Saudi Arabia vs. Brazil: How the Green Falcons have fared in Samba showdowns gone by

All-Time great Ronaldiho scored a hat-trick during Brazil's 8-2 thrashing of Saudi Arabia in 1999. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018

Saudi Arabia vs. Brazil: How the Green Falcons have fared in Samba showdowns gone by

  • The two sides have faced each other four times, two of those clashes taking place in the Kingdom.
  • The last time Saudi Arabia came up against the Samba stars was in 2002.

A match against Brazil is always a glamor tie. Pitting your wits against the men in the famous yellow jersey is for many a dream come true. Saudi Arabia’s best have faced the Selecao four times — here we take a look at how the Green Falcons have fared.

1988 — 4-1 TO BRAZIL

The first meeting between the two sides came in 1988 in Melbourne and the 3,200 souls who went to watch it saw a Brazil side in transition easily beat the Green Falcons. All-time great Romario was on the pitch but did not get on the scoresheet.

1997 — 3-0 TO BRAZIL

The first time the Selecao played in the Kingdom their manager was none other than past Saudi Arabia boss, Mario Zagallo. He managed the Green Falcons between 1981 and 1984. This clash was part of one of the early Confederation Cups and a brace from Romario helped the visitors to a 3-0 win over Sami Al-Jaber and Co. in Riyadh. 

1999 — 8-2 TO BRAZIL

Two goals from Marzouk Al-Otaibi made the score 2-2 after 31 minutes. But any hope Saudi Arabia could shock the favorites for the Confederations Cup in Mexico was dashed as a side led by a Ronaldinho, who netted a hat-trick, scored six more without reply to win with ease.

2002 — 1-0 TO BRAZIL

The next time the Green Falcons faced Brazil — at the King Fahd International Stadium, in Riyadh — it was a much closer affair. Only a 73rd-minute strike from Djalminha separated the sides as the hosts put up a fine display in the friendly clash.

Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019

Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 

“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 

“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”