Saudi Arabia Declares Public Holiday in Celebration of Argentina Win


Saudi Arabia have declared Wednesday, the 23rd of November 2022 as a public holiday following the nation’s historic triumph over footballing powerhouse and two time World Cup winners Argentina.

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The famous win came at the grandest of stages as Saudi got the better of Lionel Messi-led Argentina, fancied by some to win the tournament, in their opener at the Lusail Iconic Stadium as the underdogs triumphed 2-1.

The King, Salan of Saudi Arabia, directed that Wednesday will be a holiday for both public and private sectors in the country.

This isn’t the first instance of a nation declaring a holiday in celebration of a big football win as Cameroon did so in the year 1990 following the national team’s famous win over Argentina at Italia 90 (FIFA World Cup 1990).

Messi got the flow of goals underway with a 10th-minute penalty, which he cooly slotted home. Lautaro Martinez found the net in the 28th minute but the strike was ruled out for offside.

Argentina took a 1-0 lead into the break. But, the second half of the game made headlines as Saudi turned the game on its head with 2 goals within 6 minutes.

The Falcons equalised through Saleh Al-Shehri in the 49th minute, and all hell broke loose when Salem Al-Dawsari scored a screamer to send the Saudi fans into a state of delirium.

Saudi held out to bag a famous win and register a victory in the tournament as wild celebrations followed.

“One for the books,” Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard said. “This is football. Sometimes things are completely crazy.”

Prior to the win, Saudi had just won thrice at the World Cup in their history.

“All the stars aligned for us,” said Renard, who won the AFCON as the boss of Zambia in 2012 and in charge of Ivory Coast in 2015.

“We made history for Saudi football,” Renard said. “It will stay forever. This is the most important. But we also need to think about looking forward because we still have two games that are very very difficult for us.”

Saudi Arabia currently tops group C after the incredible result. Their group also includes the likes of Mexico and Poland., who they face on Saturday, before closing out their group games against Mexico.

Meanwhile, Argentina will look to win the remainder of their two group games if they are to qualify to the knock out stages of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

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