World Cup

June 23, 2006

Full-time

Saudi Arabia

0 - 1

Spain

Group H

14:00 +00:00, June 23, 2006

Fritz-Walter Stadion, Kaiserslautern, Germany

Referee: Coffi Codjia (BEN)

Game 47

  • 93'

    FULL-TIME: Spain looked far from potential champions in a second-half performance of the lowest quality. They progress to a probable second-round tie with France.

  • 91'

    CLOSE! Al Temyat flashes a shot narrowly wide of the far post; Canizarez goes mental at his defence.

  • 90'

    Torres goes on a threatening run as he cuts in from the left flank and forces a late corner for the Spainish.

  • 89'

    WOEFUL FINISH! Al Harthi shoots over the bar from six yards out after being picked out by a low cross from Noor. A truly dreadful finish.

  • 87'

    Let's give some credit to the Saudis; since the break they have worked really hard to press Spain higher up the pitch and force some mistakes - and it has worked; they have been the better side in the break.

  • 85'

    At the risk of sounding repetitive, Spain have been truly woeful since the break; they have looked lazy, sloppy and complacent - against a better side than Saudi Arabia, they would have conceded three or four goals.

  • 84'

    SLOPPY! Salgado gives the ball away, 30 yards from his own goal, but Saudi Arabia can't capitalise.

  • 83'

    ALMOST! Mouath surprisingly goes for goal from a tight angle and almost catches Canizarez off-guard, though the Valencia keeper makes a good save at his near post.

  • 82'

    Massad's first contribution is to throw himself to the ground, scream in agony and then get to his feet when he realises the free-kick has been given his way.

  • 81'

    SAUDI SUB: Massad comes on to replace Sulimani; Sulimani looked like Saudi Arabia's best attacking player, but he is hauled off.

  • 80'

    OOOH! Sulimani curls the free-kick high and wide; poor effort.

  • 80'

    ...Canizarez organises his defensive wall...

  • 80'

    Marchena is penalised for a foul on Mouath on the edge of the penalty area; free-kick in a dangerous spot...

  • 79'

    Zaid plucks a Salgado cross out of the air and launches a counter-attack with a quick throw out to the right wing.

  • 78'

    ...who doesn't see the foul and rules 'play on'.

  • 78'

    Al Temyat goes to ground in the penalty area under a challenge from Lopez; everyone looks to the referee...

  • 77'

    Spain have been so sloppy in the second half; the difference after the half-time break has been amazing. Again they give the ball away in midfield, allowing Saudi Arabia to launch another attack.

  • 76'

    Marchena is booked for a clumsy challenge on Noor; again, it looked a harsh decision from the referee.

  • 75'

    Spain certainly haven't looked like World-beaters in this second-half; in fact, they have really struggled against a lively Saudi display.

  • 74'

    Al Harthi tumbles to the ground as he tries to break between Salgado and Juanito on the edge of the penalty area. No foul, says the referee.

  • 73'

    Luis Arragones doesn't look very impressed with the second-half performance of his Spanish side; they have completely lost their momentum.

  • 72'

    ...This time Spain deal with the corner a little better, and clear their lines.

  • 71'

    ...The corner is senrt in to the near post, but Mouath's goal-bound header is deflected over for another corner...

  • 71'

    Still, Spain are looking sloppy in defence; more slack play sees Saudi Arabia win another corner...

  • 70'

    SPAIN SUB: Torres on for Reyes; Torres receives a rousing applause as he comes on to replace Reyes.

  • 69'

    CLOSE! A swift counter-attack through the middle sees the ball moved to Sulimani, but his left-foot shot is turned around the post by Canizarez.

  • 68'

    SAUDI SUB: Mouath comes on to replace Al Jaber; a change up front for Saudi Arabia as they look for an unlikely equaliser.

  • 67'

    SPAIN SUB: Xavi replaces Fabregas; the Arsenal youngster has been very quiet in the second half; Xavi sprints on and looks eager to impress his coach.

  • 66'

    There is a real air of complacency about Spain at the moment; they know that Saudi Arabia are unlikely to trouble them, and have started to get lazy at the back.

  • 65'

    The pace of the second half is certainly slower than the first; perhaps that is the heat, perhaps not.

  • 64'

    Joaquin has been the stand-out player in this low-key match; he looks a threat every time he gets the ball in to his feet.

  • 63'

    Spain are attempting to take the sting out of the game as they slow things down in midfield.

