Overjoyed fans erupted in celebration around the Arab world after Saudi Arabia’s shocking win over Argentina at the World Cup on Tuesday.
After one of the biggest upsets in the tournament’s history, fans flooded the streets outside Lusail Stadium waving green and white Saudi flags. Then they entered a nearby subway station chanting, singing — and even hugging Argentina fans.
Many were simply incredulous after the 2-1 comeback victory over Argentina, which won the World Cup twice in 1978 and 1986. And Argentina is one of the favorites this time — or it was until Tuesday — and also won the South American championship last year.
“I’m speechless,” Saudi Arabia fan Sultan Alharthi said. “I can’t even explain how much happy I am, because I didn’t expect we will win.
“I thought a draw would be fantastic against this team,” Alharthi added. “They came all the way just to win the World Cup. We did it today and I have to take some time to realize what happened.”
Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the match, and at one point wrapped a Saudi flag over his shoulders. The moment, captured in online video and widely shared, would have been unthinkable only nearly two years ago when Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations boycotted Qatar over a political dispute.