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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK

Saudis show character

Saudi Arabia coach Nasser Al-Johar was delighted with his side's performance despite a 1-0 loss to Cameroon which spelt the end of their World Cup.

Al-Johar was devastated after Saudi's 8-0 drubbing to Germany in their opening match in Group E.

But his side played with character and were unlucky not to score in limiting the Africa champions to a single goal from Samuel Eto'o on 65 minutes.

And despite no chance of qualifying for the second round, Al-Johar insisted his side would play to their full potential in their final match against Ireland on 11 June.

" Today we showed more the real picture of the Saudi team "
Saudi Arabia coach Nasser Al-Johar

"In the first match we were all shocked and I would like to apologize to our officials and fans," said Al-Johar.

"But today we showed more the real picture of the Saudi team.

"The Cameroon team are one of the favourites of the cup and have a great chance of going through to the next round.

"We promise to do our best in our final match and say goodbye to the World Cup with a good picture."

Saudi will be playing for pride in Yokohama, while Ireland will know that a 2-0 victory would ensure progression from the group.

They would qualify on goal difference, irrespective of the result between Germany and Cameroon.


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