2022 World Cup Language – Day 3: Saudi Arabia Stun Argentina

It’s day 3 of the World Cup and we have seen one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as Saudi Arabia came from behind to defeat Argentina 2-1. We use a BBC report to explain the verb ‘to stun‘. You can read the transcript for this podcast below, while you can also check out our glossary of footballing phrases here and visit our site to access all our previous posts and podcasts. If you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at admin@languagecaster.com.

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Football Language Podcast – 2022 World Cup Language: Day 3: Saudi Arabia Stun Argentina

DF: Hello again everyone and welcome to Languagecaster.com – the football-language podcast for learners and teachers of English. This is Damian and I along with Damon, who’s based in Japan of course, we form the Languagecaster team. And over the next few weeks or so, we will be explaining some of the words and phrases from the 2022 World Cup that is currently taking place in Qatar. On this short podcast, I’ll be looking at the verb ‘to stun’ which appeared in a BBC report on the Saudi Arabia victory over Argentina on day three of the World Cup. Truly incredible!

Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (from Brazil)

Day 3: Saudi Arabia Stun Argentina

A bold and brilliant Saudi Arabia pulled off one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history as they came from behind to stun two-time winners Argentina in a fantastic Group C opener in Lusail. (BBC.co.uk, November 22 2022)
Well, day three of the World Cup gave us one of the biggest ever shocks in world football when Saudi Arabia, ranked 51st in the world, came from behind to defeat second favourites Argentina in a Group C match, an Argentina that had not lost in 36 previous matches. Incredible! The sentence we are going to focus on is taken from the BBC report on the game. So, the sentence begins by describing the Saudi Arabian team as ‘ell, wt’ which describes their performance – they were  bold or daring or adventurous as they played a high line against a top team. Why was this daring? Well, most teams would sit back – they would park the bus – and defend with ten players behind the ball but instead they pushed up and gave the Argentinian team very little space.

The sentence goes on to explain that the Saudi Arabian side pulled off a shock – this means that they did something well even though it was a difficult thing to do. We might also hear the phrase ‘to pull off a surprise win‘, which would mean that few people expected the team to win – just like in this example. Most people felt that when Argentina scored first they would go on to win but the Saudis came from behind to win – they were losing 1-0 but ended up winning 2-1.

Now, this result stunned Argentina which means that they could not really believe what had happened; they were surprised – actually, stronger than that, they were shocked. In the sport of boxing, if a boxer hits their opponent really hard then they are stunned and cannot really continue and although Argentina tried hard to equalise they could not react after the Saudi second goal. The Saudi team stunned the Argentinian team, the Argentinians were stunned by the Saudi team. It was a truly stunning victory.  

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Stinger: You are listening to languagecaster.com (Dutch fan).


DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was from a Dutch supporter. It would be great to hear from anyone else who might like to share this message, ‘you are listening to Languagecaster.com‘. Don’t forget there’s a transcript to this short podcast and there’s lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. We think it’s a great resource for those learning and teaching the language.

OK, that’s it for the third of our daily World Cup football language podcasts. We looked at the verb to ‘stun‘ from a BBC report on the game between Saudi Arabia and Argentina. What a fantastic win for Saudi Arabia! We’ll be back with some more World Cup football language tomorrow. Enjoy all the football and we’ll see you then. Bye bye!

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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