Muscat – Saudi Arabia shocked Argentina in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history in Qatar on Tuesday, beating Lionel Messi’s side 2-1 with brilliant individual goals from Saleh al Shehri and Salem al Dawsari.
Social media was flooded with congratulatory messages with many hailing the heroics of the Green Falcons.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Ali Shayadi, former goalkeeper of Suwaiq Club, said, “Saudi Arabia, ranked 51st globally, beat the world’s third best team in a pulsating match at Doha’s Lusail Stadium.”
Shayadi added that the World Cup being played in the Gulf region is a golden opportunity for a team from the region – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Tunisia or Morocco – to reach at least the last four stage.
“The participation of Saudi Arabia in the World Cup is evidence of the team’s strength. Victory over Argentina, one of the favourites to win the World Cup, is a historical achievement and has never happened before. We hope the Saudi team continues playing well and reaches the second round,” Shayadi said.
Former national player Emad al Hosni said the game will go down as one of the historic upsets in World Cup. “This victory will motivate the Saudi team to play better. We congratulate them and wish them more victories.”
Seeb resident Hamoud al Hadrami described the Saudi victory as a historic achievement for all Arabs. “I expect them to be on top of their group and qualify for the second round. I am very happy for Saudi Arabia’s feat achieved despite the presence of the mighty Lionel Messi.”
But the Saudi win didn’t surprise Sultan al Rawahi from Muscat. “The Saudis are a strong team and well prepared for the tournament. I wish they reach at least the final round. This win will also inspire all the participating Arab teams to do their best to try and reach the final round of the tournament.”
Muscat resident Ahmed Hassan is “proud” of the Green Falcon’s victory on Tuesday “especially after the loss of the Qatari team”.
Hassan believes the participating Arab teams will take heart from this upset win and perform better in the tournament being held for the first time in an Arab country.
“This championship is a great opportunity for the Arab teams to benefit from the encouragement of the Arab fans to reach the final rounds for the first time. I hope an Arab team reaches the finals,” said Hassan.