Saudis with Al-Sahlawi
The team from Saudi Arabia is rather unknown, well-known players are not found in the 23-man line-up. But the best goalscorer of the World Cup qualifier stormed for the team.
The team’s star is striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi. The 31-year-old plays in the Saudi league with Al-Nasr Riad and has scored 23 goals in 24 internationals between his debut in 2015 and the end of March. He scored 16 times in the World Cup qualifying alone, where the Saudis came second in the group with 19 points behind Japan (20) and ahead of Australia (19).
Al-Sahlawi and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski and Ahmed Khalil from the United Arab Emirates were the top scorers in the World Cup qualifiers. However, it should be mentioned that he scored almost half of his goals in a single game. He played East Timor 10-0 seven times.
His preparation for the World Cup was intensive and special, so he took part in a very special training programme. “It was agreed with Manchester United that Mohammed Sahlawi would join the club for a three-week training programme,” said Turki Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the General Sport Authority (GSA) and the Kingdom Olympic Committee.