The final group B match between Egypt and Saudi Arabia seemed like it was going to end in a 1-1 draw between two already-eliminated teams, but in the 95th minute, Saudi Arabia’s Salem Aldawsari found the ball at his feet with only Egypt goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary between him and the goal.
His stunning last-second goal gave Saudi Arabia a 2-1 victory over the starstruck Egyptians, who still have yet to win a World Cup game in three chances.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, earned its first World Cup win since 1994, the only time in five World Cup appearances that it advanced past the group stage.
Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, expected to be one of the stars of the World Cup before suffering a shoulder injury while playing for Liverpool in the Champions League final, clearly was hindered by his lack of training in last week’s loss to Russia, though he did manage a penalty-kick goal.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, improved from its dismal showing in a 5-0 debut loss to Russia, keeping Uruguay somewhat in check in the 1-0 defeat that followed. But it obviously would like to avoid another scoreless World Cup like in 2002, when it was outscored 12-0 in three group-stage matches.
Nigeria will be playing Argentina tomorrow in a very crucial match that will determine who is qualifying for the second round.