DOHA - Saudi Arabia defender Yasser Al-Shahrani reassured fans that he is okay after undergoing emergency surgery following a horror collision during his country’s shock 2-1 win over Argentina on Tuesday, adding that his team deserved their victory.
In stoppage time at the Lusail Stadium, Al-Shahrani was on the ground for several minutes after clashing with goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais and was eventually stretchered off.
It was later reported that the 30-year-old had fractured his jaw and broken facial bones and required rapid surgical intervention due to internal bleeding.
The incident happened when Alowais and Argentina fullback Nahuel Molina jumped to clear the ball, with the former catching Al-Shahrani, who was in the middle of the pair, with his knee.
Al-Shahrani, who is unlikely to feature in the tournament again, said in a video on the Saudi national team’s Twitter page: “I wanted to assure you that my health is good, your prayers are for me, and the fans of the Saudi national team deserve to win.”
Gulf Today reported Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Salman ordered that the player be flown by private jet to Germany for treatment.
The Saudi federation issued a statement on social media saying: “Yasser Al-Shahrani underwent a successful surgery in the pancreatic gland at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh.”
With their historic triumph over Argentina, Saudi Arabia now sit atop Group C with two points ahead of Poland and Mexico, who shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw on Tuesday.
They will face Poland next on Saturday.