Dubai: Saudi Arabia powered to a 2-0 victory over Lebanon on Saturday, placing the Green Falcons within sight of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Round of 16.
The win places Saudi Arabia on top of the Group E standings with six points, and they will seal their place in the knockout stage should DPR Korea not beat Qatar on Sunday.
Lebanon, defeated 2-0 by Qatar on Matchday One, will have to beat DPR Korea if they are to have a chance of advancing as one of the four best third-place teams.
In the all-West Asian affair at the Al Maktoum Stadium, Saudi Arabia took control of the match from the start, holding possession and forcing Lebanon to play on the counter-attack.
Saudi Arabia found their breakthrough in the 12th minute when they latched onto a defensive mistake.
The action began with Lebanon’s Joan Oumari’s back pass deflecting off teammate Robert Alexander Melki’s left boot, and the ball landed near Saudi Arabia’s Fahad Almuwalad, who half-volleyed home from close range.
Miodrag Radulovic's Lebanon were undeterred and had two opportunities but Oumari failed to keep his header down in the 16th minute, while George Felix Melki just missed Hassan Maatouk’s free-kick eight minutes later.