PBP Thread: Match #1, Russia vs Saudi Arabia, 14 June 2018 [R]

Discussion in 'GROUP A: Russia, Uruguay, Egypt, Saudi Arabia' started by Val1, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    That guy #5 in the Saudi defense, how is that guy a pro player?

    Terrible positioning in each of the goals.
     
  2. Bran

    Bran Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    Nijmegen
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Yeah I can understand you on that part. The coach is probably also the reason why they suck so bad.. I guess you as a Chilean
    Quite incredible that a coach that managed to crash out with such a talented Chile squad gets a job for a team that will play on the world cup.
     
  3. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One thought I had on the match, though: often, in these blowouts, it's easier to pick out standout players on the losing team, because you can identify the two or three players who don't look out of their depth.

    For Saudi Arabia today, that was their left back Al-Shahrani (#13), who hit some beautiful long diagonal balls, mostly to Al-Shehri (#8) on the right wing, the one other Saudi player who looked decent. Al-Shehri did admirably for being stuck on an island.

    Their center mid Otayf (#14) was not bad with the ball either, but it seems obvious he's not the right man for the #6 role. He was often nowhere to be seen when his team was defending.
     
  4. Brasitusa

    Brasitusa Member+

    AC Milan
    Italy
    May 14, 2014
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Joining late; I was at work and only now managed to watch the game on DVR. I found the opening ceremony to be very weak and disappointing, with no real display of Russia's strong culture. What a missed opportunity!

    As for the game, I'm impressed with the accuracy of finishing displayed by Russia. Some superb goals. Sure, the opposition wasn't that good, but boosted by being the hosts and finishing so well, it is not excluded that the Russians will over-perform the low expectations.
     
  5. Brasitusa

    Brasitusa Member+

    AC Milan
    Italy
    May 14, 2014
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Hi, Christina, long time no see! How have you been?
     
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  6. almango

    almango Member+

    Sydney FC
    Australia
    Nov 29, 2004
    Bulli, Australia
    Club:
    Sydney FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Australia
    Actually we are Asia's 5th team in terms of qualifying. These guys finished in front of us.
     
  7. Christina99

    Christina99 Member+

    Sep 22, 2013
    Buenos Aires
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Hi, ready to fail again in a WC! How are you? I think your team is way better than mine this time:p:)
     
  8. monere

    monere Guest

    you're asking too much from a 3rd world country in football. Seriously., nations like Saudi Arabia have many limits in their tactics, so don't be so surprised at their lack of... um... of many things
     
  9. hammad_friend

    hammad_friend Member

    Dec 26, 2005
    Dubai, Karachi
    Club:
    Al Hilal Riyadh
    Nat'l Team:
    Saudi Arabia
    the # 5 is Umar Howsawi and he lacks any footballing sense when it comes to pressure games... See how many times he played sloppy football and gifted the ball to opposition in his own half... Also, his passing were either too sloppy, without direction, or very slow.

    From Saudi side, # 18 was the player on the field along with # 13.
     
  10. Brasitusa

    Brasitusa Member+

    AC Milan
    Italy
    May 14, 2014
    Club:
    New York City FC
    OH NO, this makes me nervous. I'd rather be the underdogs. Yes, you've been messy lately, but one never knows, once the Cup starts. Sometimes the favorites falter and the non-favorites thrive.

    Both our teams got traumatized in 2014. We did, given the 7-1 fiasco, and you did, given the tantalizing closeness to the ultimate objective, but without getting it.

    Better luck to South American football this time! I'll be rooting for Peru, Uruguay, and Colombia to do well, too. There's been too much dominance of European football, lately. South America needs to recover its strength.

    I'm good, thanks. Looking forward to an entertaining cup, and to enjoying the rivalry, with civility. Too bad that my two other teams (USA, Italy) did not make it.
     
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  11. Smoga

    Smoga Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    I think you have to go back to Haiti or Zaire in 1974 to find a worse team than Saudi Arabia. That a team with absolutely no defense, a playground goalkeeper (by that I mean a guy that always gets chosen last and gets put in goal because he sucks so bad), and extremely wasteful, amateurish possession is in the World Cup means that there really is something wrong with the selection process. And gets blown away by a weak Russia team. What a joke.
     
  12. Christina99

    Christina99 Member+

    Sep 22, 2013
    Buenos Aires
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    I hope you root for us, too:p! If Brasil gets to the final with a non southamerican, Ill be rooting for you! Plus, i love brazilian football.
     
  13. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #288 Elninho, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    El Salvador in '82?

    As for Saudi Arabia... they're in the World Cup because Australia underperformed. It's surprising to me that they qualified, seeing as they haven't even gotten out of the Asian Cup group stage since 2007, and their player pool is arguably the weakest it's been since the early 1990s. They haven't even won the Gulf Cup, which with their population they should dominate easily, since 2004.
     
  14. legendofzola

    legendofzola Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Cape Breton
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Canada
    I'll try and stick with the positives...Russia have a platform now...an opportunity to get a result against Egypt and go through.

    The less we see of the Saudi's the better
     
  15. Brasitusa

    Brasitusa Member+

    AC Milan
    Italy
    May 14, 2014
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Thanks, that's nice of you.

    Yes, similarly, if Argentina gets to the final against a non-South American, I'll root for Argentina (I did, last time against Germany). Most Brazilians will never understand my stance, but I stand behind it. I am for Brazil first, and I do acknowledge that given the rivalry with Argentina, I want them to do poorly just because rivalries are a big part of the enjoyment in sports... except if it is against a non-South American, because I'm for Brazil first, but South America second.

