Roberto Mancini’s Saudi Arabia fought again to beat Oman 2-1 within the ultimate seconds on the Asian Cup on Tuesday, however solely after some VAR confusion.
Additionally in Group F, Thailand defeated Kyrgyzstan 2-0, with Supachai Chaided scoring each objectives.
The formidable Saudis defeated eventual champions Argentina within the group stage of the 2022 World Cup and returned to Qatar as one of many favorites for the regional event.
They’re searching for a document fourth Asian Cup, due to a serious recruitment drive that has lured the likes of Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo to the dominion’s home league.
Saudi Arabia will even host the 2034 World Cup.
Their opening match on the Asian Cup began badly once they had been awarded a penalty – and resulted in farcical scenes in entrance of a shocked crowd of 41,987.
Deep into stoppage time and because the Saudis pushed to make it 2-1, Ali Al-Bulayhi headed in from a nook to trigger pandemonium for what they thought was the winner.
The objective was disallowed by the assistant referee for offside and checked by VAR. In replays he appeared to have been onside.
Then there was confusion when it emerged that referee Shaun Evans had caught with the unique offside ruling and play resumed, earlier than reversing play and awarding the objective.
Bulayhi, who celebrated by inflating a inexperienced balloon as his teammates heckled him, afterwards referred to as his winner “a present to the Saudi folks.”
“Scoring on the finish of the sport, that is what nice gamers do,” stated the 34-year-old defender.
Mancini, who took over the Saudi reins in September, stated his facet made errors within the first half, “however that is regular within the first recreation”.
His counterpart Branko Ivankovic stated that “the Saudi staff deserved the victory”, citing his gamers’ fatigue as the rationale for Oman’s late collapse.
– From cheer to cheer –
Mancini’s males fell behind within the 14th minute when Evans awarded a penalty for a visit on Oman striker Muhsen Al-Ghassani after checking the VAR display screen.
Salaah Al-Yahyaei transformed to offer lower-ranked Oman a shock lead.
Oman sat again for the rest of the primary half, however Saudi Arabia failed to use critical stress.
After the break, the Saudis continued to huff and puff however had solely registered two photographs on track on the hour mark.
Because the clock ticked and the cheers of the Saudi followers started to sound, the boys in inexperienced wanted a second of magic.
And that is what they received: substitute Abdulrahman Ghareeb – solely on the pitch for 3 minutes – weaved his approach by means of the Omani backline earlier than slamming residence the equalizer with 12 minutes to go.
The Saudis then pushed for the winner, resulting in Bulayhi’s dramatic late intervention.
Earlier, Buriram United’s Supachai scored from shut vary within the twenty sixth minute to offer Thailand the lead over Kyrgyzstan.
He received his second in comparable model simply after the break when the ball fell his approach once more with the objective gaping.
Reigning champions Qatar are again in motion on Wednesday and can look to seal their place within the final 16 with a win over Tajikistan.
Within the different match in Group A, China performs in opposition to Lebanon.