‘The stars in the sky aligned’ – Saudi Arabia boss Herve Renard reacts to shock World Cup win over Argentina

Saudi Arabia boss Herve Renard says the stars aligned after Saudi Arabia produced a historic 2-1 win over Argentina at the World Cup.

The Asian side ranked 51st in the world, recorded just their fourth-ever tournament victory – and their second since 1994 – to end a 36-match unbeaten run by a star-studded Argentinian side led by Lionel Messi.

Renard, who previously led Zambia and the Ivory Coast to Africa Cup of Nations glory, was delighted with the victory but does not want to get carried away with Group C fixtures against Poland and Mexico still to come.

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“All the stars in the sky were aligned for us, but don’t forget Argentina are still a fantastic team,” Renard told reporters.

“This is football, sometimes totally crazy things can happen.

“(We can) just have a good celebration during 20 minutes and that’s all, there are still two more games.

“When you come to the World Cup, you need to believe in yourself, anything can happen in football.”

Renard did not believe that Argentina were fully motivated against his team.

He added: “Sometimes the opposition does not have the best motivation, it’s normal, it also happened to us when playing lower teams.

“Some people don’t understand but you can imagine that when you’re playing against Saudi Arabia, the motivation is not the same as playing against Brazil.”

Lionel Messi of Argentina looks dejected during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia

Image credit: Getty Images

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni says his side will quickly move on from the shock defeat.

“There’s no other choice but to get up and move on,” he said. “We don’t have to analyse more than that. Today is a sad day, but we have to raise our heads and keep going.

“We knew how Arabia was playing. We prepared the game knowing that they came out with an advanced defense. The offsides were by millimetres.

“I think the first half was all ours, but a goal can change everything. We’ll analyse their goal plays more calmly.

“The goals came in the 48th and 51st minute, they didn’t turn the game around for physical reasons. We’ll see the medical report but, in principle, most of the players are fine.

“We still think the same way. Before the game they made us the favourites, but in a World Cup these things can happen. We have to work on the aspects that didn’t go well.

“We still have two games and we’re going to push them through.

“We couldn’t get to this competition in a good way. But football is like that and the World Cup has other things. It was lost but we are going to get up and fight for the next two games.”

Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez was twice denied goals by VAR in the shock defeat. The Inter Milan striker says Argentina’s next two group matches are “finals”.

He said: “We lost the game due to our mistakes, more than anything in the second half. There are details that make the difference, and we must correct mistakes.

“This hurts a lot. We had a great hope of starting the World Cup winning. But this is over and now we must train and think about what’s to come.

“In the first half we should have scored more than one goal, but this is a World Cup and now we have two finals left.”

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To celebrate the 2022 World Cup, we have launched our new bracket game, where you can give your predictions, challenge friends and create mini-leagues.

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