Saudi Arabia win Olympic qualifier

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

Saudi Arabia beat Iraq 1-0 in Dammam on Wednesday to move a step closer to qualifying for the Olympic Games in Athens this August.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia beat Iraq 1-0 in Dammam on Wednesday to move a step closer to qualifying for the Olympic Games in Athens this August. The only goal of the Group C game came after 57 minutes through Naji Majrashi. Iraq striker Nashat Ali missed a penalty on 72 minutes after Jaber Hagawi had handled in the area. Saudi Arabia, which drew its first game of the Olympic Games qualifying tournament 0-0 with Kuwait, took on Group C leaders Iraq at the Prince Mohd bin Fahad Stadium in Dammam. The home side created the first clear opening of the game after 29 minutes. Saleh Al Dosari managed to get his shot on target, but his weak effort from long range was easily saved by the Iraq goalkeeper Noor Abbas. Iraq, who beat Oman 4-0 in their opening game, went on the counter-attack not long after and Emad Ridha forced a fine save from Saudi Arabiaa€™s keeper Saeid Al Harbi, who turned the shot around for a corner. The most spectacular effort of the first half came five minutes before the interval when Saudi striker Abdulrahman Albishi displayed great skill in controlling the ball and producing an acrobatic overhead kick which Noor Abbas tipped over for a corner. After a goalless first half, Saudi Arabia broke the deadlock with a goal on 57 minutes. Naji Majrashi capitalised on poor defending and produced some deft footwork to fire the home side into the lead from the edge of the area. Fifteen minutes later, Iraq were presented with the chance to get back into the game when defender Jaber Hagawi was adjudged to have handled in the area. Referee Abdulhamed Ebrahim had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and the replay appeared to prove his decision was the correct one. But Iraq wasted the opportunity to equalise when Nashat Ali blasted the ball wide of the goal and the lead of Danyal Romyu's side remained in tact to the end of the game and Saudi Arabia emerged 1-0 winners. (AP)

Topics : Football
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