‘Ready for the Future:’ Fans celebrate Kingdom's spot in World Cup finals

Saudi fans hold up portraits of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Saudi Arabia and Japan at King Abdullah Stadium in Jeddah on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 06 September 2017
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‘Ready for the Future:’ Fans celebrate Kingdom's spot in World Cup finals

RIYADH: Jubilant soccer fans celebrated after Saudi Arabia qualified for next year’s World Cup, with many rallying behind Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform program that promotes sports in the country.
The Kingdom national team stunned Japan on Tuesday to reach their first World Cup since 2006, with a 1-0 victory in Jeddah that consigned Australia to the playoffs.
The win prompted the government to release a new poster for its reform plan, dubbed Vision 2030, with an image of a smiling Prince Salman flashing the victory sign and embossed with the words “Ready for the Future.”
“With high spirits and unlimited support, the face of luck supports the Saudi team to reach the World Cup,” the government tweeted on its official Vision 2030 page.
“We congratulate our king for qualifying and the nation for its youth.”
Prince Salman, often known as MbS, is the chief architect of Vision 2030, an economic and social diversification plan which he released last year to wean the Kingdom off oil.
The plan calls for more entertainment, cultural and sports opportunities in a nation where more than half the population is under 25, an Internet-savvy generation that spends much of its life online away from official strictures.
The hashtag “MbS is the face of luck” soon started gaining traction on social media, with many lauding the team’s victory courtesy of halftime substitute Fahad Al-Muwallad’s winning goal.
The livewire forward smashed his shot past a static Eiji Kawashima of Japan to take the Saudis to their fifth World Cup.
“The crazy, pulsating excitement you are experiencing right now is unforgettable... It is to celebrate this win as the nation’s accomplishment,” one Saudi fan said on Twitter.


Eriksen late show keeps Spurs on course for top four finish

Updated 24 April 2019
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Eriksen late show keeps Spurs on course for top four finish

  • Erikssen’s long-range strike gave Spurs the win over Brighton

LONDON: After bombarding the Brighton goal without success throughout the game, Tottenham was getting frustrated.
So frustrated that, with Harry Kane’s injury depleting Tottenham’s striking options, out-of-favor Vincent Janssen was summoned from the bench for his first appearance in 20 months for the final 10 minutes.
In the end, though, it was a more familiar name that delivered the breakthrough. Christian Erikssen’s long-range strike inside the near post gave Spurs a 1-0 win over Brighton on Tuesday that kept his team’s bid for a Champions League spot on track.
The goal finally came in the 88th minute when the Dane was teed up by Dele Alli and squeezed the ball beyond the reach of diving goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
The goal nudged Tottenham three points clear of Chelsea in fourth Champions League qualification place. Arsenal is a further point behind in fifth place ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Wolverhampton.
By conceding a late goal, Brighton was denied a point in its bid to stay in the Premier League and remains three points ahead of Cardiff, which occupies the final relegation place.
But another of Brighton’s relegation rivals also conceded late — after scoring early.
The earliest-ever goal in a Premier League game.
Shane Long netted after 7.69 seconds for Southampton but Andre Gray leveled in the 90th minute to grab a 1-1 draw for Watford.
Southampton is three points ahead of Brighton and six clear of the drop zone with three games remaining.