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Italy’s Roberto Mancini Begins Saudi Arabia Managerial Career with Loss to Costa Rica: World Cup Qualifiers and Asian Cup Final 2024

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Italy’s Roberto Mancini Begins Saudi Arabia Managerial Career with Friendly Loss to Costa Rica

Roberto Mancini, the former manager of the Italian national team, started his tenure as the manager of Saudi Arabia with a 3-1 defeat against Costa Rica in a friendly match. The game was part of Saudi Arabia’s preparations for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers and the 2026 FIFA World Cup. The match took place at St James’s Park stadium in Newcastle, England, which is owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. Many Saudi fans, mostly students studying in the area, were in attendance.

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Ali Al-Bulaihi scored the only goal for Saudi Arabia in the 63rd minute, while Francisco Calvo, Brandon Aguilera, and Randall Leal scored hat-tricks for Costa Rica in the 12th, 32nd, and 89th minutes, respectively.

Social Media Reaction

⚽ The first goal of the Costa Rica team #Saudi_Costa Rica#With_you_green ????????
#Saudi_Sportpic.twitter.com/yiXrdWG9dw

– Saudi Sports Channels (@riyadiyatv) September 8, 2023

⚽ The second goal of the Costa Rica team #Saudi_Costa Rica#With_you_green ????????
#Saudi_Sportpic.twitter.com/zNhv1Y6cog

– Saudi Sports Channels (@riyadiyatv) September 8, 2023

⚽ Goal – the first goal for our national team, scored by a player Ali Al-Bulaihi. #Saudi_Costa Rica#With_you_green ????????
#Saudi_Sportpic.twitter.com/h1j9aA3WuO

– Saudi Sports Channels (@riyadiyatv) September 8, 2023

⚽ The third goal of the Costa Rica team #Saudi_Costa Rica#With_you_green ????????

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