Saudi Arabia is the first Arab team to qualify for the World Cup in Russia

Qualification goal scorer Fahad al-Muwalad of Saudi Arabia fights for the ball with Yuto Nagatomo of Japan. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia has qualified to the world cup in Russia 2018 after beating Japan 1-0 in Jeddah.

Fahad al-Muwalad who came in as a substitute secured the win after scoring a screamer in to the top corner of the Japanese goal in the second half.

The goal came after intricate passing football allowed midfielder Nawaf al-Abed to slide through a sublime pass putting al-Muwalad in front of goal ahead of the backpeddling Japanese defenders.

Reuters

Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s coach, Dutch Bert van Marwijk, celebrated his side’s first world cup appearance since Germany 2006.

Iran and Japan have already secured places at Russia 2018 as winners of Groups A and B while South Korea secured the second position in Group A.

Saudi Arabia's win made them the first Arab team to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup with Syria yet to play Australia in the play off for the fifth Asian seat.

Egypt and Tunisia, who are playing in the African Qualifiers, are also close to securing spots in Russia after Egypt beat Uganda 1 - 0 and Tunisia Drew 2 - 2 with the Demcoratic Republic of Congo.

Syria clinched the third spot in Group A on Tuesday when Omar Al Soma’s late goal earned Ayman Hakeem’s side a dramatic draw with Iran that pushed Uzbekistan out of the playoff positions.

AFP

AFP


Syria took the lead in Tehran and became the first team to score against Iran in 13 qualification matches when Tamer Haj Mohamed netted from close range after Al Soma’s free kick had been fumbled by Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

A double from Sardar Azmoun looked to have given Iran all three points until Al Soma - playing only his second match for Syria since his return from a self-imposed exile - slid the ball through Beiranvand’s legs to level deep into stoppage time.

The draw meant Syria finished level on 13 points with Uzbekistan but took third place on goal difference.

(Reuters)

 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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