Keep calm and carry on, Saudi Arabia boss Renard cautions after Argentina upset

AP - Ricardo Mazalan

Even though the Saudi Arabia boss Hervé Renard warned his players not to celebrate, the tale of their 2-1 win against Argentina in the World Cup will be surely told for more than One Thousand and One Nights.

"All the stars in the sky were aligned for us," said Renard. "But don't forget Argentina are still a fantastic team. This is football, sometimes totally crazy things can happen.

"We needed to get this result and it will be one for the history books. But as a coach I'm always asking for more from my players, so let's stay humble."

The Saudis recovered from going behind to a 10th-minute Lionel Messi penalty to produce one of the most spectacular shocks in World Cup history.

But they had to ride their luck. Messi and Lautaro Martinez both had strikes ruled out for offside as Argentina dominated the opening stages at the Lusail Stadium.

But for all the possession, the reigning Coppa America champions could not add to their lead.

After the pause, Lionel Scaloni's men paid the price for their lack of precison as the Saudi voyage into legend began.

Four minutes after the restart, Messi was dispossessed in midfield and a counter was launched.

Saleh Al-Shehri finished it off with a strike low to the left of the Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

And as Argentina digested that riposte, Salem Al-Dawsari tricked his way out of a tangle of defenders to curl his shot into the top left hand corner for what would emerge as the winner.

Fate


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