Saudi Arabia beat Egypt 2-1 in each team’s final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, one marred by officiating controversy and the continuation of trends for the Pharaohs under manager Hector Cuper.
Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Egypt in the first half, before Colombian referee Wilmar Rodan awarded the Saudis two dubious penalties.
The first was saved by goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary, who’s appearance for the 45-year-old broke a record for the oldest man ever to play at a World Cup.
Shortly after El-Hadary’s save, the referee awarded Saudi Arabia with a second penalty which was converted by Salman Alfaraj.
Egypt missed several solid scoring opportunities, especially in the first half.
Mahmoud Trezeguet in particular missed two sitters.
Saudi Arabia scored at the death through Salem Aldawsari after some lax defending from second-half substitute Mahmoud Kahraba.
Egypt lost 5-1 to Saudi Arabia in the only other competitive meeting between the two sides, a 1999 Confederations Cup group match in which the Pharaohs were shown three red cards.
Conceding late goals became a disturbing trend for Egypt under Cuper – known for losing close matches – especially in finals or the last match of league campaigns.
It is Egypt’s ninth-straight match without a win, tying its longest ever winless streak set back in 1983.
Cuper, who’s contract with Egypt is unlikely to be renewed, enjoyed his best winning-percentage in 15 years with the Pharaohs.
His career winning-percentage is among the worst of any national team manager. Coaching the Pharaohs gave that figure a significant boost for Cuper.