Sunday, May 19, 2024

With a loss… Mancini begins his career as coach of the Saudi national team


Italian Roberto Mancini began his career as coach of the Saudi national team with a 1-3 loss to Costa Rica on Friday as part of the “green” preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the 2024 Asian Cup finals. .

Al-Akhtar’s lone goal was scored by Ali Al-Bulaihi (68), while Costa Rica’s hat-trick goals were scored by Francisco Calvo (12), Brandon Aguilera (32) and Randall Lyall (89).

Mancini (age 58), replaced by Luciano Spalletti, shocked the football world in general, and Italy in particular, by deciding to step down as coach of his country’s national team, which he led to win the European Championship in the summer of 2021. Cup after defeating England on penalties at Wembley.

Days after Mancini’s resignation, the Saudi federation announced a four-year contract with him, while press reports said his salary would reach 30 million euros a year.

The match, held at the Newcastle English club’s St James’ Park ground, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund, was attended by Saudi Arabian fans, most of whom were students studying there.

Quickly, the Costa Rican national team opened the scoring when Calvo rose to a cross from the pre-kick and headed it into the goal (12).

Costa Rica almost doubled the score if it weren’t for the brilliance of Hassan Timbukti, who replaced goalkeeper Nawaf Al-Aqidi and cleared the ball into the goal (15). Dosari’s ball collides with the defender (27) and goes over the crossbar.

Costa Rica added a second goal when Aguilera followed up a cross from the right by Nawaf Al-Aqidi (32), and Al-Akhtar was close to reducing the deficit without the brilliance of goalkeeper Keylor Nawaz. He blocked balls from Mohammad Khanu and then Salem Al-Dosari (39).

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In the second half, Nawaf Al-Aqidi saved his goal from the third goal, he intercepted a dangerous ball and caught two passes (56), Ali Al-Bulaihi intervened at the right time and blocked a dangerous ball (61) . Nawaz continued his form before hitting Salem Al-Dosari’s ball onto the crossbar (67).

From the same corner, “Al-Akhtar” succeeded in scoring, Firaz Al-Brayqan prepared a ball for the defender Ali Al-Bulaihi, who took it into the goal (68).

Had it not been for Nawaz’s brilliance to block Salem Al-Dosari’s ball (73), the Saudis would have been adjusted as the “Green” team intensified their attacks in pursuit of an equaliser. To do so, but substitute Fahad Al-Muallad’s header went over the crossbar (88).

Costa Rica were able to add a third goal with a minute to go and due to some defensive play, Randall Lyall snatched the ball, faced the goal and sent it powerfully to Al-Aqidi’s right.

Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
"Explorer. Problem solver. Certified reader. Incurable web expert. Subtly charming travel guru. General student. Twitter evangelist."

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