According to the Saudi Press Agency, King Salman of Saudi Arabia has announced that Wednesday would be a holiday for both the private and government sectors as a result of the victory of the Saudi Arabian national team over Argentina.
In the first game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Saudi Arabia defeated Argentina 2-1 thanks to goals from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari.
The game was played in a unique atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium, as thousands of Saudis traveled across the border to support their side, joining Argentina’s traditionally enormous and raucous fan following.
After the mercurial Lionel Messi scored the first goal of his fifth and final World Cup with a penalty kick in the 10th minute, Argentina appeared to be on track to match Italy’s record undefeated streak of 37 games. Messi converted the penalty kick against Saudi Arabia after a video review identified a foul committed by Saudi Arabia.
This came after Argentina had three goals disallowed earlier in the match. Messi, who is 35 years old, scored a goal on a breakaway after beating the goalie for Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Al-Owais, but the goal, along with two more scored by his colleague Lautaro Martinez, were disallowed because of offside.
Argentina’s national team, known as La Albiceleste, was taken aback when Saudi Arabia scored twice in a span of five minutes in the second half to grab a 2-1 lead in Qatar. Saleh Al-Shehri scored for the team coached by Herve Renard shortly after the halftime whistle with a low effort.
Shortly after that, Salem Al-Dawsari gave Saudi Arabia the lead with a stunning strike that he curled in from the edge of the penalty box.
They were able to secure a historic triumph by maintaining a narrow lead against the tournament favorites and holding on to it.
Lautaro Martinez, who plays for Argentina, stated that the loss was really painful for the squad since they had hoped to begin the World Cup with a victory.
“This causes a lot of pain.” We wanted nothing more than to get off to a winning start in the World Cup. “But it’s already occurred, so we need to start training and thinking about the future,” Martinez remarked.
After the game, Abdulelah Al-Malki commented on how Herve Renard’s halftime speech had a positive impact on the entire squad.
According to Al-Malki, “Renard made us weep with encouragement before the match and warmed us up after halftime.”