Saudi Arabia score last-gasp penalty to claim dramatic draw against Jordan

Updated 10 January 2018

Saudi Arabia score last-gasp penalty to claim dramatic draw against Jordan

LONDON: Saudi Arabia coach Daniel Teglio described himself as “emotional” after watching his young side stage a thrilling comeback against Jordan in their opening AFC U-23 Championship game in Changshu.
The young Green Falcons looked dead and buried with 12 minutes to go when Baha Faisal scored his second of the match, but Abdulelah Alamri scored on 85 minutes and then substitute Rakan Al-Anaze scored a nerveless penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for the Saudis.
“It was a very emotional game and good to watch, with the two teams trying throughout the game to be offensive and to win,” Teglio said. “I think it was a little harsh on us that they led 2-0 until so late in the game, but I liked that the players played for the whole game to try to get the draw. We controlled the game very well and we were able to get a result that was fair to us.”
Iain Brunskill, the Jordan head coach, couldn’t believe his side threw away a two-goal lead.
“Obviously we’re disappointed with the final result,” he said. “We were 2-0 in the lead, but we were slightly fortunate on the balance of the game. But when you’re leading by two goals with 10 minutes to go, it feels like a defeat. On another day we could have converted some chances toward the end but it was a little bit hurried. We’re disappointed. We know we can play a lot better so that’s something positive for the next game.”
Group C had kicked off earlier with Iraq beating Malaysia by a convincing 4-1 scoreline and the opening goal in this one came after just 12 minutes. Saudi captain Ali Al-Lajami lost control of the ball and allowed his counterpart Faisal a run on goal. He showed the defense a clean par of heels before firing the ball into the bottom right hand corner. It was the dream start for Jordan.
The closest the Saudis came was on 38 minutes from a long cross ball from Osama Al-Khalaf to the left that found team-mate Sami Al-Najei. The diminutive playmaker controlled the high ball and took a snap shot at goal, but the Jordanian keeper Rafat Al-Rabie was brave, receiving a blow to his face from the Saudi midfielder’s boot, resulting in a nosebleed. He bravely soldiered on.
Saudi Arabia saw much of the ball in the first half, enjoying 72 percent of the possession, however they had been unable to get main striker Abdulaziz Al-Aryani into the game and found attackers Fahad bin Jumayah and Abdullah Al-Joui closely marked by a strong Jordanian defensive line.
In the second half, the Saudis came out moving the ball quicker as they searched for an equalizer, with the elusive Najei seeing more of the ball and both full backs getting down the wings at every opportunity. And four minutes into the half, Al-Joui’s run and subsequent foul from Mahmoud Shawkat earned the Jordanian midfielder the first caution of the game in the 53 minute. From the resulting free-kick, Al-Lajami could only head straight at the keeper. Then the Saudis had four attempts on goal in as many minutes, with one goal-bound effort from the increasingly dynamic Fahad bin Jumayah cleared off the line by a Jordanian defender.
The Saudis continued to pass the ball around, but were unable to open up a resilient and compact Jordanian defense, who were being urged on by their vocal English coach who was screaming out their names and instructing them when and where to move and press their opponents.
With 12 minutes left on the clock, the Jordanians and everyone at the stadium thought they had grabbed the winner when Faisal rifled in from the edge of the box. The right footed shot from 25 yards flew into the bottom left corner with the Saudi keeper beaten all ends up.
With nothing to lose, Saudi’s Argentina coach Teglia immediately sent on an extra striker in Al-Anaze for full back Mohammed Al-Baqawi. The attacking move worked a treat as just three minutes later, center back Alamri got a goal back, rising high to head in Najei’s left wing cross.
Now with the bit between their teeth, Teglia made one last throw of the dice by throwing on Jaberi Asiri — and it was the substitute striker who got in behind the Jordanian defense, rounded the keeper only to be hauled down. The Japanese referee had no hesistation in pointing to the spot and Al-Anaze made no mistake, sending the keeper the wrong way and slotting the ball into the bottom right-hand corner. It was a dramatic way to kick off their tournament. They now play Iraq in their next Group C game on Saturday.

STAR MAN: 
Abdullah Al-Khaibri, in the middle of the park, was the Greens’ standout player. In a three man midfield, the 21-year old Al-Shabab player always made himself free to team-mates at every opportunity and kept the ball flowing.

Saudi Arabia: 1 Amin Al-Bukhari; 12 Mohammed Al-Baqawi (7 Rakan Al-Anaze 79’), 5 Abdulelah Alamri, 23 Ali Al-Lajami [c], 13 Hamdan Al-Shamrani; 17 Abdullah Al-Khaibari (18 Jaber Asiri 87’), 6 Sami Al-Najei, 8 Osama Al-Khalaf, 10 Fahad bin Jumayah, 11 Abdullah Al-Joui, 20 Abdulaziz Al-Aryani.

Jordan: 1 Rafat Al-Rabie; 3 Mustafa Kamal, 5 Yazan Al-Arab, 21 Ward Al-Barri. 15 Saed Al-Rosan, 14 Mahmoud Shawkat (17 Khalid Al-Dardour 86’), 8 Noor Rawabdeh (6 Ibrahim Al-Khob 63’), 7 Ahmed Al-Reyahi (19 Anas Hammad 68’), 9 Baha Faisal Abu Seif [c], 10 Mousa Al-Taamari.

Referee: Lida Jumpei (Japan)
Linesmen: Ryuji Sato (Japan) & Mohammed Abdulla Hassan (UAE)
Fourth Official: Toru Sagara (Japan)


Al-Hilal players to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday for AFC Champions League final second leg

Updated 16 November 2019

Al-Hilal players to arrive in Tokyo on Sunday for AFC Champions League final second leg

  • Al-Hilal’s director of football Saud Kariri said that anything is possible
  • Blues captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub said the players were unfortunate not to be further ahead

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal will arrive in the Japanese capital Tokyo on Sunday Nov. 17 to prepare for their AFC Champions League final second leg against Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium.
Al-Hilal enter the second leg under less pressure than their Japanese counterpart, having secured a narrow 1-0 win in the first leg in Riyadh last Sunday.
Al-Hilal players remain optimistic about the final, according to sources, and are looking to avenge losses in 2014 and 2017 finals, when they lost 1-0 in Australia and went down to next week’s opponents Urawa.
Blues captain Mohammad Al-Shalhoub said the players were unfortunate not to be further ahead after the game in Riyadh after wasting many opportunities and coming out with one goal, stressing that they are required to concentrate more in Saitama.
“We will be well-prepared to play against Urawa in the second leg through the camp we will set up in Japan to win the final,” he said.
Al-Hilal’s director of football Saud Kariri said that anything is possible during the 90-minute game at the Saitama Stadium, adding: “We hope our players are lucky to invest well in the opportunities and make it difficult for our opponent to score an early goal.”
The 2019 AFC Champions League Final at Saitama Stadium is expected to see a huge crowd, especially after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced four airplanes will transport Al-Hilal’s fans to support the players in Japan.