Sub Saad Al Harthi Seals Saudi Arabia Win

Saudi Arabia replaced co-host Indonesia at the top of their 2007 Asian Cup qualifying group D after Saad Al Harthi’s header three minutes from match end earned their third point at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia's fans are at full voice at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on Saturday

Skipper Yasser Al Qahtani headed the visitors in front in the 12th minute before midfielder Elie Aiboy leveled the score eight minutes later.

Second-half substitute Saad Al Harthi won the game with a fine header from Abdulrahman Al Qahtani’s free kick in the 87th minute.

The host side went into the game fresh from their 2 – 1 victory over Bahrain last Tuesday, but the Saudis siezed the first opportunity in the 15th minute with Malek Maaz firing in high over the bar from outside the box.

The opening goal came just three minutes later and it was Al Qahtani who outjumped the host side’s defense to head home Ahmed Al Bahri’s precise right-wing cross.

But the Indonesians, who were lifted by a capacity crowd at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, fought back and had their equalizer soon after when Syamsul Bachi sent a through ball into the path of Elie, who superbly ran past goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem to net in the unguarded goal.

The goal raised the home team and they nearly pulled ahead at the stop of the first half, when the superb Elie headed on target, forcing a fine save from Mosailem.

But Indonesia’s tired defense failed to stop the visitors from rounding off their victory three minutes from time as Al Hariri outjumped the home side’s defense to head high over keeper Yandri’s outstretched arm.

Group D
Saudi Arabia21104

By Hoang Uy

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