Juan Antonio Pizzi happy with Saudi Arabia progress despite Jordan draw

daniel fountain
Wed, 2018-11-21 17:49

LONDON: Juan Antonio Pizzi said he was happy with his players and satisfied with Asian Cup preparations after Saudi Arabia earned a 1-1 draw with Jordan this week.
The Green Falcons were pedestrian in a goalless first half but Fahad Al-Mouloud’s goal broke the deadlock in Amman before Jordan’s Ahmed Samer equalized for the home team.
Pizzi said: “I am satisfied with the result in general, it was a tough and competitive game, but we controlled most of the game.
“The level of opponent was more important to me than the performance, as although it was a friendly, it is part of our training stages for the Asian Cup,” he added.
Pizzi said it was good to play a team with a different style to his Saudi Arabia side.
“We a play a style that suits us, all about winning back the ball and putting passes together in the middle. Jordan play more of a high-ball game.
“In general, I am satisfied with what we offered, because we managed to control and play a lot of the game in the opponent’s half.”
The match served as a decent warm-up for the Asian Cup in January where Saudi Arabia will face Lebanon, North Korea and Qatar.
As well as a win over Yemen last week, the Green Falcons have had a strong preparation for the tournament in the UAE in January — with a 2-2 draw with Bolivia and a good performance against Brazil in Riyadh last month.
And the success of the U-19s earlier this month bodes well for Saudi Arabian football, something that AFC Technical Director Andy Roxburgh told Arab News earlier this month that will develop the national team in the future.
Elsewhere, the UAE continued their own Asian Cup preparations with a 2-0 win over Yemen in Dubai, with Al-Sharjah’s Said Rashid opening the scoring in the first half and Ali Salmeen of Al-Wasl sealing the win with a goal midway through the second half.
Meanwhile, an ill-tempered match in Rades saw Morocco seal an away win in Tunisia, with Youssef En Nesyri, who plies his trade at Spanish club Leganes, getting the only goal of the game in the first half, to seal Morocco’s first win in Rades in their history.

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