Saudi Arabia defeat Yemen to widen lead ahead of Uzbekistan clash

Saudi Arabia went into this game looking for a third consecutive win to further consolidate their grip at the top of the group, and they duly delivered in expert fashion as the game was put to bed in the first half with relative ease.

It took just four minutes for the hosts to open the scoring through Al Hilal’s Salem Al Dawsari who dispossessed Ala Addin Mahdi as he received a crossed pass and dribbled into the area before launching the ball into the middle of the net.

Twelve minutes later, Saudi Arabia doubled their lead with an exquisite goal that started with Saleh Al Shehri picking Fahad Al Muwallad out with a through pass, with the Ittihad forward messing up his first touch, he turned and curved the ball into the net to make it 2-0.

Salem Al Dawsari-Saudi Arabia v Yemen-Asian Qualifiers

The three-time AFC Asian Cup champions almost added a third later in the half, when Sultan Al Ghannam flashed down the right flank and crossed the ball agonisingly close to the goal line, both Al Shehri and captain Salman Al Faraj missed their tap-ins.

Al Muwallad doubled his personal tally and scored his country’s third when Yemeni goalkeeper Mohammed Ayash failed to catch Abdulelah Al Malki’s header from a corner, as the ball fell to the prolific Al Muwallad who tapped in.

Fahad Al Muwallad-Saudi Arabia v Yemen-Asian Qualifiers

Herve Renard’s men kept up the pressure throughout the second half but couldn’t add to their goal tally, with Al Dawsari, Al Shehri and Al Muwallad all coming close to extending their lead and Yemen posing little to no threat throughout the 90 minutes.

Saudi Arabia are comfortable at the top of Group D with this win that leaves them on 14 points, five ahead of Uzbekistan in second place. Yemen stay at the bottom on five points, and face Uzbekistan next while Saudi Arabia entertain Singapore in the penultimate Matchday of the group.

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