Sports

Egypt keeper El Hadary to become World Cup's oldest player

Egypt keeper El Hadary to become World Cup's oldest player

The two teams came into their final group game having already been eliminated from the competition following defeats to Uruguay and hosts Russian Federation.

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary, 45, is the oldest player ever to appear at a World Cup competition upon appearing in the team to face Saudi Arabia in Volgograd.

Egypt will crash out of the World Cup regardless of their result against Saudi Arabia.

There was confusion before kick-off when Salah was initially left out of Egypt's starting line-up.

The match against Saudi Arabia marked El-Hadary's 159th global game for Egypt.

Subs: Aseri (6), Al Shehriat (6).

Hussain rose highest ahead of the opposing defender to meet an incoming delivery from the right, but El Hadary tipped it away for a corner at the midway stage of the second half.

Salah's goal ended an 84-year wait for Egypt to score from open play, but the forward refused to go wild with joy amid reports he has fallen out the Egyptian FA. He broke clear on goal but, after drawing Al Mosailem, uncharacteristically dinked wide of the right-hand post.

That changed in the 41st minute when the Asian side were awarded a penalty for Ahmed Fathy's handball.

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Even with the use of VAR and having the opportunity to view the incident himself, the referee stuck with his original decision and Salman Al-Faraj made no mistake as he swept the ball into the left-hand corner.

Saudi Arabia fielded Yasser Al-Mosailem as the goalkeeper, meaning that the kingdom's three keepers will each have played one game in Russian Federation.

The Barcelona striker has struggled to really get going in Russian Federation - although he scored what turned out to the victor against Saudi Arabia last week, that was more down to an error from Saudi keeper Mohammed Al Owais than a particular moment of brilliance from Suarez himself.

Both sides are out of the World Cup already after losing all of their games so far.

El-Hadary is two years and 158 days older than Colombian Faryd Mondragón, who previously held the record. El Hadary became the second goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup to save a penalty on his debut, after Iceland's Hannes Thór Halldórsson, who did so against Argentina.

He helped Egypt to four Africa Cup of Nations titles, including three straight from 2006 to 2010, but is appearing at his first World Cup.

Up until then Saudi Arabia had been on top, but had failed to test El Hadary.

The Egyptian FA confirmed Salah's inclusion in the line-up minutes after a tweet was published with a list omitting the star striker's name.

But the Liverpool man should be backed to end the tournament on a high and follow on from his club form, putting Saudi Arabia to the sword.


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