Saudi Arabia VS China Final – LIVE Reddit Soccer 12/10/2021
Saudi Arabia host China at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah in the latest round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Green Falcons have won all three of their games in the second round, including a shocking 1-0 victory over World Cup regulars Japan on Saturday.
Having collected nine points so far, the Middle East outfit is level with Australia, but remain in second place courtesy of an inferior goal difference. Nevertheless, it’s been a positive start to their campaign by all accounts, as the Saudis look determined to qualify for the championship for the second edition running.
Japan, meanwhile, are down three points in third place. The Blue Samurais lost 1-0 to Oman and Saudi either side of a narrow victory against China. Having qualified for each of the last seven World Cups, Hajime Moriyasu’s side have made a bumpy start to their qualifying campaign. But with seven more games to go, they’ll aim to bounce back soon.
Saudi Arabia kicked off their quest for a sixth World Cup appearance back in June, when they saw off Palestine, Yemen, Singapore and Uzbekistan to progress into the third qualifying round.
Herve Renard’s men continued their fine string of performances as they beat 10-man Vietnam 3-1 in their Group B opener on September 2, before edging out Oman 1-0 five days later.
Saudi Arabia maintained their perfect record in the qualifiers as they claimed a narrow 1-0 win over Japan when the sides faced off last Thursday.
Al-Fateh forward Firas Albirakan came up trumps for the Green Falcons as he grabbed a 71st-minute winner seven minutes after coming off the bench.
Saudi Arabia, who are currently level on nine points with Australia at the top of the standings, head into Tuesday’s game on a run of eight consecutive victories, dating back to a 2-1 friendly loss at the hands of Jamaica back in November 2020.
This is in no small part down to their stellar display at both ends of the pitch as they have scored 20 goals in that time, while conceding just one.
China, on the other hand, got their quest for a second World Cup appearance back on track as they moved out of the bottom of the table courtesy of a 3-2 win over Vietnam last Thursday.
Following an uneventful first half, Yuning Zhang and Wu Lei scored to put the Dragon’s Team two goals up, but after Ho Tan Tai and Nguyen Tien Linh restored parity, Lei netted his second of the game in the 95th minute to condemn Vietnam to a fourth consecutive loss.
Prior to that, China suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Monday’s hosts in September’s reverse fixture, before losing 1-0 to Australia five days later.
Manager Tie Li will hope the win last time out can serve as a springboard for a fine run of form as they look to leapfrog third-place Japan and move into the playoff spot.
However, they face the stern test of going up against a rampant Saudi Arabia side who are unbeaten in three of the most recent four encounters between the teams, picking up two wins and one draw.