A low drive into the bottom corner from a tight angle by Salem Al Dawsari wins the match for Saudi Arabia and on the balance of play they probably deserve it.Mo Salah gave Egypt a first-half lead with a wonderful finish before Saudi Arabia equalised with a contentious penalty just before half-time.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia were playing only for pride at the Volgograd arena, but neither side could be particularly proud of their performance.
Egypt had to moments to remember – a fine Salah goal and a brilliant Essam El Hadary penalty save, but they couldn’t find a winner.
When the opening goal came, on 22 minutes, it had to be Salah. A long ball over the top by Abdallah El Said split the defence and was calmly brought down by the Liverpoool frontman, who then deftly lifted it over the oncoming Saudi Arabian goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem.
Then, in the 38th minute, a Fathy handball meant that Saudi Arabia had a penalty, and Egypt’s 45-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary had the chance to be a hero. And he took it. The oldest player to play in a World Cup saved a penalty.
If only Egypt could have ended the game there.
Just five minutes later, and after a long look at the VAR screens Saudi Arabia were given another penalty. This time Faraj made the net bulge from the spot and the scores were levelled.
Both sides had their chances in the second half, but neither was clinical enough.
It took 71 minutes for the Mexican waves to start, and really, the fans did well to last that long. The game, although high on chances was low on quality. “I think you can see why these teams are going home,” said Iain Dowie, on ITV, and he was right.
Source: Telegraph UK