Mohammed Al-Saiari calls on fans to back Green Falcons in quest for Asian Cup glory

Green Falcons striker Mohammed Al-Saiari has called on the Saudi fans to get behind their team as they bid to win a fourth Asian Cup title and their first since 1996. (AFP)
Updated 03 January 2019
0

Mohammed Al-Saiari calls on fans to back Green Falcons in quest for Asian Cup glory

  • audi Arabia’s national team are in Abu Dhabi to continue their preparations for the 2019 Asian Cup
  • Green Falcons striker Mohammed Al-Saiari has called on the Saudi fans to get behind their team

ABU DHABI: Saudi Arabia’s national team are in Abu Dhabi to continue their preparations for the 2019 Asian Cup which kicks off on Jan. 5, where they will be facing Asian giants South Korea in their final international friendly of the year on Monday at Bani Yas Stadium.
And Green Falcons striker Mohammed Al-Saiari has called on the Saudi fans to get behind their team as they bid to win a fourth Asian Cup title and their first since 1996.
"The Saudi public does not need to be told to support the players, we know we have their backing now and will do during the tournament," Al-Saiari said, speaking to the Saudi Football Federation website.
"I am very happy to represent the national team, I will hold on to this opportunity, especially when it comes at an Asian Cup, and not just for friendly matches.
"Such competitions give players the opportunity to show off their skills, and I hope we will have a good tournament as players and as a team.”
Al-Saiari praised the strength of the Kingdom’s domestic league this season, saying: “The emergence of a good level in the local championship gives us the motivation for further development during the coming period with the national team.”
He also pointed out that the South Korea friendly match will be the best preparation for the tournament.
“We are in the tournament to go there and compete for the title, and I hope we have the support of everyone," he added.


A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

Updated 20 March 2019
0

A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

  • Can the Whites and Green Falcons find the back of the net more often?
  • Both teams need to set the tone ahead of the important World Cup qualifiers.

LONDON: Ahead of Thursday’s friendly between the UAE and Saudi Arabia Arab News looks at the main priorities for both sides as they embark on their new eras after the Asian Cup and ahead of the all-important the World Cup qualifiers.

FIND THOSE SCORING BOOTS

For the past 18 months both sides have struggled for goals. Under Alberto Zaccheroni the UAE scored just 10 goals in the past nine matches — five of those coming against lowly Kyrgyzstan and India — and likewise the Green Falcons have also struggled to find the back of the net. Heading toward the World Cup qualifiers, now is the time to find those scoring boots.

PUT ON A SHOW

Both sides have technically gifted players, can keep the ball and at times trouble opposition defenses. But both have been too defensive, too safety-first and, at times, too dull. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and the friendlies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers might be no bad time to throw caution to the wind and see what the players can do in the final third.

SET THE TONE

As the modern cliche goes, a week is a long time in football. With all the sackings and player movements, it is not hard to see the kernel of truth in that overused saying. But, conversely, time can also move very fast in the “Beautiful Game.” It may be six months before the World Cup qualifiers begin, but it will be September before the coaches and players know it. Set the tone and tactics now and triumphs will be easier to come by then and, more importantly, further into the future.