Saudi king declares public holiday after Argentina World Cup win
Messi had scored the opening goal in the game and Argentina had three goals disallowed for offside in the first half. But Lionel Scaloni’s side were on the end of a remarkable comeback by Saudi Arabia.
Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari cancelled out Messi’s penalty in one of the World Cup’s biggest shocks. Al Dawsari’s wonderful curling strike was too powerful for Emi Martinez and will go down as one of the 2022 World Cup’s best goals.
The Saudi king, Salman bin Abdulaziz, has now declared a national holiday for Wednesday. People working in the public and private sectors, in addition to students, will get the day off to celebrate the football team’s remarkable success.
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Saudi Arabia held on for over half an hour against a woeful Argentina team. Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel di Maria failed to create chances after falling 2-1 behind.
To make the Saudi victory even more momentous, it ended Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten run. It was one of the longest runs of its kind in the history of international football.
Saudi Arabia boss Herve Renard reflected: “When you are coming into a World Cup you need to believe in yourself. Everything can happen in football. Sometimes the opponent is not at their best motivation. This has happened to us when playing a lower-ranked team. This is what other people don’t understand.
“Imagine Lionel Messi is playing versus Saudi Arabia. He will say they have to start well and win but you know the motivation is not like it would be playing Brazil. This is normal. We have made history for Saudi football and it will stay forever, that is most important, but we also need to look forward because we still have two very difficult games to play.”
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