Soccer-Argentina win has not changed us says Saudi Arabia coach

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By Karolos Grohmann

AL RAYYAN - Saudi Arabia's stunning 2-1 comeback win over Argentina in their World Cup Group C opener this week sent shockwaves across the football world but for coach Herve Renard it was just one of three difficult group games, with Poland up next on Saturday.

The Green Falcons' defeat of a Lionel Messi-led team who were unbeaten in three years was the greatest result for an Arab nation since Algeria beat West Germany in 1982 and one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history.

But Renard said on Friday that the sensational win had done nothing to change the players going into the Poland match.

"Nothing has changed. We are still the lowest team in the group in terms of ranking and experience," Renard said. "So nothing changes in our mind or the favourites for the World Cup."

"We know where we come from and we keep our humility because if we don't have the humility we won't be able to play a good game tomorrow."

The Saudis unexpectedly top the group on three points, with Poland and Mexico on one and Argentina in last place.

"There is no limit. We love to believe in ourselves. That is the most important in life and in football as well."

However, they will be without several players, including defender Yasser Al-Shahrani, who underwent surgery back home following a severe facial and abdomen injury in the first match, and captain Salman Al-Faraj.

"Our leader, our captain, it will be difficult to play tomorrow. It is a big loss but it happened to some players before the World Cup, yesterday for (Brazil's) Neymar. This is part of football."

Neymar will miss their remaining group games against Switzerland and Cameroon after sustaining an ankle injury in Thursday's opening 2-0 victory over Serbia.

Renard will have added motivation on Saturday, with his mother in the stands, just as she was against Argentina.

"She loves football," Renard said. "She was of course very happy and I was very proud (after the win over Argentina). It will be maybe more difficult for her ... her parents were from Poland," he said.

"It is something special, she will wear the Saudi national shirt tomorrow don't worry. My grandparents were from Poland but tomorrow I am from Saudi Arabia."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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