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26 Jun 2018

Saudi Arabia 2-1 Egypt: 5 things we learned

Saudi Arabia 2-1 Egypt: 5 things we learned

With Egypt bowing out with no points to their name, Saudi Arabia picked up their first World Cup win since 1994.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Although Saudi Arabia beat Egypt on Monday afternoon, both are headed home after an underwhelming World Cup campaign. 

With both teams playing for pride, Saudi Arabia emerged as surprise winners against an Egyptian side who, despite boasting the likes of Mohamed Salah and Ramadan Sobhi, lacked the quality needed to take all three points. 

The Egyptian’s began the game promisingly through a stunning goal scored by Salah in the 21st minute. Latching onto an inch-perfect pass from Abdallah Said, he chipped the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem. 

As the game progressed, though, Hector Cuper’s side became more lackadaisical in their pressing and defending, allowing Saudi Arabia to come from behind to win.

In the injury time in the first half, the referee awarded Saudi Arabia a penalty which Salman Al-Faraj calmly slotted past Essam El-Hadary. 

While Saudi Arabia continued to grow in confidence on the other side of half-time, Egypt continued to disappoint. Eventually, this dip in form was punished: Salem Al-Dawsari scoring a winner in the 94th minute which gave Saudi Arabia their first win at a World Cup since 1994. 

The euphoria will be momentary for Saudi Arabia: they will still head home alongside Salah’s Egypt. They will be proud, though, of snatching all three points against an Egyptian side brimming with talent.

Here are five things we learned from the game: