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Saturday, 15 December 2018

Egypt's World Cup opponents Saudi Arabia lose 4-1 to Iraq in friendly

Ahram Online , Wednesday 28 Feb 2018
 Saudi Arabia
File photo of Saudi Arabia's national team (Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat by Iraq in friendly in Basra on Wednesday as they kicked off their preparations for the summer's World Cup in Russia.

The Saudis were drawn in the same group with Egypt at the World Cup. The Arab rivals will also face South American powerhouses Uruguay and hosts Russia.

Saudi defender Saed Al-Rabeai scored an own goal, giving the hosts a 21st-minute lead before midfielder Emad Mohsen doubled Iraq's advantage three minutes before the break.

Forward Mohanad Ali made it 3-0 on the stroke of halftime and scored again in the 71st minute to complete the rout.

Midfielder Hassan Moaz scored a consolation for Saudi Arabia in the 57th minute.

Saudi Arabia played the game in Basra to support Iraqi's request that FIFA lift a ban preventing the country from hosting competitive international matches since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia defeated Moldova 3-0 in Jeddah on Monday in a game that witnessed the debut of the team's new coach Antonio Pizzi of Argentina, who took over at the Arab Gulf side in November, succeeding Edgardo Bauza.   

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