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International Friendly Preview: Saudi Arabia-Senegal
Saudi Arabia - Senegal | News Archive

Team spirit is everything for Senegal
05/13/2002. BACKGROUND

Saudi Arabia enter the World Cup as one of the real underdogs.

After a miserable France 1998 which saw them fall in the first round and thrashed 4-0 by France, expectations are understandably lower this time around. Goalkeeper Mohamed Al-Deayea has already warned the fans not to expect too much from the side.

Coach and newly crowned Asian national-team manager of the year Nasser Al-Johar will actually become the first man from his own county to lead the team at the World Cup. There was much speculation that the Saudis would replace him after the team's poor start to the final phase of qualifying but Al-Johar now has the federation's full backing.

2000 Asian Player of the Year Nawaf Al-Temyat is in no doubt as to just what a fine job his coach has done.

"Al-Johar has managed what none before him was able to do," he says. "It's difficult to express it in words but a football analyst would realise exactly what he has done for the team."

Somewhat surprisingly, this is the national team's last friendly before the first group game of the World Cup against Germany. Any further experimentation will need to done in this clash.

Senegal are many people's favourites to cause an upset in Japan and South Korea.

"Be ambitious. You are defending the honour of Africa and we are all counting on you," were the words of the country's president Abdoulaye Wade over the weekend.

His boys are unlikely to let him down either. Although a group containing France, Uruguay and Denmark is far from easy, there is a real feeling in the country that second place is not out of the question.

Few gave Senegal a hope of even qualifying for the World Cup after they were placed into a group containing three teams who had all previously appeared in the finals. However, Bruno Metsu's men confounded the critics and edged out Morocco on goal difference to qualify for their first ever finals.

They also surprised many at the recent African Nations Cup in Mali. Only a penalty shoot-out in the final against holders Cameroon prevented them from becoming kings of Africa.

Virtually all of their players are based in France meaning they understand the rigours of European football. If they are to qualify from a tough looking World Cup group, they will need to call upon all of their Le Champiionnat experience.

TEAM NEWS

(Available later)

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nawaf Al Temyat (Saudi Arabia)- The 24-year-old Al Hilal midfielder has suffered a lot through injury but will be fit for the World Cup. He was in fine form prior to his knee injury, helping his side to victory in the Asian Club Championship and Asian Super Cup. He plies his trade in central midfield and will be the main focal point of the team alongside Sami Al Jaber.

El Hadji Diouf (Senegal)- the front-man has had an outstanding season with his club side Lens and has attracted interest from many of Europe's elite. The newly crowned African Player of the Year was his side's top scorer in qualifiers with eight goals.

SOCCERAGE PREDICTION

Both coaches will use the clash to experiment and the likely result is a draw.

Saudi Win 30%
Draw 40%
Senegal Win 30%

soccerage
 

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A good chance to see hopw far Senegal stands. Regarded as one of possible surprises it still is unclear how well they can play against a non-African team.
 

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Geert,

That shocked? :eek: you disappoint me my friend...you have no faith in our football at all :depress:

Remember we beat you in 94! :fero:
 

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It's not that I have no faith in your football, it's just that I rate senegal very highly. In my eyes Saoudi's thus have had a strong performances yesterday.


Please Vampire don't remind me of that I'm still trying to forget how that Oweiran dribbled about 11 of our players :( :rolleyes: ;)
 

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Don't be so suprised , after all , it is still a friendly match , and last chance for Metsu to do a little testing with his players. There's no need to determine if a Team will be succesfull on the upcoming world cup based on its results on the Friendly match. After all , Germany won Israel 7-1 :( and then lost 1-0 to Wales , so there's no way to say what are her capablities based on friendlies.

I hope Senengal will do well in the world cup , and kick France's ass...
 
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