FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers: Saudi Arabia suffer major setback ahead of Pakistan clash – Football International


Star winger Salem Al-Dawsari has been ruled out of the clash due to an ankle injury. – AFP

Saudi Arabia suffered a major setback ahead of their clash against Pakistan on November 16 at Al-Hasa during the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2026 Asian Qualifiers.

According to Saudi Arabian Football Federation, star winger Salem Al-Dawsari has been ruled out of the clash due to an ankle injury. He will also miss the match against Jordan on the 21st of this month.

It must be noted that Salem Al Dawsari’s brilliant performance last season helped him bag the prestigious accolade of the AFC Player of the Year 2022 earlier this month at the AFC Annual Awards 2022 in Doha.

The Saudi Arabian forward had many memorable moments last season which included goals against Argentina and Mexico at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and equalling the legendary Sami Al Jaber’s record of three FIFA World Cup goals for the Green Falcons.

Salem Al Dawsari has 21 goals in 77 appearances for Saudi Arabia national team.

Earlier, it was also confirmed that Pakistan’s star defender and captain Easah Suliman will be out for two months after suffering a medial meniscus tear while playing for Sumqayit FC, which features in the Azerbaijan Premier League.

Suliman underwent successful operation last month but he will miss the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying matches against Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan in November.

It must be noted that Suliman played a key role in defense as Pakistan beat Cambodia 1-0 to register first win in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers history in Islamabad on October 17.

Harun Hamid scored the winning goal for Pakistan in the 67th minute of the second leg after the first leg of the tie between the two sides ended goalless in Cambodia.

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