Saudi Arabia had the kind of start at the World Cup that would normally only happen in your worst nightmares.
Perhaps they weren’t expecting anything other than a defeat against Germany, but 8-0 is a humiliating scoreline for players at any level of football.
The Saudis were horribly exposed in a defence that seemed to have no grasp of the fundamentals of marking, but credit where credit's due.
Chastened by the experience, Saudi Arabia came back strongly and were unlucky to lose by a single goal.
Organisationally, they had transformed themselves form the leakiest rearguard in the tournament to one of the most difficult to break down, though their defence was breached three times by the Republic of Ireland in the last match.
The Saudis failed to score a goal at World Cup 2002, but as coach Nasser Al-Johar was quick to point out, defending champions France fared no better on that front.