Friday , November 24 2017

Saudi Arabia to play Bulgaria in World Cup warm-up match

SOFIA, Oct 30, (Agencies): Saudi Arabia, who have qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2006, will play Bulgaria in a warm-up match in Lisbon, Portugal on Nov 13, the Bulgarian Football Union announced on Monday.

The match will follow Saudi Arabia’s friendly against Portugal in the city of Leiria three days earlier.

Argentine Edgardo Bauza was appointed in September as Saudi Arabia’s head coach for the 32-team tournament next year, after negotiations with their former manager Bert van Marwijk broke down.

The Dutchman, who led the Saudis to their fifth World Cup, halted discussions on a new contract after expressing frustration that a number of his staff members were sacked after the team booked their ticket to Russia.

Bulgaria, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, will use the friendly at the Estadio do Restelo, as preparation for their Euro 2020 qualifiers.

South Korea veteran striker Lee Dong-Gook scored a record 200th K-League goal, to help his Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors side clinch their fifth league championship at the weekend. A crowd of more than 17,000 spectators erupted in celebration as the 38-year-old headed home in the 78th minute on Sunday to reach the landmark against Jeju United in the southwestern city of Jeonju.

Lee rushed towards the stands, taking off his green jersey and waving it at the roaring home fans.

Jeonbuk won 3-0 to secure the 2017 K-League Classic crown with two matches remaining this season.

“I always compete thinking that this could be my last match,” Lee told reporters after Sunday’s victory.

“I have the thought that I might not be on the ground next year,” he added, hinting at a possible plan to retire.

Lee made his K-League debut in 1998 with Pohang Steelers before he joining Jeonbuk in 2009, with whom he has scored 136 goals.

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