Saudi Arabia players at World Cup: Who represented the Kingdom against Argentina?

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Saudi Arabia made headlines worldwide on Tuesday after beating football giants Argentina in their first group play at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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The 2-1 win was celebrated around the globe as the underdogs put an end to South American team’s 36-match unbeaten record.

The players who represented the Kingdom during the historic match are as follows:

Salem al-Dawsari

Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates scoring their second goal. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia's Salem Al-Dawsari celebrates scoring their second goal. (Reuters)

Winger al-Dawsari made history on Tuesday when his goal in the 52nd minute of the Falcons’ match against Argentina brought the Saudi side to victory.

The 31-year-old not only clinched the win for his country, but became the second-ever Saudi player to score in two world cups, joining Sami al-Jaber, after he scored against Egypt in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup.

Al-Dawsari started off his career at Riyadh’s Al Shabab, before moving to Al Hilal.

He made his World Cup debut in 2018 where he scored two goals. If he scores a third this year, he will equal al-Jaber’s record for the most World Cup goals scored by a Saudi.

Saleh al-Shehri

Saudi Arabia's Saleh Al-Shehri celebrates scoring their first goal at the Qatar World Cup. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia's Saleh Al-Shehri celebrates scoring their first goal at the Qatar World Cup. (Reuters)

The 29-year old Saleh al-Shehri made his debut at the Portuguese S.C. Beira-Mar, where he stayed on for a year, reportedly on loan from the Al Ahli club.

There, in a match against Moreirense, he scored his first goal, with some reported saying that the event made him the first Saudi national to score in Europe. Al Arabiya English could not confirm this claim.

He plays in the forward striker position and scored one of two goals for Saudi Arabia in the match against Argentina on Tuesday.

Mohamed al-Owais

Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed al-Owais plays the ball against Argentina during a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Lusail Stadium. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed al-Owais plays the ball against Argentina during a group stage match during the 2022 World Cup at Lusail Stadium. (Reuters)

Saudi goalkeeper Mohamed al-Owais stunned spectators worldwide with a remarkable five saves, two claims, and 14 accurate passes during the Kingdom’s match against Argentina. The 31-year-old player’s movements were so spot on he won Player of the Match.

In an unfortunate incident during the heat of the game against Argentina, al-Owais accidentally collided with his teammate Yasser al-Shahrani who is now recovering from hospital.

While Tuesday’s game was his second time playing the World Cup – he first played in the tournament when it was held in Russia in 2018 – al-Owais started his career 10 years ago at Saudi Arabia’s Al-Shabab and now plays for Al-Hilal.

Yasser al-Shahrani

Saudi Arabia's Yasser al-Shahrani at Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar on November 22, 2022. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia's Yasser al-Shahrani at Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar on November 22, 2022. (Reuters)

Saudi defender Yasser al-Shahrani has had an impressive football career so far. The 30-year-old first began drawing attention during his performance at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, where he scored against Guatemala.

Al-Shahrani was injured in a gruesome clash with Saudi goalie Mohamed al-Owais that left him with a fractured jaw, broken facial bones, and internal bleeding.

The defender was transported to a hospital in Doha, and onwards to Riyadh, and is currently stable.

The player moved from Al-Qadsiyah Club to Al-Hilal in 2012 and was selected to represent Saudi Arabia in the Kingdom’s final squad in the 2018 World Cup.

Feras al-Brikan

Argentina's Lisandro Martinez in action with Saudi Arabia's Feras Al Brikan. (Reuters)
Argentina's Lisandro Martinez in action with Saudi Arabia's Feras Al Brikan. (Reuters)

Striker al-Brikan made his first World Cup appearance against Argentina on Tuesday. He played the majority of the match before being substituted by Haitham Asiri in the 88th minute.

The 22-year-old plays for the Al Ahsa-based Al Fateh. He previously played for Riyadh’s Al Nassr.

He has netted 15 goals in his senior career with Al Fateh, as well as four goals when playing for Al Nassr.

Salman al-Faraj

Saudi Arabia's midfielder Salman Al-Faraj kicks the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 25, 2018. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia's midfielder Salman Al-Faraj kicks the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group A football match between Saudi Arabia and Egypt at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd on June 25, 2018. (AFP)

The 33-year-old midfielder is the Saudi national team’s captain and the lead for the Riyadh-based football club Al-Hilal. He has previously represented the Saudi national team in the Russian World Cup in 2018.

Al-Faraj was not a part of the team’s last few games. His presence was reportedly missed in the middle-field during those games, reports said.

He has previously played against Argentina, Poland and Mexico – experience that is thought to have translated into Saudi Arabia’s win against the Messi-led team on Tuesday.

“The left-footed player takes on average one shot per game, produces on average 2.1 dangerous passes in behind the defense per game (including crosses, through balls, and long balls), as well as breaking up on average 1.6 opponents’ attacks,” according to information supplied by FIFA.

Al-Faraj was injured for three weeks at the beginning of the year but reportedly rediscovered his best form against China in the AFC qualifiers. He also played a vital role in helping Al-Hilal reclaim the title in the Saudi Professional League.

Abdulelah al-Malki

Saudi Arabia's Abdulellah Al-Malki at the Qatar World Cup. (Twitter)
Saudi Arabia's Abdulellah Al-Malki at the Qatar World Cup. (Twitter)

Abdulelah al-Malki, 28 year-old midfielder for the Saudi national team has been a part of 25 FIFA matches.

For five years from 2014, al-Malki has been with the Al-Wehda club. He played a key role in earning the club a promotion to the Pro League, according to reports.

