FIFA WC: ‘Crazy things happen’, says Saudi Arabia manager after win over Argentina



LUSAIL: Following the team’s shock win over Argentina in their FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign opener at Lusail, Saudi Arabia manager Herve Renard said that sometimes “things completely crazy can happen.”

Saudi Arabia stunned two-time champions Argentina 2-1 in a group C FIFA World Cup tie played here at the Lusail stadium.

“Congratulations to these fantastic players. I decided to come to this country three and a half years ago and since this time I have had the management, an amazing president and the ministry of sports always behind us,” said Renard according to Sky Sports.

READ HERE | FIFA World Cup: David beats Goliath as Saudis shock Messi’s Argentina

“Even when we visit our prince two, three weeks ago he did not put any pressure on us. This is the way you have to work in football because when you are putting too much pressure it is not working all the time.”

“We prepared very well and today all the stars in the sky were in the same line for us. But do not forget Argentina are still a fantastic team. They came here without losing lose any game in 36 and they are South American champions.”

“They have amazing players, but this is football. Sometimes things completely crazy can happen. Have a good celebration for 20 minutes and that is it. There are still two games – or more – for us,” concluded the manager.

Argentina got off to a great start as Lionel Messi converted a penalty in the 10th minute to give his side a 1-0 lead. Playing in his fifth World Cup Messi beat Saudi Arabia’s goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais to find the net.

The Argentines also had three goals ruled out for offside as they went into half-time with a 1-0 lead.

The second half was a different story altogether as 51st-ranked team Saudi Arabia came with a new vigour with Saleh Al-Shehri scoring a goal for them to level the score 1-1. Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot into the net.

Five minutes later the Saudis took the lead as Salem Al-Dawsari tapped in a goal in the 53rd minute to give them a crucial 2-1 lead.

ALSO READ | FIFA World Cup: Saudi king declares holiday after shock win over Argentina 

Despite a lot of possession after conceding the goal, the two-time champions were unable to level the score. Saudi’s goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais made many important saves and their defence also stood tall in the match’s dying moments.


Abdulelah Al Amri was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his brilliant performance.

Lionel Scaloni’s Argentina came into the FIFA World Cup 2022 as one of the favourites. Saudi Arabia broke Argentina’s 36-match unbeaten streak, including winning the Copa America 2021.

The two-time champions had 69 per cent of possession in comparison to Saudi Arabia who had only 31.

There were six shots on target for Argentina in comparison to Saudi who had just two.

The Argentines will face Mexico on Saturday in their next group C match, while Saudi Arabia will take on Poland.

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