Saudi Arabia declares nationwide public holiday after historic victory over Argentina in World Cup

Saudi Arabia declares nationwide public holiday after historic victory over Argentina in World Cup

Saudi Arabia has declared a public holiday on Wednesday after its historic win against Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar.

The holiday will apply to all public and private sector workers, as well as students across the kingdom, the official Saudi Press Agency tweeted on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia beat title favourites Argentina 2-1 at the Lusail Stadium in Doha on Tuesday, in what is being hailed as one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history.

Argentina vs Saudi Arabia FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar | Group C Match | 22nd November 2022

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Argentina star Lionel Messi stroked home a 10th-minute penalty after Leandro Paredes was bundled over but Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina with two quick-fire goals at the start of the second half - sparking a phenomenal atmosphere inside the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium, which will host the final.

Messi insisted he was not surprised by the shock win after “five minutes of mistakes”.

He told reporters: “We knew they were a team who would play if we let them...They did not surprise us, we knew they could do that.”

Saudi Arabia, who lost captain Salman Al-Faraj to injury in the first half, will now fancy their chances of qualifying from a group containing Mexico and Poland.

Fans in the UK described the victory as “culturally significant” and a boost for the nation’s hopes of hosting the 2030 Fifa tournament.

Supporters from the Middle Eastern nation expressed pride after watching their team, ranked 51st in the world by Fifa, secure the triumph over the global number three.

Saudi Arabia’s next World Cup match is against Poland at the Education City Stadium on Saturday.

England could face the prospect of Argentina being on their side of the World Cup knockout draw after the shock defeat.

Saudia Arabia isn’t the first nation to declare a public holiday after a World Cup win.

Cameroon’s stellar performance against Argentina in the opening match of 1990’s tournament also saw a holiday declared in Cameroon the very next day.