He later joined Al Ittihad in 2019 until moving to Al Hilal in 2021.

In last season's Pro League, al-Malki appeared in 26 games for Al Ittihad, scored two goals and provided three assists, according to Soccerway.

He is now reportedly on a four-year contract with Al Hilal.

Saud Abdulhamid

Argentina's Nicolas Tagliafico in action with Saudi Arabia's Saud Abdulhamid. (Reuters)
Argentina's Nicolas Tagliafico in action with Saudi Arabia's Saud Abdulhamid. (Reuters)

Saud Abdulhamid, 23, plays the defender position for the Saudi Arabia’s national football team. He is a part of the Al Hilal Saudi Club.

He has played one season with the U20 and U23 representing Saudi Arabia, two seasons with the Al Hilal Club and one season with Al Ittihad club, according to ESPN.

So far, he has 21 FIFA matches to his name and one FIFA goal.

He represented Saudi Arabia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

After he was selected for the FIFA World Cup to represent the Saudi team, he sent out the following tweet: "Representing your country in the World Cup is the dream of many children. Today I am proud to represent my country, Saudi Arabia.”

Mohamed Kanno

Saudi Arabia's midfielder #23 Mohamed Kanno controls the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 22, 2022. (AFP)
Saudi Arabia's midfielder #23 Mohamed Kanno controls the ball during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group C football match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on November 22, 2022. (AFP)

Mohamed Kanno is representing Saudi Arabia in the World Cup for the first time. The midfielder had qualified for the Kingdom’s preliminary squad in the global tournament in 2018.

In 2017, Kanno moved to Al-Hilal from Ettifaq on a five-year contract.

Hassan al-Tambakti

Argentina's Lionel Messi in action with Saudi Arabia's Hassan Al-Tambakti. (Reuters)
Argentina's Lionel Messi in action with Saudi Arabia's Hassan Al-Tambakti. (Reuters)

Al-Tambakti appeared during the Falcons’ historic match, playing center-back. The 23-year-old played the entire 90 minutes and made a total of 24 successful passes.

He signed his first contract with Al Shabab in May 2018, and was loaned out to Mecca’s Al-Wehda.

The defender scored two goals in his under-20 career at national level. Tuesday was his first World Cup appearance.

Ali al-Bulaihi

Al Hilal's defender Ali al-Bulaihi sprinkles water as he celebrates his team's victory after the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup quarter-final football match between Hilal and Esperance de Tunis at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on December 14, 2019. (AFP)
Al Hilal's defender Ali al-Bulaihi sprinkles water as he celebrates his team's victory after the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup quarter-final football match between Hilal and Esperance de Tunis at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on December 14, 2019. (AFP)

Ali al-Bulaiha is representing Saudi Arabia at the FIFA World Cup for the second time. The 33-year-old defender – who held the same position during the tournament in Russia – has been playing for the Al-Hilal Club since 2017.

Al-Bulaiha started his career at the Al-Amal Club in 2011, before playing for Al-Nahda in 2014, and joining Al-Fateh in 2015.

Mohammed al-Burayk

Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Al Burayk in action with Argentina's Lionel Messi. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Al Burayk in action with Argentina's Lionel Messi. (Reuters)

Right back Mohammed al-Burayk got his cap during the Argentina game when he came on in the final few minutes, replacing Yasser al-Shahrani who was badly injured when goalkeeper Mohammed al-Owais crashed into him when blocking a shot.

Thirty-year-old al-Burayk plays for Al Hilal, and was part of Saudi Arabia’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Haitham Asiri

Saudi's forward Haitham Asiri runs with the ball during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 group C football match between Saudi Arabia and Jordan at the Education City Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan on December 1, 2021. (AFP)
Saudi's forward Haitham Asiri runs with the ball during the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 group C football match between Saudi Arabia and Jordan at the Education City Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan on December 1, 2021. (AFP)

Asiri, 21, also came on as a late substitute when he replaced striker Feras al-Brikan in the 88th minute.

The Riyadh native is a winger for Al Ahli, and Tuesday was his first World Cup appearance.

Abdulelah al-Amri

 Saudi Arabia's Abdulelah Al-Amri in action with Ricardo Pepi of the US. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia's Abdulelah Al-Amri in action with Ricardo Pepi of the US. (Reuters)

25-year-old al-Amri made a late appearance by replacing Nawaf al-Abid in the 87th minute.

He has played for the Kingdom’s senior national team since 2019 when he appeared at the AFC Cup, and has played at the under-20 and under-23 levels.

Al-Amri also captained the Saudi under-20 team at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup.

Sultan al-Ghannam

Saudi Arabia's Sultan Al Ghannam arrives in Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia's Sultan Al Ghannam arrives in Doha for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. (Reuters)

Al-Ghannam replaced goal scorer Saleh al-Shehri in the 77th minute, after the striker was injured.

28-year-old al-Ghannam plays as right back for Riyadh’s Al Nassr, and previously played for Al Faisaly and Al Zulfi.

Nawaf al-Abid

Argentina's Julian Alvarez in action with Saudi Arabia's Nawaf Al Abid. (Reuters)
Argentina's Julian Alvarez in action with Saudi Arabia's Nawaf Al Abid. (Reuters)

Al-Abid was brought on in the 48th minute to replace Salman al-Faraj due to an injury. The 32-year-old winger spent 39 minutes on the pitch before he was substituted by Abdulelah al-Amri.

Al-Abid plays at home for Al Shabab, having moved there after spending most of his career at Al Hilal.

Read more:

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