Saudi Arabia continued their march towards South Africa with a 2-0 away victory over Singapore which was enough to put them in the final phase of Asian FIFA World Cup™ qualifying. Abdoh Autef put the visitors in front after 37 minutes before Ahmed Al Fraidi secured the points 14 minutes from time, ending Singapore's faint hopes of progressing to the next round.
Playing their first match under new coach Nasser Al Jawhar, who replaced the sacked Helio dos Anjos earlier this week, the Saudis were rarely extended by a limited Singapore side.
The hosts had a glorious opportunity to take the lead with barely two minutes on the clock when Aleksandar Duric flicked the ball on to Khairul Amri in acres of space. The striker bore down on goal but produced a disappointingly weak sidefoot effort that keeper Waleed Abdullah pushed behind.
Saudi Arabia got the upper hand when Saad Al Harthi received the ball on the edge of the area and quickly played in Autef down the right before the midfielder fired across keeper Hassan Sunny and into the bottom corner.
The Saudis continued to press after the break and an error from Baihakki Khaizan on the hour mark allowed them to forge into the area, but Malek Maaz was crowded out.
They finally doubled their advantage in the 76th minute when two substitutes combined as Saud Khariri fed Al Fraidi on the right-hand side of the box and he made the most of the space by finding the far corner with a low drive.
Saudi Arabia could have had more but for an impressive display by goalkeeper Sunny, who kept his side's fading hopes alive with a series of fine saves, ultimately to no avail.