Saudi Arabia coached by former Zambia coach Herve Renard have produced one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history to beat Argentina 2-1 in their Group C opener with goals by Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari stunning the favourites on Tuesday.
The 51st-ranked Saudis were trailing to Lionel Messi's 10th minute penalty, but Al-Shehri squeezed in an angled shot in the 48th minute after punishing poor Argentine defending.
Saudi Arabia's fans were then sent into delirium five minutes later as Al-Dawsari curled a stunning shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Tuesday’s win was another moment under the sun for the unfancied French coach who has often turned underdogs into winners, especially national teams. Renard hasn’t always been successful at club level – his earlier stints produced mixed results whereas later in his career, Renard-coached Sochaux were relegated from the French top division in 2014, and in the following year, he was sacked by Lille after 13 games.
But with national teams, it’s been a different story. He is the only coach to have won the African Cup of Nations with two countries – with Zambia in 2012 and three years later with Ivory Coast. In 2016, Renard became Africa’s highest-paid manager when he became the coach of Morocco, whom he guided to a first World Cup appearance since 1998 in 2018.