Curse of the final minute? How Arab teams at World Cup have lost at 11th-hour

The next round of group stage matches start on Tuesday with Egypt taking on the hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg. (Reuters)

Tunisia was the last Arab team to open their campaign for the World Cup 2018. They fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat to England, which meant that all the Arab teams have lost their opening match so far.

Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi equalized from the spot at the 35 minute mark after England skipper Harry Kane scored for England in the 11th minute.

Kane again emerged to get his second goal at the 91st minute which all but guaranteed three points for the Three Lions.

This is the first World Cup to feature four Arab teams and all of their games had a similar theme: the opposition scoring in the final minutes to narrowly win the game.

Saudi Arabia was the first Arab team to feature as the played the opening game of the competition against hosts Russia which ended 5-0 in favor of the hosts.

Two of the five goals came after the 90 minute mark, which was the start of the curse.

The next victim was Egypt, who started the game without their star player Mohahmed Salah. They faced a lethal Uruguay side who played both their main strikers Edinson Cavani and Luis suarez, but the Pharohs were able to keep them at bay, until the 90th minute.

Uruguay were awarded a free kick on the right side of the box and Carlo Sanchez put a delicate cross into the middle of the box where Jose Gimenez was there to head it home.

The next team was Morocco who last played a World Cup game in France 98’. There were able have majority of the possession (67.8%) and overall dominated the game.

But, with virtually the last kick of the game, Iran won a free-kick and put a cross into the box which was met by Morocco’s Aziz Bouaddouz and made its way into the net for an own goal.

The next round of group stage matches start on Tuesday with Egypt taking on the hosts Russia in Saint Petersburg

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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