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Saudi Arabia declares public holiday to celebrate victory against Argentina in FIFA World Cup 2022

A Saudi football fan waves their country's flag from the skylight window of a car in Riyadh while celebrating after the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia on November 22, 2022. (Photo by AFP) (AFP)Premium
A Saudi football fan waves their country's flag from the skylight window of a car in Riyadh while celebrating after the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia on November 22, 2022. (Photo by AFP) (AFP)

Saudi Arabia broke Argentina's 36-match unbeaten streak and secured what turned out to be their fourth win in a world cup match since they had started competing in 1994.

Saudi Arabia's 2-1 victory over Argentina was the first shocker at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Following the game, Saudi Arabia declared a public holiday on November 23 to honour the team's unexpected triumph over Argentina, the two-time champions presently captained by arguably the greatest player of all time - Lionel Messi.

A 36-game winning streak of Argentina was snapped by the Green Falcons. The team, currently ranked at no. 51, made history by defeating the world no. 3 team.

Lionel Messi, competing in his sixth World Cup, scored nonchalantly in a penalty kick in the 10th minute to give Argentina the lead 1-0.

Also Read: This team is favourite to win FIFA World Cup 2022, as per betting odds

Saleh Al-Shehri's goal for Saudi Arabia in the second half evened the score at 1-1. The second half was a completely different story as Salem Al-Dawsari's goal in the 53rd minute gave the Saudis the lead five minutes later. Argentina never managed to penetrate the Saudi defence in the rest of the game. However, the star of the game was Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais, who never allowed the star-studded Argentina team to score after the penalty.

“King Salman orders that tomorrow, Wednesday, will be a holiday for all employees in public and private sectors as well as for students in all phases of education, in celebration of #SaudiArabia's stunning victory against Argentina," Saudi Gazette, an English language daily in Saudi Arabia, said in a tweet.

To celebrate the joyous occasion of the stunning victory, this is in line with the advice of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman, the publication reported.

Also Read: Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Here’s what CR7 thinks

Portuguese legend Luis Figo reacted to Saudi Arabia’s victory against the Latin American giant and said that all Saudi Arabian players were very devoted.

"I think this is what football is about, sport is about. In the beginning, nobody could say that this result would happen. But watching the game, it was not a surprise at all. I think we have to congratulate Saudi Arabia for the excellent work," he said. “They were very physical and surprised me that they could hold the game at this level. I am really surprised and just want to congratulate the spirit."

(With agency inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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