The Saudi government has declared Wednesday as a public holiday for its people to enjoy this iconic moment in their sporting history.
The historic 2-1 win recorded by Saudi Arabia over Argentina at the ongoing World Cup in Qatar will be the talk of the town for a long time to come.
As the celebrations are expected to go deep into the night, the Saudi Arabia government has declared Wednesday as a public holiday for its people to enjoy this iconic moment in their sporting history.
The holiday is for all state employees, those in the private sector and students to enjoy themselves and to celebrate one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.
Rightly labelled as underdogs going into the Group C clash against the Lionel Messi-led Argentina team, many were only waiting to see the margin of defeat Saudi Arabia will be condemned to this time having suffered a 5-0 bashing in their opening match at the last World Cup in Russia.
Having gone down 1-0 inside the first 10 minutes and only lucky to be saved by VAR afterwards, nobody saw a remarkable comeback from the Saudis who were ranked 50 places below Argentina on the FIFA rankings.
However, two well-taken goals in the space of seven minutes by Salem Al- Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari ensured the Falcons soared to victory.
The public holiday will be for all state employees “and the private sector, and male and female students in all educational stages”, the government announced on Tuesday evening.
“We are so happy about the result. It was an exceptional match from our falcons,” said Ghassan Alwan, 42, marketing director at the Saudi ministry of housing. “Our faith in our players was in the right place. We wrote history tonight.”
“Incredible, massive, amazing, fantastic,” added Abdulrahman Abed, a sports editor. “Congratulations to everyone. This means a lot to every Saudi. This will give a huge boost to every Arabic team in the World Cup.”
As has been the case over the years, football has proven to be a great unifying factor in different societies over the years and Saudi Arabia is not any different.
“What an amazing win for the Saudi national team,” said Adel Al-Akeely, a Riyadh doctor as quoted by the Guardian. “There’s a lot that’s been changing in our country, many new achievements and an ambitious drive to become the best that we can be.
“Moments like this materialise these changes and remind you of how proud we are of our youth.”
While the victory against Argentina is an enormous boost, Saudi Arabia still needs to be at their best in their remaining group games against Poland and Mexico as they hope to make it to the knockout phase.