Saudi Arabia brush aside Lebanon on course for the Asian Cup second round

Sat, 2019-01-12 20:39

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia are almost certain of a place in the last 16 of the Asian Cup after a relatively simple 2-0 win over Lebanon.

Having impressed during their 4-0 opening win over North Korea there was much expectation that the Green Falcons could once again make a statement of intent in the UAE. They did not disappoint. 

A goal in each half was the least the Green Falcons deserved for a dominant performance at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. It was a measured, assured performance and one that suggests Juan Antonio Pizzi’s players can go far. 

Fahad Al-Muwallad slotted home on 12 minutes during an impressive first half for Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men. Hussain Al-Moqahwi doubled the lead in a scrappier second half. 

In truth Saudi Arabia rarely got out of third gear, simply because they did not have to. Coming in to the tournament Pizzi declared he was very happy with how the preparations had gone — the former Spain international revealing the squad was reaping the benefits of all being together for a continued stretch of time. 

With two wins from two, the Green Falcons lead Group E with six points and could advance with a game in hand if North Korea fails to beat Qatar on Sunday.

For anyone thinking Pizzi and Co’s 100 percent record bodes well for a tilt at the title the omens are very good. This is the Saudi Arabia have won their opening two games at the Asian Cup for the first time since 1996, when the Green Falcons last won the title.

After two defeats, Lebanon faces a must win against North Korea to have a chance to make it to the next round.

 

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Juan Antonio Pizzi confident Saudi Arabia can mount an Asian Cup title challengeHosts UAE beat India 2-0 to go top of Asian Cup group
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