Saudi National team under Mancini loses against Costa Rica

Saudi National team under Mancini loses against Costa Rica

Arabian Weekly report

NEWCASTLE — In their first match under the guidance of Italian coach Roberto Mancini, the Saudi national football team faced a challenging test against Costa Rica.

The friendly match, held at St. James’ Park in Newcastle on Friday concluded with Saudi Arabia falling short, losing 3-1 to Costa Rica.

Despite the ultimate loss, the Saudi team’s performance was far from disappointing.

In fact, the game showcased glimpses of potential, particularly in the second half, when the Saudi squad came tantalizingly close to finding the back of the net on multiple occasions.

Their efforts, however, were repeatedly denied by the exceptional goalkeeping skills of Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas.

Costa Rica seized control early in the match, netting two goals in the first half. The opening goal, scored by Calvo in the 12th minute, set the tone. Soon after, Ugalde added a second goal to Costa Rica’s tally.

Saudi Arabia managed to narrow the gap in the second half when Ali Al-Bulaihi executed a well-placed corner kick, finding the back of the net in the 68th minute.

However, Costa Rica cemented their victory with a third goal during the final moments of the match.

Roberto Mancini’s starting lineup included Nawaf Al-Aqidi as the goalkeeper, while the defensive line featured Saud Abdul Hamid, Hassan Tambakti, Ali Al-Bulaihi, and Yasser Al-Shahrani.

In the midfield, Abdullah Al-Khaibri, Mohammed Kanno, and Ali Hazazi played key roles, with Abdul Rahman Ghareeb and Salem Al-Dawsari taking on the attacking midfield positions. Firas Al-Buraikan led the Saudi Arabian attack.

Despite the defeat, the match provided valuable experience and insights for the Saudi national team as they continue to work under the guidance of their new coach, Roberto Mancini.

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