Report Wire - FIFA World Cup: Arab world revels in Saudi win over Argentina at World Cup
December 3, 2022

Report Wire

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FIFA World Cup: Arab world revels in Saudi win over Argentina at World Cup

4 min read
Saudi Arabia vs Argentina

Overjoyed followers erupted in celebration across the Arab world Tuesday after Saudi Arabia’s surprising World Cup win over Argentina.

From Syria and Jordan to Gaza and Qatar — host of this yr’s World Cup — followers basked in Saudi Arabia’s achievement, one of many largest upsets within the event’s historical past.

Immediately after their workforce’s 2-1 come-from-behind victory, Saudi followers who witnessed the match in particular person flooded the streets exterior Lusail Stadium waving their nation’s inexperienced and white flags whereas chanting and singing — and even hugging distraught Argentina followers.

“I’m speechless,” Saudi Arabia fan Sultan Alharthi mentioned. “I can’t even clarify how a lot joyful I’m, as a result of I didn’t anticipate we are going to win.

Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, attended the match, and at one level wrapped a Saudi flag over his shoulders. The second, captured in on-line video and broadly shared, would have been unthinkable almost two years in the past when Saudi Arabia and three different Arab nations boycotted Qatar over a political dispute.

Argentina soccer followers watch the workforce lose to Saudi Arabia at a World Cup Group C soccer match performed in Qatar, on a big display arrange for followers within the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos, Aires, Argentina, early Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)

In northwestern Syria, the war-torn nation’s insurgent stronghold, residents gathered at cafes cheered and celebrated after the ultimate whistle. It was a pleasing change for the enclave, the place hundreds of thousands endure from frequent airstrikes and poverty.

In town of Idlib, Ahmad Al-Absi mentioned Saudi Arabia’s victory was a a lot wanted morale enhance for Syrians and Arabs throughout the Middle East, even when it meant seeing his favourite soccer workforce lose.

“It shows that we have talented people who can achieve things on a global stage,” Al-Absi, an Argentina fan, advised The Associated Press. “We’re dreaming of better futures as Arabs, and this morale boosts reminds us that nothing is impossible.”

In the streets of Amman, Jordan, dozens of Saudi nationals and Jordanians celebrated within the streets, carrying Saudi flags or inserting them on their automobiles and blaring their horns.

And in Gaza, Palestinian residents rejoiced, saying they stood with Saudi Arabia in its second of soccer glory. “They stand with us politically and socially, so these celebrations are sort of reciprocation,” mentioned Gaza resident Abu Khalil.

Fans of Saudi Arabia rejoice their workforce’s 2-1 victory over Argentina in a World Cup group C soccer match, exterior the Lusail Stadium in Lusail Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

In Saudi Arabia, King Salman introduced a snap public vacation for all employees and college students within the kingdom in celebration of the win.

People watching the match at a fan zone within the capital, Riyadh, jumped with pleasure and cheered as the sport ended. Drivers honked their horns in celebration. Saudi authorities additionally allowed free entry to a state-sponsored sports activities and leisure pageant.

The gravity of the victory will ultimately sink in. Saudi Arabia is a workforce that had solely ever gained three World Cup matches in its historical past previous to Tuesday’s sport. Argentina, which gained the World Cup in 1978 and 1986, is — or was — one of many favorites this yr.

“One for the books,” Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard mentioned. “Sometimes things are completely crazy.”

Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais, who made two key saves late within the sport, was nearly subdued on the finish, maybe not greedy the magnitude of the upset.

“I am very happy about this result that we have been able to obtain against this very storied team,” Alowais mentioned solemnly. “We have prepared ourselves. We were 100% ready and hopefully we will have better results in the future.”

Despite trailing 1-0 at halftime after a Tenth-minute aim from Lionel Messi, maybe the best soccer participant of all time, Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari managed to attain a aim every early within the second half.

Then got here greater than 50 minutes, together with added time on the finish of the match on the referee’s discretion, of holding one of many event favorites at bay.

“All the stars aligned for us,” mentioned Renard, who gained the African Cup of Nations as coach of Zambia in 2012 after which once more with Ivory Coast in 2015.

Renard has has additionally coached Angola and Morocco, which he guided to the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He took over Saudi Arabia in 2019.

Saudi Arabia’s goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais celebrates together with his workforce after successful the World Cup group C soccer match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia on the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

“We made history for Saudi football,” Renard mentioned. “It will stay forever. This is the most important. But we also need to think about looking forward because we still have two games that are very very difficult for us.”

Renard mentioned he requested his gamers to restrict the celebration after the sport to twenty minutes.

“That’s all,” he mentioned. “But there are still two games — or more.”

They nonetheless should face Poland on Saturday after which tackle Mexico subsequent Tuesday in Group C. Both are most likely nonetheless favorites in opposition to Saudi Arabia — regardless of the upset.

He additionally prompt one other potential fact: Messi and Argentina most likely underestimated Saudi Arabia, which is just No. 51 within the FIFA rating. Argentina is No. 3.

“But you know the motivation is not like you are playing Brazil,” he added.