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Saudi Arabia’s Yasser Al-Shahrani undergoes successful facial surgery after Argentina win

Saudi Arabia’s Yasser Al-Shahrani undergoes successful facial surgery after Argentina win

Saudi Arabia have confirmed that defender Yasser Al-Shahrani has undergone successful surgery after sustaining a nasty facial injury in the 2-1 World Cup victory over Argentina on Tuesday.

The Green Falcons shocked the football world when they came from behind to secure all three points against La Albiceleste – two-time world champions and one of the favourites for this year’s tournament in Qatar – courtesy of second-half strikes from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari.

However, in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time, Al-Shahrani was left unconscious after his face collided with the knee of Saudi goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais during an aerial challenge.

The 30-year-old regained consciousness and was taken off on a stretcher before being flown back home to a hospital in Riyadh for further examination.

Reports in Qatar, via the Daily Mail, claim that Al-Shahrani suffered a fractured jaw, broken facial bones and internal bleeding.

Argentina's Nahuel Molina in action as Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Alowais collides into Yasser Al-Shahrani on November 22, 2022© Reuters

Saudi Arabia have since taken to social media to provide a positive update on Al-Shahrani’s condition, although the defender will now miss the rest of the tournament.

A brief statement on Twitter read: “Yasser Al-Shahrani underwent a successful surgery in the pancreatic gland yesterday in Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz Medical City at the National Guard Hospital.

“He remains under the full supervision of the national team’s medical staff. The Saudi football family wishes Yasser a speedy recovery.”

Al-Shahrani himself has since issued an update on his health via a social media video, and said: “I wanted to assure you that I am okay. Pray for me. And congratulations to our Saudi fans on the win. You deserve it.”

The horrific incident towards the end of the match somewhat marred a historic day for Saudi Arabian football, but Herve Renard‘s side are now in a strong position to progress to the knockout rounds for the first time since 1994.

The Green Falcons – ranked 51st in the world by FIFA – currently sit top of Group C and they will book their place in the last 16 if they claim all three points in their next match against Poland, who played out a goalless draw with Mexico in their opening fixture.

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