World Cup 2018: Saudi Arabia score, schedule, complete squad, TV and live stream, players to watch
The Saudi Arabian national team will be making its fifth appearance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
The 2018 World Cup is underway. CBS Sports will have you covered for each game, all the important news and more, as well as profiles of all of the teams.
Is it possible to fail to qualify for the World Cup yet still make it? That's exactly what Juan Antonio Pizzi did. The manager couldn't get Chile to the 2018 World Cup in CONMEBOL's qualifying, but he'll be in Russia leading the Saudi Arabia national team in Group A.
Pizzi's side stumbled out of the gate in the opening match, suffering a 5-0 loss to host nation Russia.
World Cup appearances: Five
Best finish: Round fo 16 in 1994
Last World Cup: 2006
Goalkeepers: Assaf Al-Qarny (Al-Ittihad), Mohammed Al-Owais (Al Ahli), Yasser Al-Musailem (Al Alhi), Abdullah Al-Mayuf (Al Hilal).
Defenders: Mansoor Al-Harbi (Al Ahli), Yasser Al-Shahrani (Al Hilal) Mohammed Al-Breik (Al HIlal), Saeed Al-Mowalad (Al Ahli), Motaz Hawsawi (Al Ahli), Osama Hawsaw (Al Hilal), Omar Hawsawi (Al Nassr), Mohammed Jahfali (Al Hilal), Ali Al-Bulaihi (Al Hilal).
Midfielders: Abdullah Al-Khaibari (Al Shabab), Abdulmalek Al-Khaibri (Al Hilal), Abdullah Otayf (Al Hilal), Taiseer Al-Jassim (Al Ahli), Houssain Al-Mogahwi (Al Ahli), Salman Al-Faraj, Nawaf Al-Abed, Mohamed Kanno (all Al Hilal), Hattan Bahebri (Al Shabab), Mohammed Al-Kwikbi (Al Ettifaq), Salem Al-Dawsari (Villarreal, Spain), Yehya Al-Shehri (Leganes, Spain).
Forwards: Fahad Al-Muwallad (Levante, Spain), Mohammad Al-Sahlawi (Al Nassr), Muhannad Assiri (Al Ahli).
Striker Mohamed Al-Sahlawi of Al-Nassr. He's a prolific scorer who can put the ball away in a variety of ways. Now, he isn't a world beater by any imagination, but he's a hard-working player who doesn't need much space to make an impact.
Player to watch
Fahad Al-Muwallad. The young winger had such a promising start to his career that European clubs were interested in him, having joined Levante this year on loan. But he's found chances hard to come by in Spain, so whether he has had enough minutes to be a starter remains to be seen. If he can play, he can do some damage. He's short at 5-foot-6, but he's speedy and does well keeping the ball close to his feet. He may be looked at as a guy to send balls into Al-Sahlawi or work combinations with him on the counter.
If this were any other group, they probably wouldn't have a chance. And they still aren't likely to get four points from Russia and Egypt, but there's always the element of unpredictability. Their most likely victory is probably against Egypt, though I don't expect them to win a game at the tournament. If they can compete in the group, it will be a good tournament for them. All that comes to mind when I think about Saudi Arabia and World Cup is back in 2002. I recall waking up one morning with my dad to watch Germany and the Saudis play. That game ended 8-0 to the Germans and has been engraved in my mind. For that reason, I fear another tough tournament for this team. We'll see if they can prove me wrong.
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