Saudi Arabia declares public holiday over Argentina win | The Express Tribune

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has declared Wednesday (November 23) a public holiday to celebrate its historic win against favourites Argentina in a FIFA World Cup match in Qatar.

It applies to all employees in both public and private sectors, as well as all students across the country, Khaleej Times reported on Tuesday.

Unheralded Saudi Arabia notched one of the biggest shocks in the World Cup history earlier today with a 2-1 win over Lionel Messi’s Argentina thanks to a scintillating second half comeback.

On his fifth and final quest for the only major trophy to elude him, the 35-year-old Messi scored a 10th minute penalty in a dominant first half display where he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside.

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But Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana, threw caution to the wind at the start of the second half, charging at Argentina’s defence in front of a frenzied 88,012 crowd.

Reacting to the kingdom’s victory, PM Shehbaz Sharif tweeted, “What a game of football it was! Saudi Arabia made history today by staging the biggest upset in FIFA World Cup thriller against Argentina. Heartiest congratulations to HRH Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. We share the happiness of our Saudi brothers & sisters on this great win.”

This isn’t the first time a public holiday has been declared after a World Cup win. Cameroon’s stellar performance against Argentina in the opening match of 1990’s tournament – often referred to as one of the biggest upsets in football history – also received similar reactions.

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