The World Cup qualifier on Thursday is the first competitive game since the Italian took control of the Green Falcons in late August
There are a number of new faces in the squad and Mancini is ‘confident that we have talented young players who deserve the opportunity’
AL-AHSA: The Saudi national football team’s match against Pakistan on Thursday “is our first official match and of course, beginnings are always challenging,” said head coach Roberto Mancini.
The match, at Al-Fateh’s Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium, kicks off the first round of the second stage of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, which also serve as qualifiers for the 2027 Asian Cup.
It is the first competitive game since Mancini took control of the team in late August, and the squad has been preparing this week in Al-Ahsa.
“I would like to thank the people of Al-Ahsa for the warm welcome we have received in the past few days,” said Mancini.
Regarding the readiness of the players for their first competitive game since the Gulf Cup in January, he added: “We are aiming to perform well and secure the points from the match.”
There are a number of new faces in his squad and Mancini said: “I believe it is the right time to call up new players, especially after observing several players over the past three months. I am confident that we have talented young players who deserve the opportunity.”
The Saudis will also take on Jordan in the qualifiers on Tuesday, and Mancini said: “Our goal is to give our...
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