Saudi Arabia, Egypt deadlocked 1-1 at halftime

A goal by Mohamed Salah and a penalty by Salman Al-Faraj for Saudi restored parity.

Egypt's Mohamed Salah   -  Getty Images

It was tale of a stupendous strike and two penalty opportunities as Egypt and Saudi Arabia were deadlocked 1-1 at halftime in their final Group A league match on Monday.

It was talismanic striker Mohamed Salah who put Egypt ahead with a stupendous goal in the 22nd minute while Salman Al-Faraj scored for Saudi Arabia, in its second penalty opportunity.

Both the teams are out of contention for the next stage of the World Cup but that didn't deter the teams from putting an excellent display on the field.

It was Saudi which looked the better side for the first 20 minutes untill the Egypt striker struck. Salah, controlled a long ball with excellent precision and lobbed it over Saudi goalkeeper Al-Mosailem to score the opener. Minutes later, he fluffed a similar chance when his looped shot flew over the target.

The goal pegged Saudi Arabia back and it looked like it never recovered. Just past the half hour mark, it was Egypt's goalkeeper El-Hadary, the oldest player of the tournament, who got into the act with excellent saves to deny the Saudi Arabian strikers.

In the 39th minute, Egypt's Ahmed Fathi handled the ball in the box and it gave a life line for Saudi but an acrobatic save by El-Hadary kept the resulting penalty, taken by Fahad, off target.

Saudi crawled back in the added time of the first half through its second penalty opportunity.