Volgograd (Russia), June 26: Saudi Arabia scored a late winner to beat Egypt 2-1 in the last game of the 2018 World Cup finals for both sides to allow them to travel home on a high note.
Mohamed Alburayk slotted home from a narrow-angle to give the Saudis the win their attacking play in the second half of the game deserved, reported Xinhua news agency.
Although the Volgograd Arena was only around two-thirds full, the game kicked off with a good atmosphere in the stands and both teams looked to move the ball around quickly, although without creating clear chances.
Saudi midfielder Salem Aldawsawi had the first shot, although his effort sailed over the goal defended by El Hadary, who aged 45 became the oldest player ever to appear in the final stage of the World Cup.
Salah opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, racing through the middle to lob the ball over Yasser Almosailem and he should have doubled the lead three minutes later only to chip wide with just the keeper to beat.
Salah twice set up Treziguet to shoot just wide, before a good block from Ahmed Hegazy denied Salaman Alfaraj at the other end in a rare Saudi chance.
El Hadary saved a 41st-minute penalty from Fahad Almuwallad after Ahmed Fathi was penalized for handball.
The 45-year-old got across brilliantly to save Fahad’s spot kick, but couldn’t deny Alfaraj deep into first-half injury time after the Saudis were awarded another penalty after a slight pull on Fahad as he went for a pass in the Egypt area.
The second half was an open affair with Saudi Arabia seeing more of the ball only to spoil some attractive football with their poor finishing and when they did get efforts on target, Hassain Almoqhawi and Motaz Hawsawi were denied by good stops from El Hadary.
The game looked destined for a draw but at the death up popped Alburayk with his decisive goal to break Egypt and El Hadary’s hearts.