Saudi Arabia beat Egypt despite Salah strike

Virginia Santiago
June 26, 2018

Salem Al Dawsari struck an injury-time victor as Saudi Arabia recorded their first World Cup win since 1994 by beating Mohamed Salah's Egypt 2-1.

Despite coming up against the imposing El Hadary and an increasingly-acute angle, Al-Dawsari kept his cool to drill a low shot into the bottom corner with unerring accuracy, sealing the Green Falcons' first World Cup win since 1994.

El Hadary saved Fahad Al Muwallad's first-half penalty but Salem Al Dawsari scored a victor for Saudi Arabia in stoppage time.

That changed in the 41st minute when the Asian side were awarded a penalty for Ahmed Fathy's handball.

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia was awarded another penalty kick later in the half and was able to convert, tying up the match.

Egypt lost their first two matches 1-0 to Uruguay and 3-1 to Russian Federation, while Saudi Arabia were beaten 5-0 in the tournament's opening game by the hosts then lost 1-0 to Uruguay.

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El-Hadary, who is regarded as one of Africa's best goalkeepers of all time, started his career in 1996 and is a four-time African Cup of Nations champion.

Salah missed Egypt's opening defeat against Uruguay but returned against Russian Federation and scored a terrific penalty.

But after a VAR-induced review that took nearly five minutes to complete, Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan chose to stick with his original decision.

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"There is not much between our three goalkeepers but he was the right person to play today", said Cuper.

36% of Saudi Arabia's goals at the World Cup have been scored from the penalty spot (4 of 11).

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El-Hadary has been a member of Egypt's national team since 1996 and has made over 150 appearances for the team.

Just when a draw looked on the cards, Saudi Arabia finally found the breakthrough in the 95th minute when Abdullah Otayf met Mohammed Al-Breik's right-wing cross with a first-time layoff into the path of Al-Dawsari.

As much as you hate to see matches that are ultimately meaningless in the World Cup, they can bring some phenomenal moments.

Salah was named in the starting line-up as expected and thrilled an Egyptian-dominated crowd of 36,823 by opening the scoring in trademark fashion after 22 minutes.

The Al-Hilal man was key to Saudi Arabia's victory. However, having failed to take their chances in the first half, the team were unable to find a way through the opponent's tightly packed defence in the second and ended up slipping to defeat.

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