king of Saudi Arab Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday declared Wednesday a public holiday in celebration of the kingdom’s historic victory against Lionel Messi-led Argentina at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history by defeating Argentina 2–1.
State media said King Salman declared a public holiday for all staff and students to mark the achievement, a feather in the cap of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who recommended the royal order. Prince Mohammed was not seen at the match, but he was front and center at the tournament’s opening ceremony on Sunday.
“It is directed that tomorrow, Wednesday, shall be a holiday for all employees of all sectors in the state and private sector and for male and female students at all educational stages,” the order said.
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 an impressive first-half display by Argentina, during which he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside. done.
But Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament behind Ghana, showed caution early in the second half and attacked Argentina’s defense in front of a crowd of 88,012.
The entire game was played in an extraordinary atmosphere at the Lucel Stadium, with Argentina’s traditionally massive and raucous following followed by thousands of Saudis who came to the border to cheer on their team.
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