DUBAI: It may be painful but let’s look back to the first round of games for Arab countries at the 2018 World Cup. Saudi Arabia were thrashed 5-0 by hosts Russia in the tournament’s opening game in Moscow.
Then came Tunisia and Morocco, and it is hard to say whether their first defeats were more heartbreaking or less. The former were holding England to a 1-1 draw but then lost to an injury time Harry Kane goal and the latter were undone in the 95th minute by an own goal against Iran.
None recovered and all were out of the tournament after just two group games. Four years on, however, and things are very different.
Whatever happens in the second round of games in the coming days, three of the four Arab nations are going to be in with a chance of progressing to the last 16.Read more on arabnews.com