Lebanon 0 Saudi Arabia 2: Fahad strikes again for Pizzi's side

Fahad Al Muwallad scored for the second successive game as three-time winner Saudi Arabia continued to impress at the Asian Cup.

Fahad Al Muwallad celebrates scoring at the 2019 Asian Cup.   -  Francois Nel/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia booked its place in the Asian Cup knockout stages as it made it two wins from two in Group E with a 2-0 triumph over Lebanon on Saturday. 

Fahad Al Muwallad scored for the second successive game for Juan Antonio Pizzi’s impressive side, which brushed aside 10-man North Korea 4-0 in its opener at this year’s tournament. 

A beneficial break off a Lebanon defender teed up Fawad to smash home the loose ball with his right foot, the ball flashing beyond goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil before he had time to react. 

Saudi Arabia doubled the lead in the 67th minute, Hussain Almoqahwi poking home from close range, as it recorded back-to-back victories at an Asian Cup for the first time since 1996 - the year it last went on to be crowned champion.

 

Lebanon will regret its failure to take opportunities when only a goal behind, Joan Oumari wasting the best of them when he planted a free header from a corner wide of the target.

George Felix Melki also failed to make contact with a free-kick from deep when at full stretch, letting Saudi Arabia off the hook again towards the end of an open first half. 

Lebanon remained in contention after the break thanks to its goalkeeper, with Khalil spectacularly denying Hatan Bahbri’s long-range strike before showing his bravery to rush out and deny Fawad. 

However, Almoqahwi converted Bahbri’s teasing left-footed delivery from Saudi Arabia’s right flank to wrap up the points.

The three-time winner conclude its group fixtures with a clash against Qatar, who first take on North Korea on Sunday, in what could be a head-to-head battle to finish top of the table.

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