  • 62'

    AGAINST THE WALL! Joaquin blasts a free-kick against the Saudi defensive wall.

  • 61'

    Saudi Arabia have a good spell where they send a couple of decent crosses in to the Spanish penalty area, although the European side deal well with the threat.

  • 60'

    ANOTHER GREAT RUN! Joaquin is so dangerous with the ball at his feet; again he cuts in from the left before firing in a low shot; Zaid saves.

  • 59'

    It seems like the Saudi's have been told to get more players forward in this second half; they are starting to commit more men to their - albeit infrequent - attacks.

  • 58'

    GETTING BETTER! Saudi Arabia are starting to look a litle more threatening as they go forward; this time Lopez needs to be alert to see off the threat of Al Jaber inside the area.

  • 57'

    Joaquin gets down the left and fires a low cross across the face of goal, but it is a yard in front of Villa and the ball runs out.

  • 56'

    GOOD STRIKE! Sulimani fires in a shot from distance; he strikes it really well, but Canizares claims comfortably.

  • 55'

    Saudi Arabia have started better after the break, and Spain have become a little lazy with their passing.

  • 54'

    GREAT BREAK! Khariri breaks well down the Saudi left, linking well with Noor, but Spain eventually snuff out the threat inside their own penalty area.

  • 53'

    Zaid has received some lengthy treatment on the calf injury he sustained at that corner, but play has now continued.

  • 53'

    A lot of pundits are tipping Spain to do very well this tournament; the trouble is, they always look good in the early stages - it is in the knockout rounds where Spain traditionally stumble.

  • 52'

    Zaid needs some treatment on a slight knock he took as he came through a crowd to claim Juanito's header from Reyes' corner.

  • 51'

    Spain win another corner, thanks to good play down the left from Villa. Reyes curls the ball in to hte middle, but Zaid claims Juanito's header.

  • 50'

    ALMOST! Villa gets free down the left; he holds the ball up before feeding Lopez, but his low drive is turned around the post by Zaid.

  • 49'

    Joaquin, who was excellent in the first half, is brought down; he seems to have started the second half on the left wing.

  • 48'

    If Spain top their group, it is likely that they will face France in the second round; that is a potential classic-in-the-making.

  • 47'

    Spain had a lot of possession in that first half; I don't anticpate that changing too much after the break.

  • 46'

    Spain kick off the second half.

  • 45'

    SPAIN SUB: Villa comes on to replace Raul.

  • 45'

    HALF-TIME: Spain's second-string have been far too strong for Saudi Arabia; it has been a very one-sided half, in which Joaquin has been the star-man.

  • 44'

    Jaoquin has been wonderful so far; again he beats his man, gets to the by-line and pulls back a cross, but this time Saudi Arabia clear.

  • 43'

    GOOD SAVE! Brilliant play by Joaquim down the right; he beats his man with a step-over before clipping a cross to Reyes at the back post; he side-foots a volley goalwards, but Zaid makes a good low save.

  • 42'

    Al Jaber screams in agony as he is slightly caught by a trailing boot from Salgado; moments later, he is back on his feet and in the thick of the action. What a hero.

  • 41'

    Spain are taking the pace out of the game now; they are knocking the ball around in midfield, in full control and with real confidence.

  • 40'

    RUBBISH! Al Jaber breaks down the left wing; he cuts inside, but his right-foot shot is very weak and straight at Canizares.

  • 39'

    Any chance Saudi Arabia had of progressing has now gone out of the window; they don't look remotely capable of threatening an equaliser.

  • 38'

    Spain certainly deserve to be in the lead; they have absolutely dominated the possession, even if they haven't created a bunch of chances.

  • 37'

    GOAL! Reyes sends a free-kick from the left wing; Juanito meets the set-piece with a thumping header, planting his effort in to the top corner.

  • 37'

    It has been a low-key half so far; Saudi clearly don't have the belief that they can win this game, and Spain's reserves have only clicked occasionally.

  • 36'

    Reyes is booked for a trip on Dokhi as the defender looked to start a counter-attack down the right wing.

  • 36'

    GREAT DEFENDING! Reyes' low corner skips across the face of goal; as Albeda is set to prod home, Sulimani flicks clear.

  • 35'

    Raul is coming off a poor, injury-hit season for his club side, Real Madrid; but he is Spain's all-time top-scorer with 44 international goals, and has looked quite sharp so far this afternoon.

  • 34'

    CHEEKY! Raul finds a little pocket of space on the edge of the box; he has a runner in Reyes, but opts to try and chip the keeper; the ball drifts a foot or so over the crossbar.

