Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Saudi Arabia Manager Praises 'Enormous' Improvement But Rues Defeat Against Uruguay

Saudi Arabia Manager Praises 'Enormous' Improvement But Rues Defeat Against Uruguay

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia face Uruguay in the second game of the group stage.

The result means hosts Russian Federation, who also won their two opening Group A games, will join Uruguay in the last 16, while pointless Egypt and Saudi Arabia make an early exit.

Luis Suarez marked his 100th cap with the victor as Uruguay qualified for the World Cup knockout stages with an unconvincing victory which eliminated opponents Saudi Arabia.

The Barcelona striker was rightly criticised after his dis-interested display against Egypt in the opening game.

Uruguay struck first in the 23rd minute with man of the match Suarez celebrating his centenary cap in style with his 52nd goal.

Besides scoring, Suarez led his team with a hard-working performance.

The three points and a last-16 spot should have been wrapped up just after the hour mark, but Sanchez headed over when unmarked at the back post from a wonderful Edinson Cavani cross.

"We are not playing the way we like, but as we have seen in the World Cup, what counts are the results". Defeat to Uruguay would send the Saudis home from the World Cup, but speaking in his pre-game press conference, Pizzi stressed the importance of his side giving a different image on the pitch, reported Xinhua news agency.

Uruguay continued to be wasteful in front of goal, as Martin Caceres sent a header flying off target from 33-year-old Sanchez's free-kick. "It's a lovely moment and we want to enjoy it", Suarez said. "We will have to match them for their quality and their energy".

Cavani almost made it 2-0 on a solo run through the opposing defense but his attempt was blocked by Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais.

"All we wanted to do was to win and qualify for the next round". Salah gives this team a slight edge and that should be the difference as they earn the win. In South Africa, we used all of our players apart from the reserve goalkeepers. Saudis were unable to get real chances, let alone a goal in their first two matches.

Hattan Babhir should have equalised for Saudi Arabia in the 27th minute with a chance inside the box but he shot over the crossbar while unmarked. "I know Diego is really committed, he has scored three goals in three matches". He also has nine goals in his last nine starts for Spain.

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