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Renard praises Saudi Arabia's focus

Buraydah: Saudi Arabia head coach Hervé Renard praised his players following their impressive 3-0 victory against Singapore in Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Thursday.

Abdulfattah Asiri scored twice while Abdullah Al Hamdan added the third as Saudi Arabia registered their first victory after having opened their qualifying campaign with a 2-2 draw against Yemen last month.

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“I want to thank the players for their performance tonight,” said Renard. “I also thank the fans who supported us during the entire match to achieve the victory.

“We missed a lot of scoring chances which could have helped us get a bigger result,” he added. “However, we achieved a positive result and we will try to avoid missing such chances in the future.”

The 51-year-old Frenchman said Saudi Arabia's aim going into the match was to avoid conceding goals, having had to come from behind twice against Yemen to salvage a point.

“We went into the match with an aim to get the three points and we managed to do it with the impressive performance of the players,” he said.

“My aim was to avoid conceding goals,” he explained. “Despite scoring three goals, I asked the players to concentrate and to maintain their positions in order to have a clean sheet.”

Next up for the three-time AFC Asian Cup winners is a trip to Al-Ram for a meeting with Palestine on Tuesday and Renard will be aiming for another three points.

Singapore, who opened with a 2-2 draw with Yemen and then beat Palestine 2-1, will face Uzbekistan at home on Tuesday.

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