Doha. Mohammed Al Shalhoub issued a heartfelt apology to Saudi Arabias football fans on Thursday after the Green Falcons were eliminated from the AFC Asian Cup following their 1-0 loss to Jordan at the Al Rayyan Stadium. A fortuitous goal by Bahaa Abdelrahman just before half time proved to be the difference as the Saudis who have reached the AFC Asian Cup final in six of the last seven tournaments crashed out after suffering their second straight defeat in Group B.
Touted as one of the pre tournament favourites the Saudis instead became the earliest team to be eliminated from the competition. And the disappointment was clearly etched on the faces of their players and coaches almost all of whom filed out of the stadium without saying a word after the game.
Al Shalhoub was one of the few who agreed to speak to the media and he expressed the teams regret at their stunning early elimination.
I am very sorry to all our fans for the result today said the Al Hilal midfielder.
We played very well and we controlled the ball better than Jordan in the game. But football is about scoring goals and although we had chances we were unable to manage that today.
It was very disappointing to lose this game but this is football. Now we just have to look to the next challenge and hopefully we can do better.
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