Saudi Arabia left to rue lack of concentration after letting two-goal lead slip against Bolivia

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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
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Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh. (Twitter: Saudi National Team)
Updated 11 September 2018

Saudi Arabia left to rue lack of concentration after letting two-goal lead slip against Bolivia

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia were left to rue a lack of concentration and discipline as they let a two-goal lead slip against Bolivia in Riyadh.
Goals from Yehya Al-Shehri and Saudi star Salem Al-Dawsari from the penalty spot were not enough to beat the South Americans at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium, who battled back with goals from Jhasmani Campos and a late penalty from Marcelo Martins.
Unlike Juan Antonio Pizzi’s side, Bolivia did not play at this summer's World Cup. But their FIFA ranking of 59th, compared to Saudi Arabia’s 70th, illustrated that the hosts knew they had a tough challenge on their hands.
From the start at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium Saudi Arabia looked busy and played with purpose, getting a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes. But Campos’ goal came 10 minutes before the break, and once Pizzi made five changes to his starting line-up, Bolivia came back into the game.
With eight minutes left on the clock, Martins scored to equalize and both teams had to be content with a draw.
The Green Falcons came into the friendly on the back of an up-and-down World Cup. Having been thrashed 5-0 in the tournament opener against hosts Russia, they then narrowly lost 1-0 to Uruguay before ending on a high with a 2-1 victory against Arab rivals Egypt.
That was enough to convince the Saudi Arabian Football Federation that Juan Antonio Pizzi, appointed late last year, was the right man to lead the side into next January’s Asian Cup in the UAE.
It was also enough for the side to come into the friendly against the South Americans confident they could carry on the form shown in the last two clashes at the World Cup and set up a successful end to the year and subsequent springboard into the Asian Cup.
The World Cup campaign had illustrated the side’s strengths, while at the same time highlighted its glaring weaknesses — solid in defense (bar the opening shocker against Russia), but all too shy in front of goal. For all their possession they failed to create much and when they did were too profligate, much like the second half against Bolivia.

But a win and a draw from the past two matches at least indicates the side are on the right path and gives them something to build on heading into the Asian Cup in five months' time. 

 


Lampard stresses ‘respect’ for Mourinho ahead of key match

Updated 28 November 2020

Lampard stresses ‘respect’ for Mourinho ahead of key match

LONDON: Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Jose Mourinho is as good a manager as he has ever been, insisting he respects his former boss despite recent spats.

Mourinho’s Tottenham are top of the Premier League ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, just two points clear of Chelsea.

The Portuguese has enjoyed huge success throughout his career but struggled toward the end of his spell at Manchester United and took time to find his feet at Spurs.

The two managers clashed on the touchline in their League Cup meeting in September and last year Mourinho suggested Lampard had used former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s tactics to beat Spurs in the league.

But Lampard, who won two Premier League titles under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, played down the incidents and said the Portuguese was still a top manager.

“You don’t get a record as decorated as Jose Mourinho has as a manager without being a very talented coach,” he said.

“For all of us the game is so reactionary at the moment, particularly in the modern era, with social media reactions, that form will always be judged very harshly for any manager.”

Lampard, who is in his second season in charge at Chelsea, said he was not surprised by anything management threw at him.

“I’ve got respect for Jose as a manager and I think that’s just how it is,” he said. “I didn’t take any offense to the talk of Antonio Conte’s system or whatever.”

“Jose can have his opinions and it’s not a problem,” he added. “I’ve got respect for him and it’s nothing contentious for me.”

Sunday’s match will be the 1,000th game since Roman Abramovich became owner of Chelsea, transforming the club from also-rans to serial trophy contenders.

Since Abramovich’s takeover in 2003, the Blues have won five Premier League titles, the club’s only Champions League, two Europa Leagues, five FA Cups and three League Cups.

“As manager and as a player who was involved in a lot of those games I can give him a huge thank you because nothing that we have achieved in the Roman Abramovich era could have happened without him and his support,” said Lampard.

“Whether you’re talking about firstly the financial input but also the development of the training ground, the love and time put into the academy and the trophies we’ve been able to win have all been made possible because of him.”