FIFA WC | Monday 7.30 PM: Saudi, Egypt Try Not to Finish Last
A disappointing end to the tournament, in particular for Egypt and its usually prolific striker Mohamed Salah
Saudi Arabia and Egypt will be striving to avoid finishing last in Group A as they bow out of the World Cup on Monday. This is a disappointing end to the tournament, in particular for Egypt and its usually prolific striker Mohamed Salah.
Both teams lost their first two games and now they can salvage the situation only if they manage to not finish last in the group.
For Saudi Arabia, the match also offers the possibility of a first goal in the tournament in Russia.
Egypt, which is making its first World Cup appearance after 1990, had been tipped to advance into the knockout rounds after looking strong in the qualifiers.
But they narrowly lost to Uruguay (1-0) in their opening match; Salah missed it as he had just recovered from his Champions League final injury. Egypt then went down 3-1 against the host Russia.
Salah has been pivotal to Egypt, scoring 71 percent of the team's goals during qualification and claiming its solitary strike of the tournament, so far, against the Russians.
Despite scoring from the penalty shot, Salah looked like he was still reeling from his injury.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) President Hany Abo Rida was quoted by local media as saying that Salah would not be leaving the World Cup early despite his team's elimination.
While there is little at stake for the two countries in Monday's match, Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary will be desperate to be on the field in order to enter the World Cup record books as the oldest player to compete at the finals.
The 45-year-old goalkeeper was left out of the previous two games. Coach Hector Cuper has to decide whether to hand him the gloves for what will surely be his last appearance at the tournament.
(For complete FIFA World Cup 2018 coverage, click here to visit our special WC page.)
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