Saudi Arabia Declares Today A Public Holiday After Defeating Argentina In 2-1 Upset
— 23 November 2022

Saudi Arabia Declares Today A Public Holiday After Defeating Argentina In 2-1 Upset

— 23 November 2022
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

In what is being hailed as FIFA World Cup history’s biggest upset, Saudi Arabia – the second-lowest ranked team in this year’s tournament after Ghana – has managed to record a remarkable 2-1 victory against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, ending the latter’s 36-match winning streak before a frenzied crowd of 88,012. And to mark the momentous occasion, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has declared today a public holiday.

The last-minute day off, which was reportedly recommended by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman prior to the royal order, will be available for all state employees “and the private sector, and male and female students in all educational stages,” according to the government.

While there weren’t any rousing speeches offered by either member of the monarchy, we imagine it would’ve been somewhere along the lines of Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s spiel after Australia won the America’s Cup circa 1983.

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The first half of the match in question unfolded how just about everyone had anticipated with Argentina dictating the terms. In the 10th minute, Messi scored a penalty to pull in front.

But the tides would quickly turn thanks to a goal apiece from Saleh Alsherhri and Salem Aldawsari, as well as two key saves from goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais to preserve Saudi Arabia’s lead.

“I am very happy about this result that we have been able to obtain against this very storied team,” said Mohammed Alowais.

“We have prepared ourselves. We were 100% ready and hopefully, we will have better results in the future.”

“I felt we were especially good in the last minutes because we secured our three points.”

“This hurts a lot. We were dreaming of starting the World Cup with a win. But it’s happened and now we have to train and think forward,” said Messi’s strike partner Lautaro Javier Martinez.

“We lost this game because of our own mistakes, most of all in the second half. There are details that make a difference and we need to correct our mistakes.”

Prior to defeating Argentina, Saudi Arabia had only ever won three FIFA World Cup matches.

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While all this was happening, Australia kicked off its 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in disappointing – though not entirely unexpected – fashion.

After homegrown talent Craig Goodwin brought the house down with a goal during the ninth minute, France would return in full force with four goals of their own: Adrien Rabiot (27th minute), Olivier Giroud (30th minute), Kylian Mbappe (68th minute), and Oliver Giroud once again (70th minute).

In case the final score of 4-1 didn’t adequately paint a picture of domination, perhaps the following stats will:

  • Possession
    France (62%)
    Australia (38%)
  • Goal Attempts
    France (17; 6 on target)
    Australia (3; 1 on target)
  • Corners
    France (8)
    Australia (1)
  • Fouls
    France (8)
    Australia (11)

Let’s just say our boys have a long and difficult journey ahead of them.

The Socceroo’s next match will be against Tunisia on November 26th at 9 PM [AEDT], then Denmark on December 1st at 2 AM [AEDT]. Catch every match live and free here in Australia on SBS + SBS On Demand.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]