Moscow: Snatching the first victory in the FIFA World Cup 2018, Saudi Arabia beat Egypt 2-1 at Volgograd Stadium on Monday. Both the teams having lost their opening two matches were aiming to make an exit from the mega football tournament with a win.
Egyptian talisman Mohamed Salah scored with a lob in the 22nd minute before Saudi Arabia's Salman Al-Faraj levelled the score at 1-1 by half-time from the penalty spot in Monday's Group A game. The Saudis were awarded the first penalty before half-time, but Egyptian keeper Essam El-Hadary - who became the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup - saved Fahad Al-Muwallad's shot. When a second penalty was awarded minutes later, however, Al-Faraj scored from the spot.
The unexpected last-minute goal by Saudi Arabia's Salem Al Dawsari led the team to land victorious, finishing off with grabbing the third position in Group A ahead of Egypt. Meanwhile, Uruguay's win has led the South Americans to reach the top spot in Group A, while Russia stands second.
Follow the match updates:
Full-time! Saudi Arabia 2-1 Egypt
94 minute: Goal! Saudi Arabia snatch the first victory in World Cup, beating the Egyptians 2-1
90 minute: An addition of 4 minutes to the match
89 minute: Egyptians players keep their counter-attack at pace with no changes in the game
Meanwhile, Uruguay scores another goal. Uruguay 3-0 Russia
85 minute: Yellow car for Ahmed Fathy Abdel Meneim Ibrahim
82 minute: Trezeguet replaced by Kahraba in Egypt's final change
80 minute: Saudi's free kick is blocked by Egyptian defence wall
78 minute: Substitution for Saudi Arabia. Yahia Alsherhri replaces Fahad Almuwallad
77 minute: Egypt continue to maintain pressure and get two corners in two minutes but both in vain
76 minute: Salah makes a good move, but Saudis give a tight defence
70 minute: Salah throws the ball towards Elneny while he is at the edge of the post
68 minute: Egyptian goal keeper emerging as a hero in less than a minute. First he denies Hussain Al Mogahwi whose header in bang on target. he then blocks another header, this time by Muhannad Asiri
65 minute: Substitution for Saudi Arabia. Bahebri is replaced by Aseri
62 minute: Substitution for Egypt. Mohsen is replaced by Sobhi
58 minute: Trezeguet's attempt is high over the goal post again
Saudi Arabia have 67 per cent possession while Egypt have 33 per cent
55 minute: A free kick by Egyptian Salah
53 minute: Good attempt by Saudi Arabia. The ball edge passes from over the goal post
50 minute: Both the teams roll the ball with no changes on either side
44 minute: Corner for Saudi Arabia
Half-time! Saudi Arabia 1-1 Egypt
45 minutes: Goal! Salman Alfaraj levels the score from the penalty spot right before the half time. He goes to the left as the goal keeper makes the wrong decision and dives towards the right.
2 minutes of Stoppage time
43 minute: The referee rules penalty after Fahad goes down in the Egyptian penalty box. The decision stays after being reviewed by VAR.
What a save it was by Egypt's 45-year-old Essam Elhadary, the oldest player in the World Cup 2018.
40 minute: Fahad Al Muwallad's shot is palmed away by Egyptian goal keeper and the ball hits the cross bar and lands outside to the relief of his team. The goal keeper guessed correctly and dived to the right to make the crucial save
38 minute: Penalty! Hand ball by Ahmed Fathi. Saudi Arabia look to equalise
36 minute: Close try by Saudi's Salman. Opss! The ball takes a wide angle from post
32 minute: To increase Egypt's lead, Salah pushes in a lovely pass but Trezeguet shoots the ball above the goal post
In the other Group A match it's Uruguay 2-0 Russia
29 minute: Saudi Arabia chip in another hit from a distance but it's wide from the goal post
26 minute: Saudi's, on the other hand, still looking for that once scope of making their debut goal in their exit match
24 minute: Salah moves to the goal post once again. Alas! fails to take Egypt ahead by 2 goals
21 minute: GOAL! Salah puts Egypt ahead. He calmly lobs the ball above the Saudi Arabia goal keeper Essam El Hadary
Saudi Arabia have 53 per cent possession while Egypt have 43 per cent
20 minute: Salah once again tries to breach the Saudi's defence but is ruled off-side.
19 minute: Mohamad Salah trying hard to put Egypt ahead. But Saudi Arabia defences holding tight
15 minute: Saudi Arabia launch an attack. It is a good move stretching the Egyptian defence but Salem's shot is over the crossbar
In the other Group A match, Uruguay have taken a lead. Uruguay 1-0 Russia
11 minute: Free kick to Saudi Arabia
8 minute: Again a good move from Saudi Arabia down the left flank. But the cross is intercepted and it's a corner which is easily cleared by the Egyptians
6 minute: Saudi Arabia try to attack from a distance but hit the ball wide
2 minute: It is a scrappy start to the match with the ball being played in the midfield. Nothing much to differentiate between the two teams right now
Egypt XI: Essam El Hadary, Ali Gabr, Ahmed Fathi, Tarek Hamed, Marwan Mohsen, Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Abdelshafy, Mohamed El Neny, Abdalla Said, Trezeguet
Saudi Arabia XI: Yasser Almosailem, Osama Hawsawi, Mohammed Alburayk, Salman Alfaraj, Hatan Bahbir, Yasir Al Shahrani, Abdullah Otayf, Hussain Al Moqahwi, Salem Al Dossari, Fahad Al Muwallad, Motaz Hawsawi
With their talismanic forward Mohammed Salah struggling with his fitness following a rather hurried return from a left shoulder dislocation, Egypt have struggled in the two matches they played so far. Playing without Salah in their campaign against mighty Uruguay, the Egyptians gave a good account of themselves in a 0-1 loss to the two-time World Cup winners. Salah's presence in Egypt's second group match against Russia failed to lift the seven-time African champions as they crashed to a 1-3 defeat.
The Saudis have fared no better. They were thrashed 0-5 by hosts Russia in the tournament opener, which prompted authorities back home to call for punishments and sanctions against the players. The Saudis displayed markedly better in their second match before conceding a narrow 0-1 loss to Uruguay.
Egypt full squad:
Goalkeepers - Sherif Ekramy, Essam El Hadary, Mohamed Elshenawy
Defenders - Mohamed Abdelshafy, Ayman Ashraf, Ahmed Elmohamady, Ahmed Fathi, Ali Gabr, Mahmoud Hamdy, Ahmed Hegazy, Samir Saad
Midfielders - Omar Gaber, Tarek Hamed, Sam Morsy, Abdalla Said, Trezeguet
Forwards - Kahraba, Marwan Mohsen, Mohamed Salah, Shikabala, Ramadan Sobhy, Amr Warda
Saudi Arabia full squad:
Goalkeepers - Yasser Almosailem, Abdullah Almuaiouf, Mohammed Alowais
Defenders - Ali Albulayhi, Mohammed Alburayk, Mansour Alharbi,Yasir Alshahrani, Motaz Hawsawi, Osama Hawsawi, Omar Othman
Midfielders - Salem Aldawsari, Salman Alfaraj, Taiseer Aljassam, Abdullah Alkhaibari, Abdulmalek Alkhaibri, Hussain Almoqahwi, Yahia Alsherhri, Hatan Bahbir, Mohamed Kanno, Abdullah Otayf
Forwards - Fahad Almuwallad, Mohamed Alsahlawi, Muhannad Asiri