Saudi Arabia suffer defeat against Italy as they prepare for Russia’s clash
Egypt World Cup opponents Saudi Arabia have suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat against Italy at the start of their preparations for 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The Saudis, who have been drawn in group A, will play the World Cup opening game against the hosts Russia, on the 14th of June, before playing Uruguay in their second game and then the Pharaohs in their final game of the group stages.
Mario Balotelli marked his return to the Italian National team after four years as he managed to break the deadlock on the 21st minute with a right-footed strike into the bottom right corner of the net to put the Italians in front.
In the 69th minute, Torino’s forward Andrea Belotti doubled the Azzurri’s lead after his header was saved by Saudi’s goalkeeper before turning the rebound into the net.
Three minutes later, Saudi Arabia managed to pull one back after a mistake from Davide Zappacosta that sent Yehya Al Shehri through on goal before dribbling past Gianluigi Donnaruma and finding an empty net.
The Saudis nearly equalised after an error from Dominico Criscito who gifted Fahd Al Muwallad the opportunity to score but his shot was cleared by Donnurouma to keep the result as it is until the final whistle.
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