Saudi Arabia’s defeat of Argentina at the World Cup on Tuesday was the sort of upset almost nobody in global soccer had seen coming, an outcome that ranks as one of the greatest shocks in the tournament’s 92-year history. Nobody was more surprised, though, than the Saudis themselves.

The country had won only one game at a World Cup since 1998. Unlike the World Cup’s traditional powers, it does not call on stars from the major leagues of Western Europe to join its squad. Its players are drawn instead from the country’s lightly regarded but well-supported domestic league. And the Saudis had started the tournament with the longest odds in the field: 1,000 to 1.

After the victory, Saudi Arabia declared a national holiday for Wednesday. But even before the game, government employees had been given the day off, and many private businesses had shuttered. Crowds gathered by the hundreds to watch on giant video screens at specially planned public viewings, holding their hands to their faces in disbelief as the Saudis overturned Argentina’s early lead and then jabbing their fists into the air after the game-winning goal.