Egypt's Essam El-Hadary Makes World Cup History

Egypt's Essam El-Hadary Makes World Cup History

Egypt's Essam El-Hadary Makes World Cup History

Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary set a World Cup record when his team's game vs. Saudi Arabia kicked off on Monday.

El Hadary was 45 years and 161 days old when he took to the field as the two already-eliminated teams in Group A played only for pride.

He was made to pay for the wasted opportunity deep into first-half stoppage time when Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan awarded Saudi Arabia a penalty and Salman Al-Faraj converted from the spot.

Essam El-Hadary then preserved Egypt's lead, the 45-year-old saving a Fahad al-Mulwallad penalty awarded for handball in the 41st minute.

Saudi Arabia finished Group A in third place with three points, while Egypt was last after losing all three of its games.

Saudi Arabia lost 5-0 in the opening game to Russian Federation but improved their game very much after losing only 1-0 to Uruguay.

El-Hadary, who is regarded as one of Africa's best goalkeepers of all time, started his career in 1996 and is a four-time African Cup of Nations champion.

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But after a VAR-induced review that took nearly five minutes to complete, Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan chose to stick with his original decision.

Saudi Arabia had earlier gone 11 matches without recording a win at a World Cup.

That was the 18th penalty sanctioned so far at the finals, equalling the record for a single World Cup with the action only barely past the halfway stage.

The Saudis continued keeping the Egyptians back as Salem Al Dawsari ventured forward with a storming run but lacked the desired effect with a poor finish.

Saudi Arabia had offered nothing in the way of attacking threat, but were given a chance of an unlikely leveller five minutes before the interval when Fathy was adjudged to have deliberately handled Yasir Al Shahrani's cross inside the area.

"I am very sorry for the fans, for everyone in Egypt", El Hadary said.

The Al-Hilal man was key to Saudi Arabia's victory.

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