Saudi Arabia directly qualify to the World Cup in Russia | Sports | Ammon News

Saudi Arabia directly qualify to the World Cup in Russia

[9/5/2017 2:54:28 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Saudi Arabia qualified to the world cup in Russia 2018 after beating Japan 1-0 in Jeddah after Fahad Al Muwalid struck home the lead.

The win secured the first Arab team in the Russia 2018 with Syria yet to play Australia in the play off for the fifthe seat. Egypt and Tunisia playing in the African Qualifiers are also close to seucring qualifications.

For five countries still vying for two direct spots at the next year’s World Cup, the Asian qualifying campaign has come down to 90 minutes.

Iran and Japan have already secured places at Russia 2018 as winners of Groups A and B but both countries still could have a role to play in which of their rivals.

Saudi Arabia needed a win by any score against Japan today at the King Abdulla Sport City in Jeddah to secure its return to the FIFA World Cup.

The win has become a must as Australia beat Thailand 2-1 on Tuesday.

Japan had already booked their ticket to Russia with a 2-0 win over Australia in Saitama on Thursday.

Squandered opportunities
The Saudi squad squandered its chances after suffering an upset defeat against the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia now has 16 points while Australia has 19, the same number of points that Saudi Arabia would have if it registers a win later today over Japan. This would mean the Saudis will secure its ticket to Russia as they have a superior goal difference of the two.

Saudi Arabia has not appeared at the World Cup since 2006 and will be hoping that Japan is still in a celebratory mood after clinching qualification. The Samurai Blue is without injured midfielders Shinji Kagawa of Borussia Dortmund and captain Makoto Hasebe of Eintracht Frankfurt.

*Al Arabiya

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