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Hard fought win, Vietnam 'played really well': Saudi Arabia coach

By Vinh San   November 16, 2021 | 07:54 am PT
Hard fought win, Vietnam 'played really well': Saudi Arabia coach
Saudi Arabia players celebrate after scoring against Vietnam in World Cup qualifiers on November 16, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard praised Vietnam for giving his team a very tough fight in their World Cup qualifiers encounter Tuesday night.

"Saudi Arabia were struggling in the last 10 minutes. That's inevitable when the opponent attacked and tried to seek an equalizer. However, we got the situation under control thanks to solid defense. We knew that we had to give our best when playing in Vietnam's home ground," Renard said.

A 31st minute header by Saleh Al-Shehri was enough for Saudi Arabia to secure three points, but they did not have an easy time throughout the game.

"It's harder to play Vietnam on their home ground. Our goal was to get three points and today, the team achieved it, but challenges are still ahead. We have four more games to play and it’s a long way to go. However, I believe that we have a great chance to qualify for the World Cup because we still have two home games left," Renard said.

The game in My Dinh was an intense one, with many heated moments and a total of seven yellow cards handed out.

"When both teams want to win, it's hard to avoid making fouls," Renard said.

"Congratulations to Vietnam, they have played really well. They controlled the game well, have several great players and were tough to play against. I think the reason Vietnam haven't earned any point is not that they're not good enough. It’s because this group is really challenging."

Vietnam are in the final World Cup qualification round for the first time, facing strong opponents that stand much higher than them in the FIFA ranking.

World Cup qualifiers: Vietnam 0-1 Saudi Arabia

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