#AFCAsianCup2019 Lebanon 0-2 Saudi Arabia

Dubai: Saudi Arabia powered to a 2-0 victory over Lebanon on Saturday, placing the Green Falcons within sight of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Round of 16.

The win places Saudi Arabia on top of the Group E standings with six points, and they will seal their place in the knockout stage should DPR Korea not beat Qatar on Sunday.

Lebanon, defeated 2-0 by Qatar on Matchday One, will have to beat DPR Korea if they are to have a chance of advancing as one of the four best third-place teams.

In the all-West Asian affair at the Al Maktoum Stadium, Saudi Arabia took control of the match from the start, holding possession and forcing Lebanon to play on the counter-attack.

Saudi Arabia found their breakthrough in the 12th minute when they latched onto a defensive mistake.

The action began with Lebanon’s Joan Oumari’s back pass deflecting off teammate Robert Alexander Melki’s left boot, and the ball landed near Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Almuwalad, who half-volleyed home from close range.

Miodrag Radulovic’s Lebanon were undeterred and had two opportunities but Oumari failed to keep his header down in the 16th minute, while George Felix Melki just missed Hassan Maatouk’s free-kick eight minutes later.

The Cedars returned from the break with a spring in their step and and began pushing the Saudis back, but almost paid a price when Bahbri took a chance from almost 30 yards out which forced ‘keeper Mehdi Khalil into action.

Bahbri, who was a threat against DPR Korea in their group opener, turned provider in the 67th minute when the Al Shabab midfielder’s cross into the box found a sliding Hussain Almoqahwi who made it 2-0.

In their final group match on Thursday, Saudi Arabia will play Qatar in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City Stadium, while Lebanon face a must-win match against DPR Korea in Sharjah to keep their hopes of reaching the knockout stage alive.


Source : AFC Asian Football Confederation WEBSITE

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