Egypt’s World Cup campaign ended in disappointment as a late strike by Salem Al Dawsari condemned them to a 2-1 defeat on Monday.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring at the Volgograd Arena in the 22nd minute.
Saudi equalised from the spot through Salman Al Faraj on the stroke of half-time after Essam El Hadary had saved an earlier penalty from Fahad Al Muwallad.
Al Dawsari then scored a dramatic winner deep into stoppage time to ensure his side leaves Russia with three points to show for their efforts.
Here, we rate the performances of the Egyptian players.
Essam El Hadary – Making history as the oldest player at the World Cup, the 45-year-old capped it with an excellent save from the spot although he couldn’t repeat the feat at the second time of asking. Made a couple of good saves from headers. 8
Ahmed Fathy – Had a tough time dealing on the right side of defence and conceded a penalty. Clumsy with his tackles as well. Eventually picked up a booking. 3
Ali Gabr – Was largely sturdy in defence and made a few clearances. A late tackle led to a booking though. 5
Ahmed Hegazy – Made a couple of vital interventions including a block to deny Salman Faraj’s shot from the edge of the area. Managed more clearances than any other player. 6
Mohamed Shafy – Was decent with his distribution when going long. Switched off a bit at the end as the winner came down his side. 5
Mohamed Elneny – Had one decent effort from range in the second half. Simply recycled possession in midfield and while he made a couple of interceptions, was bypassed with ease several times. 5
Tarek Hamed – Made superb block soon after that penalty save from El Hadary. His direct balls towards the forwards were good but couldn’t get close to the Saudi runners, committing four fouls. 5
Abdallah El Said – Had some good moments on the right flank and had to track back to keep tabs on Yasir Al Shahrani. Intercepted a pass and then played a great long ball to assist Salah for the opener. Replaced at half-time. 6
Mohamed Salah – Not at his sharpest but still the most dangerous player on the pitch. Took his goal well and created a few good chances but his chipped finish went wide when played through a second time. 7
Trezeguet – Should’ve got on the score sheet as he was played in twice by Salah, opting for the more spectacular finish on both occasions. Released the Liverpool star as well once only for him to miss the target. Headed wide in the second half. 6
Marwan Mohsen – A bungling performance up front. Despite winning his share of aerial duels, rarely found a team-mate with his headers. No shots at all and a pass accuracy of 37.5 per cent. 3
Amr Warda – Was brought on for El Said at the interval. Had just the one shot and didn’t facilitate the attack like he was meant to. 4
Ramadan Sobhi – Came on for Mohsen in the 63rd minute and couldn’t make an impact. 4
Kahraba – Replaced Trezeguet for the final nine minutes. N/A
A resplendent first 45 minutes from La Celeste saw them open up a 2-0 lead, with Luis Suarez’s free-kick and Diego Laxalt’s deflected strike putting them in the driving seat.
Igor Smolnikov’s red card threatened to see the South Americans run away with it, but the hosts stood strong before a late Edinson Cavani goal put gloss on the victory.
They must also hope France do them a favour by beating Denmark in the other match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Here’s our talking points ahead of the game.
What’s up with Tim Cahill?
The non-appearance of the Socceroos legend has been difficult to understand so far at this World Cup.
Australia have been desperate to find goals in both their games to date – one to save a point against France in the opener and one to get a much needed victory over Denmark.
But despite this, and having the Socceroos record goal scorer at his disposal on the bench, coach Bert van Marwijk has been reticent to introduce Cahill.
Instead making the curious decision to throw on Jackson Irvine, the Hull Midfielder not known for his goal scoring exploits.
But now the perfect opportunity has arisen with starting striker Andrew Nabbout injuring his shoulder during the Denmark match and being ruled out of the crucial Peru clash.
Tomi Juric will come into the starting line-up in place of Nabbout but surely the door must now be open for Cahill to come on as a substitute.
A late winner would be the perfect fairy tale ending for Cahill and allow him to become just the fifth player to score in four World Cups, joining Pele, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo.
BREAKING: Jefferson Farfan suffered a "traumatic brain injury” in training and will miss Peru’s match vs. Australia pic.twitter.com/72OHcVuEbl— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 25, 2018
No Farfan for the Incas
Peru also have their injury issues upfront with Jefferson Farfan ruled out as he remains in hospital after being knocked out in training at the weekend.
Coach Ricardo Gareca admits the team suffered a “scare” when the Lokomotiv Moscow striker collided with a team-mate on Saturday, with the Peruvian Football Federation confirming he has sustained a “traumatic brain injury”.
Concussion protocols mean the 33-year-old will miss Peru’s last match before they fly home having already been eliminated after their first two fixtures.
Australia must score from open play
It’s a long time since Australia scored a goal in open play at the World Cup – way back to Brazil in 2014 when Tim Cahill knocked one in against the Netherlands in the 21st minute of their clash at Estádio Beira-Rio.
The second goal in that match came from the penalty spot courtesy of Captain Courageous Mile Jedinak, who has also scored both of Australia’s goals so far in this World Cup – also from the spot.
Australia have looked industrious in their two matches so far, with Mathew Leckie especially busy around the box.
But neither Celtic’s Tom Rogic or the injured Nabbout really looked like scoring against either France or Denmark and that has to change if Australia are to get the much needed victory against Peru.
The Incas attack has also been poor as they have failed to get on the score sheet at all so far in the tournament – either from the penalty spot or open play. And with Farfan out injured, scoring becomes even tougher for the South Americans.
With Peru’s lack of threat upfront and the Socceroos regent need to score goals to progress, surely Van Marwijk must now relax his safety first approach and go for broke.
Or rely on VAR and the ice-cool nerves of Mile Jedinak.