Saudi Arabia have continued their successful Asian Cup campaign and reached the semi-finals with a tough win over Uzbekistan in Jakarta. Yassir al-Qahtani and Ahmed al-Mousa scored for Saudi Arabia while Pavel Solomin scored Uzbekistan’s only goal.
Our team took the lead very early as the third minute saw Abdul-Rahman al-Qahtani makes a long run in the left flank and sends a low cross into the box. The Uzbek goalkeeper touched the ball to deflect it away from Malek, but Yassir was quick on the rebound and scored the opening goal.
Despite the early goal, Saudis have failed to build on that lead and had to undergo a heavy pressure for the next 30 minutes, but the Saudi defenders and keeper performed excellently to prevent the Uzbek from equalizing. Yassir had an easy chance to double his team’s lead but his shot went just wide.
Not much has changed in the second half as Uzbekistan continued their quest to score but were denied. However, they have become more and more frustrated as they failed to do that. This frustration and the desire to equalize have caused them to leave more spaces behind, and Taiseer, al-Bahri and Ahmed al-Mousa managed to get decent chances.
It was al-Mousa who started a beautiful move passing the ball to Aziz, to Yassir, and back to al-Mousa who cornered the ball elegantly to the right of the Uzbek keeper with fifteen minutes to go. Uzbekistan scored their goal six minutes later by Solomin due to some poor marking in the box, but Saudis finally emerged victorious and advanced to the semi-finals where they will face title holders Japan on Wednesday.
P.S. Don’t miss the gorgeous Saudi team wallpaper designed by my friend Bandar Raffah.