Saudi Arabia’s historic 2-1 win over Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar will be the talk of the town for a long time.
As the celebrations are expected to go deep into the night, the Saudi Arabian government has declared Wednesday a public holiday for its people to enjoy this iconic moment in their sporting history.
The holiday is for all government workers, private sector and students to enjoy and celebrate one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
Labeled as the underdogs heading into their Group C clash against Lionel Messi-led Argentina, many were expecting to see a losing side. the last World Cup in Russia.
After going 1-0 down in the first 10 minutes and then only lucky to be saved by VAR, no one saw a remarkable comeback from the Saudis, who were 50 places below Argentina in the FIFA rankings.
However, two well-scored goals by Salem Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari in the space of seven minutes gave the Falcons victory.
The holiday will be for all state employees “and for those in the private sector and for students and women at all stages of education,” the government announced on Tuesday evening.
“We are very happy with the result. It was an extraordinary match from our hawks,” said Ghassan Alwan, 42, director of marketing at the Saudi housing ministry. “Our faith in our players was in the right place. We wrote history tonight.”
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“Unbelievable, massive, amazing, fantastic,” added Abdulrahman Abed, sports editor. “Congratulations to everyone. This means a lot to all Saudis. This will give a big boost to all the Arab teams in the World Cup.”
As has been the case for years, football has proven to be a great unifying factor in different societies over the years and Saudi Arabia is no different.
“What an amazing win for the Saudi national team,” Riyadh doctor Adel Al-Akeely said as quoted by the Guardian. “A lot is changing in our country, many new achievements and an ambitious desire to be the best we can be.
“Moments like this make these changes happen and remind you how proud we are of our youth.”
While the win against Argentina is a huge boost, Saudi Arabia must be at their best in their remaining group games against Poland and Mexico as they hope to reach the knockout stages.
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