ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday congratulated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for what the former said was the “biggest upset” staged by Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup thriller against Argentina.
Saudi Arabia stunned Lionel Messi’s Argentina Tuesday evening by beating the red-hot favorites 2-1 in Qatar, ending the South American side’s 36-match unbeaten run.
Shortly after the historic stunner, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced a celebratory holiday on Wednesday for all employees and students in the Kingdom.
Pakistan PM Sharif took to Twitter to convey his heartiest congratulations to the Saudi leadership and the Saudi people over the victory.
“What a game of football it was! Saudi Arabia made history today by staging the biggest upset in FIFA World Cup thriller against Argentina,” Sharif said.
“Heartiest congratulations to HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. We share the happiness of our Saudi brothers & sisters on this great win.”
Playing a risky high defensive line, the athletic Saudis rode their luck in the first half when three times Argentina had the ball in the net only to be denied by an offside call.
But in a chaotic start to the second half, the Saudis swarmed all over Messi’s Argentina and scored twice as the Arab nation beat the South Americans for the first time in five attempts.
Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki said the victory of the Kingdom’s football team was inspired by the words of Crown Prince Mohammed.
“It was a tremendous performance from the Saudi national team. The win was inspired by the words of the crown prince before the game, who told them to play to their strengths and stay calm and confident,” Al-Malki told Arab News.
“We are very proud as a nation of this team and the determination they showed throughout the game,” the ambassador added.