Saudi Arabia have declared a national holiday following their shock 2-1 win over tournament favourites Argentina in their Group C opener at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday, at the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The fifth game of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar produced one of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history as the Saudis stunned their more illustrious foes.
The South Americans were one of the huge favourites ahead of the tournament following a 36-game unbeaten run, while Saudi Arabia were the lowest ranked in 51st place.
But a stunning second-half comeback from Herve Renard’s side left Lionel Messi and co humbled in their first game at the Middle East showpiece.
The huge win, instantly hailed as the best in Saudi Arabia’s history, has provoked the country’s ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to designate Wednesday (today) as a national holiday.
A tweet from the Saudi Press Agency said the day would be “a holiday for all employees in all government sectors and private sector, and students in all educational stages.”
Saudi Arabia have not progressed beyond the World Cup’s group stage since doing so on their tournament debut in the United States in 1994, but Herve Renard’s men could now take a huge step towards replicating that feat when they face Poland on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Nigerian stars Ahmed Musa and Odion Ighalo have congratulated the Saudi Arabian team following the huge win.
While Ighalo currently plays in the Saudi Pro League with Al Hilal, Super Eagles captain Musa had two successful seasons with Al Nasar, where he won the Saudi Professional League and Super Cup in 2019.
Following the famous win over Argentina, both players took to social media to congratulate Renard’s side.
“Congratulations Saudi Arabia,” Ighalo wrote on his official Instagram account.
On his Twitter page, Musa also wrote, “Congratulations to my Saudi Arabia Fans.”
Both sides are in action again on Saturday, with Argentina taking on rivals Mexico and Saudi Arabia facing Poland.
Poland and Mexico played out a goalless stalemate on Tuesday, thus ensuring the Saudis lead Group C with three points, while the Polish and Mexicans are joint second. The argentines occupy bottom place.