  • 33'

    Raul goes to ground inside the penalty area as he tries to burst through two defenders; no penalty.

  • 32'

    Spain finally look like they are starting to click in to gear; they have started to look a lot more direct and dynamic in the last five minutes or so.

  • 31'

    Albeda is booked for a challenge in midfield; again, it looks to be a very harsh decision by the referee.

  • 30'

    GREAT RUN! Juaquim drifts in from the right, beats two players before firing in a left-foot shot, but again Zaid is up to the task and tips his drive over for a corner.

  • 29'

    GOOD SAVE! Fabregas finds Albeda on the edge of the penalty area, but his fierce drive is touched around the post by the Saudi keeper.

  • 28'

    Dokhi shows good strength to muscle Iniesta off the ball inside the penalty area.

  • 27'

    Al Jaber becomes the first man booked in this game; it is a very harsh decision from the refere - the offence was only a trip.

  • 26'

    GOOD DEFENDING! Joaquim and Reyes combine well, but Noor shows good defensive awareness to track the run and shoulder Joaquim off the ball.

  • 25'

    Spain win a corner as Jaoquim's cross is deflected behind; Reyes sends it in to the middle, but Zaid punches clear.

  • 24'

    Spain are showing good patience as they try and build from the back, but it is hardly a good spectacle for the fans.

  • 23'

    Spain are having a lot of the ball, but haven't really hit their straps going forward as yet.

  • 22'

    DANCING FEET! Reyes shuffles his way past a couple of defenders, but his left-foot shot from distance is dragged wide.

  • 21'

    ALMOST! Reyes fires in a good first-time ball in between the Saudi defence, but it has just two much pace on it for Raul to reach.

  • 20'

    Fabregas is Spain's youngest-ever player at a World Cupl he has enjoyed a wonderful season for Arsenal, but has had a quiet start this afternoon.

  • 19'

    Spain have advanced to the second round in five of the last six World Cups, but they are always considered underachievers; they certainly have a very talented squad this year.

  • 18'

    GOOD EFFORT! Reyes robs a defender, feeds Joaquim, but the Real Betis winger fires a shot just over the crossbar.

  • 17'

    Al Jaber kicks out a little wildly at Lopez as the two tussled down near the corner flag; he is perhaps lucky not to receive a yellow card there.

  • 16'

    Saudi Arabia look to be strong and organised at the back; it certainly isn't going to be easy for this second-string Spain side to break them down.

  • 15'

    Spain win their first corner of the game. It is swung in to the middle from the right, but Zaid collects comfortably.

  • 14'

    SAUDI SUB: Al Temyat comes on to replace the injured Aziz.

  • 13'

    Raul shows some good close control in the penalty , but he can't quite get around the bulky Tukar.

  • 12'

    Spain are on track for a potential quarter-final against Brazil in the quarter-final stage; what a match-up that would be.

  • 11'

    Aziz is down on the turf, clutching his hamstring; he seems in quite some pain as the physio sprints over to administer some treatment.

  • 10'

    Saudi Arabia have a slim chance of progressing from this group, but they need a big victory over the much-fancied Spain in this game - and that, frankly, is unlikely.

  • 9'

    Noor tackles Iniesta well, 30 yards out from the Saudi goal, but his quick pass up field to Al Jaber is mis-placed.

  • 8'

    Spain have started quite well; they are having a lot of the ball, but have been unable to really threaten the Saudi goal.

  • 7'

    This is Saudi Arabia's fourth successive World Cup; they are becoming regulars at this tournament.

  • 7'

    Lopez is brought down by Aziz on the left touchline; free-kick to Spain.

  • 6'

    Raul heads well wide from a cross from the left; Spain's first attempt on goal is a poor one.

  • 5'

    The strengths of Spain's squad has been much lauded; today will give those players a chance to prove that theory correct.

  • 4'

    Spain have looked very good in their first two games, but this is an entirely new starting eleven, and might take some time to gell.

  • 3'

    Saudi Arabia win an early free-kick, but Marchena heads clear.

  • 2'

    Spain have got a much-changed side out today; they are guaranteed to progress from the group, and have chosen to rest all of their regular starters.

  • 1'

    It is another dry, warm afternoon in Germany, and Fritz-Walter Stadion, Kaiserslautern is full to the rafters.

  •  

    Saudi Arabia kick off.

  •  

    Hi there, welcome to our coverage of Spain v Saudi Arabia.