Al-Dawsari hails Saudi spirit after first World Cup win since 1994

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Salem Al-Dawsari was beaming with pride after his Saudi Arabia came from behind to beat Egypt 2-1 in their final game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Having already been eliminated ahead of Monday’s game in Volgograd, it initially looked as though the Green Falcons would be falling to a third straight defeat as they fell behind to Mohamed Salah’s opener.

However, they produced a stirring fightback as Salman Al-Faraj equalised from the spot just before halftime, before a clinical first-time strike by Salem Al-Dawsari in the 95th minute sealed a come-from-behind win.

“Every one of our players today [Monday] put on an impressive performance, even though a few of them were playing at the World Cup for the first time,” said the Al Hilal attacker, according to the Asian Football Confederation’s official website.

“We played with a lot of spirit and fight and I think we deserved to win because we were the better side.”

Saudi Arabia certainly came a long way from their 5-0 defeat to hosts Russia in the opening match, restoring some pride in a narrow 1-0 loss to Uruguay prior to beating Egypt – their first World Cup win since 1994.

For Al-Dawsari, it also marked a successful debut World Cup campaign as he showed glimpses of quality throughout their three group matches.

“Personally, I’m very proud that I managed to score today in the World Cup and that we were able to finish the tournament with a victory.”

Saudi Arabia have now won three matches in the history of the World Cup, with their previous two coming in 1994 when they memorably reached the Round of 16 before being eliminated by Sweden.