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Injured Saudi Arabia defender flown home from World Cup

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DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Saudi Arabia defender Yasser Alshahrani was flown home Wednesday to be treated for facial injuries after an alarming collision with a teammate in the World Cup win over Argentina.

Alshahrani was flown from Doha to National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, the Saudi soccer federation said.

The 30-year-old player was injured in second-half stoppage time after helping to protect the Saudis’ 2-1 lead over Argentina in a shocking upset over one of the tournament favorites.

Alshahrani was chasing back to defend a high cross into the Saudi penalty area when he collided with goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais, who struck Alshahrani in the face with a knee. The defender’s head also hit hard on the turf.

The Saudi team posted a video clip late Tuesday of the player speaking from a hospital bed to assure fans he was well.

Saudi Arabia next plays Saturday against Poland in Group C.


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