Stars aligned for ‘full loopy’ Saudi Arabia win over Argentina

Saudi Arabia head coach Herve Renard mentioned the celebs aligned in a “utterly loopy” comeback win in opposition to Argentina that goes down as one of many greatest World Cup upsets ever.

Few anticipated something aside from a Lionel Messi-inspired cakewalk on the Lusail Stadium, the place the 35-year-old’s early penalty solely furthered that feeling.

Argentina went on to have three targets disallowed for offside in a one-sided first half that was adopted by a outstanding second interval by which the raucous Saudi followers cheered their aspect to a shocking victory.

Salem Al-Dawsari scores Saudi Arabia’s successful objective (Luca Bruno/AP)

Saleh Al Shehri and Salem Al Dawsari scored a quickfire double quickly after the restart to place Renard’s males forward, with goalkeeper Mohammed Al Owais placing in a man-of-the-match show to assist see out a well-known 2-1 win.

“Congratulations to those unbelievable gamers,” Saudi coach Renard – who spent a brief spell as Cambridge boss in 2004 – mentioned.

“I made a decision to come back to this nation three and a half years in the past and since this time I’ve had the administration, superb president and the ministry of sport have been all the time behind us.

“Even once we go to our prince two, three weeks in the past he didn’t put any strain on us.


“This is the best way you need to work in soccer as a result of when you find yourself placing an excessive amount of strain it’s not working on a regular basis.

“We ready very effectively and right this moment all the celebs within the sky have been in the identical line for us.

“But don’t neglect Argentina are nonetheless a unbelievable group. They got here right here with out dropping lose any recreation in 36 and they’re South American champions.

“They have superb gamers, however that is soccer. Sometimes issues utterly loopy can occur.”

Renard struck a peaceful determine amid the joy within the post-match press convention within the bowels of the Lusail Stadium, which was rocking as Saudi dug deep for a historic triumph.

“Have an excellent celebration throughout 20 minutes and that’s it,” the Frenchman mentioned. “There’s nonetheless two video games – or extra – for us.

“When you’re coming to the World Cup you might want to consider in your self. Everything can occur in soccer.

“Sometimes your opponent isn’t at his greatest motivation. This is regular.

Argentina v Saudi Arabia – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group C – Lusail Stadium

Saudi Arabia claimed a well-known win (Nick Potts/PA)

“It’s additionally occurred to us generally once we play a decrease group. This is typically what the individuals don’t perceive.

“Do you think about Lionel Messi (is very motivated) in opposition to Saudi Arabia? Of course he’ll say ‘we have to begin very effectively’ however you understand motivation isn’t like they play Brazil. This is regular, that is a part of soccer.

“We made historical past for Saudi soccer. It will keep ceaselessly. This is crucial factor, however we additionally want to consider wanting ahead as a result of we nonetheless have very troublesome two video games.”

Argentina are among the many favourites to raise the World Cup on the Lusail Stadium on December 18 however started the finals with a defeat for the primary time since Cameroon surprised them in 1990.

Argentina v Saudi Arabia – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group C – Lusail StadiumLionel Messi had put Argentina forward early on (Nick Potts/PA)

Messi – who turned simply the fifth gamers to attain in 4 totally different World Cups – struck a pissed off determine after Tuesday’s shock loss on this Group C conflict.

“It is a really exhausting blow for everybody,” mentioned the Argentina captain, who’s an envoy for Saudi tourism. “We didn’t count on to begin this fashion. Things occur for a cause.

“We have to organize for what’s coming, now we have to win, and it relies on us.

“There are not any excuses. We are going to be extra united than ever. This group is powerful, and now we have proven it. It is a scenario that we haven’t gone by means of in a very long time. Now now we have to point out that it is a actual group.

Argentina v Saudi Arabia – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Group C – Lusail StadiumArgentina captain Lionel Messi was unable to encourage his aspect to victory (Nick Potts/PA)

“We knew that Saudi Arabia is a group with good gamers, that they transfer the ball effectively and that they push (ahead) the (defensive) line rather a lot.

“We labored on it, however we rushed a bit. We have to return to the bottom of who we’re. We have to consider what’s subsequent.”



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