SAUDI ARABIA

Brave Saudi Arabia loses to Poland in World Cup

November 26, 2022
Saudi Arabia's Coach Hervé Renard consoles defender Abdulelah Al-Maliki after his defensive lapse resulted in Poland’s second goal.
Saudi Arabia's Coach Hervé Renard consoles defender Abdulelah Al-Maliki after his defensive lapse resulted in Poland’s second goal.

Saudi Gazette report

DOHA —
Poland beat Saudi Arabia 2-0, gaining their first win in the World Cup match at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, Qatar on Saturday. The Green Falcons had several chances in the game but the goals never came.

Polish Captain Robert Lewandowski scored the second goal in the 82nd minute of the match after Piotr Zielinski had given Poland a first half lead against Saudi Arabia, which missed a penalty kick.

With today’s match, Poland emerged topper in the Group C, boosting their points to four after their 1-1 draw in the opening game with Mexico while Saudi Arabia stand at second position in the group, collecting three points after sealing a stunning victory over Argentina 2-1 in their opener last Tuesday. The Green Falcons will take on Mexico on Wednesday, Nov. 30, in their third and last match in the first round of the game in Group C of the tournament.

The first Polish goal, despite the relentless Saudi Arabian pressure, came in the 39th minute. Poland opened the scoring when Zielinski made a classy-range finish, assisted by Lewandowski. The Polish captain looked like he was set to score himself from a low cross. Instead, he clipped the ball over the goalkeeper, kept the ball in play and then put it on a plate for Zielinski.

The Saudis, till then, had enough chances but the goals never came. Early on, in the 13th minute, Mohammed Kanno played a ball to the right and as the cut back came to him a stinging flier followed, grazing Szczesny’s fingers to safely sail into the stands.

As a response to the Zielinski goal, Saudi are all guns ablaze as Al-Shehri, who made a surging run into the box, is brought down by Krystian Bielik. Straightaway the Saudi players plead to the referee to check for possible interference, and after a quick review, they are awarded a penalty. But goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny saved Salem Al-Dawsari’s penalty kick as the first half ended with a 1-0 score in favor of Poland.

Lewandowski has been involved in his first two goals in the World Cup (assist and goal). He finally broke his World Cup duck, scoring the goal after failing to do so in his first four games in the tournament. In the 82nd minute, Lewandowski doubled the Polish national team’s lead with a close-range kick.

A defensive lapse by Abdulelah Al-Malki just outside the box opens the door for the Barcelona striker, who stole the ball, steadied himself in the face of an advancing keeper Mohammed Al-Owais, and then placed it to the right of him with ease.

There have been five yellow cards shown in the first half of the Saudi – Poland match, the most in the opening half of a FIFA World Cup match since the 2010 final between Spain and Netherlands). Poland picked up three yellow cards in the opening 20 minutes. Jakub Kiwior with the first yellow of the game after a tangle with Saleh Al-Shehri, then Matty Cash picks up the next one as he is late on Salem Al-Dawsari while Milik booked for the third one.


November 26, 2022
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