Saudi Arabia's national football team took the field against reigning world champions Germany on Friday, and a lot of people are impressed at how well the kingdom's team performed.
While the Germans are currently ranked No. 1 in the world by FIFA, Saudi Arabia sits significantly lower at 67. Nonetheless, the Saudi team managed to present Germany with some solid competition, nearly bringing the friendly warm-up game to a tie.
But despite the Saudi team's best efforts, the game ended with Germany winning, 2-1.
Germany's difficulty to beat the Saudi team didn't go unnoticed, with journalists asking the team's coach whether they would be adequately prepared for the World Cup's stiff competition.
“We will improve and once the tournament starts we will be ready," coach Joachim Loew assured reporters, according to Reuters. “We eased off in the second half, defensively we need to work a bit better and not leave so many open spaces. Overall we squandered too many chances and allowed far too many chances.”
Even though the Saudis didn't win, many fans see the strong challenge they presented to Germany as a victory in and of itself. Many others also pointed out how much the Saudi team has improved.
"Beautiful football "
It was really a great match for the Saudis
The team definitely deserves some credit
A performance of passion ...
Future competitors should beware!
In 2002, Germany humiliated the Saudi team, beating them 8-0. After this game, some are even saying that the match should have been a tie, arguing that a late goal attempt was stolen.
Saudi Arabia is set to play Russia in its first match of the World Cup on Thursday. The Russians are currently ranked below the Saudis, at 70, and area also the worst-ranked team in the competition. Overall, the Saudis and the Russians are part of the competition's lowest-ranked group, which also includes Uruguay (ranked 14) and Egypt (ranked 45).
Watching their team take on Germany, Saudis now have a bit more hope that their players will make it farther than initially expected.