    Another thing that makes me have this stance is that I have several excellent Argentine friends. Quality people. Nice and educated, classy, and polite. I love them.

    So I just had this discussion in the Brazil section of BigSoccer, where this guy was saying that *all* Argentines are arrogant and contemptuous... and I was saying, "how can you generalize like this? I know several fabulous Argentines."

    So the guy got all nasty, said "I don't owe you an explanation" and so on and so forth.

    Me, I think the Argies are "hermanos..." Brothers. I love Buenos Aires; for me, arguably the best South American city. I have not one, not two, but eight excellent Argentine close friends.

    I love tango, I love the culture, I think their women are sexy and pretty, I think they are sophisticated, civilized, and interesting. With exceptions, of course. What people doesn't have its share of idiots?

    So, I am happy with the good Argentine friends that I had the pleasure of making, which doesn't mean that when it's a matter of football, I don't enjoy the banter and the poking that come with a big sports rivalry. The more, the merrier. Sports wouldn't be fun without rivalries.

    But I can perfectly separate sports rivalries (in good spirit) from the knowledge that we share a South American, Latino identity, and we are brothers.
     
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  16. Brasitusa

    Brasitusa Member+

    AC Milan
    Italy
    May 14, 2014
    Club:
    New York City FC
    The Saudis have pathetic defense and a horrible goalkeeper, but we can't dismiss Russia's merits based on this, because they did produce some outstanding finishing. Some of these goals were things of beauty. If Russia continues to show this exquisite ability to get the last touch into the goal, they will do better than expected. I don't think they will go deep, but if they confirm the form seen today, they should at least survive the group stage. And then, there is always the energy that comes from being the underdog hosts. When you are a top dog host, it hinders you (e.g. Brazil 2014) because there is the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. But when you are underdog hosts, you generally do better than you would otherwise do in neutral or hostile terrain.
     
  17. Rostam

    Rostam Member

    Dec 11, 2005
    Saudis nearly broke their own world cup record. In that sense, one can say their performance was epic.
     
  18. Smoga

    Smoga Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC

    True. Every single goal for Russia was a good one, a couple maybe even beautiful. But it doesn't take a genius to score pretty goals against a bunch of amateurs.

    My positive out of this match was that the game was entertaining for the casual viewer, given the number of goals and their visual appeal. But for most of us who actually know something the game, we realize that the level of play was pretty poor, especially from the Saudis.
     
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  19. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    The Saudis are not as bad as they look in World Cups. They just seem shellshocked when on the big stage.
     
  20. Brasitusa

    Brasitusa Member+

    AC Milan
    Italy
    May 14, 2014
    Club:
    New York City FC
    yeah, I don't doubt that. Of course. Still, the Russians showed some good finishing that was unrelated to the Saudi's numerous weaknesses.
     
  21. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    I had mentioned about the Saudis a while back: they have a weak defense, cannot handle a side that presses them, and are used to playing in pampered settings with no real ability to handle adversity. The combination makes them look like amateurs against teams that are better and physically stronger.


     
  22. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

    Jul 16, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Arab teams in general seem to have issues against more physical sides. A remarkable exception was Algeria last time around. As I also noted, the Saudis couldn't beat a not very good Australia.

    On the other hand, the Saudi defense had shown much better composure during their friendlies under Bauza.

    Yes, high pressing and facing big physical teams is definitely their kryptonite, but that 5-0 against Russia cannot be explained just by that. They looked out of sorts, each time Russia got near their area you knew a goal was a clear possibility.

    The keeper and that #5 Umar Howsawi (thank you @hammad_friend) were quite out of it. After Germany destroyed them 8-0 in 2002 they never recovered. Let's see if this time they can pull something, because I know they can do somewhat better --the Saudis were favorites to finish last in the group, and rightfully so, but they're not five goals worse than this Russia, at least not before Pizzi.
     
  23. Skandal!!!

    Skandal!!! Member

    Legia Warszawa
    Poland
    Apr 26, 2017
    Yep, Russian women on stands (some even held beer mugs!!!) de-concentrated them...
     
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  24. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    #299 Iranian Monitor, Jun 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
    I wouldn't compare all "Arab" teams to Saudi Arabia. Tunisia, for instance, are physically very strong. They were as good as any European team in that regard when Iran played them in a friendly in March even though Iran are quite a strong side physically. And I think Morocco, although not having that many tall players, are physically alright. They certainly aren't like the tooth picks the Saudi players often resemble.

    Tactically, Pizzi's style of play will work okay for Saudi Arabia against most Asian sides (many of whom aren't that strong physically) and he can take them to do reasonably well (if they keep him) in the Asian Cup. But for the World Cup, that style isolates a fragile defense which can be dispossessed of the ball under the slightest challenge and pressure against opponents which are physically and technically better than they are.

    Anyway, I don't think the Saudis will be embarrassed as badly by Uruguay and I can see them pull a result against Egypt. Overall, however, this Saudi team isn't fit to play at this level.

    P.S.
    The weakness of Saudi Arabia was obvious in their friendlies even, although friendlies are not all that telling in particular when the issue is about physical strength and prowess. Most teams, like Germany, weren't going to risk injury and press and play that resolutely in a friendly and unlike many who were impressed with the Saudis against the Germans, I said they looked like amateurs. The score and how close they might have been to equalize was almost irrelevant to me when we are talking about a friendly. Instead, what mattered was the attributes that were shown.
     
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  25. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Aug 18, 2004
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    This picture showing the Saudi defense in action is hilarious.
    [​IMG]
     

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