Not Bad

Just some random thoughts on the match. Not bad at all for the Saudi team. A 1-0 defeat on the hands of Spain’s bench is not what we were exactly looking for, but the performance is far better than that we have seen against Ukraine. Keep in mind Spain’s bench includes the likes of Raul, Reyes, Joaquin, Fabregas, and Canizares. The Spaniards, already qualified to the second stage, prepared themselves for an easier match, and did not expect this resistance by Saudis. Unlucky for the Sons of Desert, the solid midfielder Khalid Aziz, one of the best Saudi players in the tournament, had to leave the pitch after he was injured early in the first half.

Once again, the Saudi defence failed to deal properly with set-pieces, and lack of coordination between central backs and the goalkeeper continued in this match, but the performance of the keeper has notably improved. I think that our counter attacks could have been more efficient if we had Malek Mo’ath instead of Sa’ad Al Harthi up front in the first half, because the former is much faster and more aggressive.

Luis Aragones wanted to take more control of the match, so he brought in David Villa, Xavi, and Fernando Torres, but that was not enough to give him the effect he was looking for as the Saudis have become more confidant and started to push forward. They had some good chances, but could not make a serious threat against an experienced and solid Spanish defence. No comment on the referee.

One thought on “Not Bad

  1. Ahmed, sorry that you guys lost. I was wondering how it had gone as I do not watch soccer but I knew you guys were up against Spain. I have a question. Growing up in Holland, I know there were always many many soccer games in general, for all ages and then naturally, the big clubs (Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV etc). Do the Saudis get to play enough throughout the year and often enough abroad to even be a match for anyone? It sounds as if they do not get enough ‘outside’ soccer exposure. Through the Religious Policeman, I read what a hassle factor it was to get hotels approved (so as to keep ‘m safe from all those ‘haram’ influences, as if they’re not inside Saudi, but anyway) and the Germans did a lot to accomodate them (taking standard bibles out of hotel rooms etc). I get the feeling that the saudi team would benefit from playing different foreign soccer teams so as to learn other other ‘game plays’ on the field, rather than by learning it by watching or reading about it. What do you think?

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