor AU$160,000

When Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the entire Argentine nation knew it was in for a difficult day.

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However, it was worse for one Australian bettor, who lost AU$160,000 (US$106,000) on the game – after placing the huge wager on Argentina to win the match against the middle-eastern minnows.

Australian operator TAB confirmed after the game that a bet of AU$160,000 had been made by an unnamed gambler on the game.

The initial bet would have gained the gambler AU$20,800 in profit, which many would have said was a safe bet before the events in Qatar’s Lusail Stadium unfolded.

As one of the favourites to win the tournament, Argentina got off to a quick start, with Lionel Messi slotting home a penalty in the opening 15 minutes of the game – before Argentina had three goals ruled out for offside. And, by the time the half-time whistle went, the South Americans were cruising. 

Saudi Arabia, a team ranked outside the top 50 in the world, needed a miracle to get anything from the match against such strong opposition.

Yet – divine intervention or not – the players came out in the second half determined not to embarrass themselves on the highest stage. 

First, Al Shehri equalised just after the game had restarted the second half; then Al Dawsari curled a stunning shot into the top corner to give the Saudis a shock lead.

Despite the powers of Messi and co, Argentina could not break down a robust Saudi defence – leaving the AU$160,000 Australian bettor in disbelief, along with countless other players – and the entire nation of Argentina.

In the end, it comes down to what Kenny Rogers sang about: you got to know when to hold them and when to fold them.

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