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Saudi Arabia confirm progress with emphatic triumph over Uzbekistan

June 15, 2021
Saudi Arabia brushed Uzbekistan aside with a comprehensive 3-0 victory to win Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023. — Courtesy photo
Saudi Arabia brushed Uzbekistan aside with a comprehensive 3-0 victory to win Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023. — Courtesy photo

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia brushed Uzbekistan aside with a comprehensive 3-0 victory to win Group D of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

The result saw Saudi Arabia consolidate their position at the top of Group D on 21 points, thus progressing to the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, while Uzbekistan settled for second place on 15 points and missed out on the five best runners-up places.

The two sides went into the game with a 100 percent record since the restart, and with the top spot in the balance, Uzbekistan needed a win while Saudi Arabia needed to avoid a loss, which they more than achieved, spicing it up with a stellar performance.

The opening 10 minutes saw Saudi Arabia reach Uzbekistan’s goal a number of times, with Saleh Al-Shehri and captain Salman Al-Faraj missing close chances early on as the group hosts pushed on to find the opener.

Al-Faraj opened the scoring 25 minutes into the game when he pounced on an exquisitely placed through pass by Abdulrahman Ghareeb, calmly placing the ball into the far corner of Sanjar Kuvvatov’s goal.

It took just eight more minutes for Al-Faraj to double his own tally and his country’s score, when Al-Shehri and Fahad Al-Muwallad combined to play the onrushing captain through, the latter making no mistake from close range.

Al-Muwallad almost added a third a few minutes later, when he received a pass in the middle of the pitch just outside the area and blasted a shot from range that rattled the crossbar

Abdullah Otayf did add his country’s third after being played through by the lively Al Shehri, making the run through defense and smashing into Kuvvatov’s bottom corner. — Agencies


June 15, 2021
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