Alyami brace guides Saudi Arabia past Ecuador

  • Saudi Arabia win first U-20 World Cup game since 2011

  • Ayman Alkhulaif and Abdulrahman Alyami combine for both goals

  • Ecuador's Bryan Cabezas has penalty saved in first half

Saudi Arabia beat Ecuador 2-1 thanks to two strikes from Abdulrahman Alyami to take three important points in Group F at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.

The Green Falcons needed just seven minutes to get on the scoresheet when Ayman Alkhulaif turned Pervis Estupinan before sliding a perfectly-weighted through ball to Alyami. The striker made no mistake when presented with a clear sight of goal as he drove his shot past Gian Terreros, the effort hitting the post before going in.

Ecuador responded with several attacks, mainly down their left flank as Estupinan and Bryan Cabezas combined well. It looked like their equaliser was going to come right before half-time when Herlin Lino was fouled in the penalty area. Cabezas stepped up to take it but his attempt was saved by Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Amin Albukhari.

The South Americans continued to attack in the second half, but Albukhari was up to each challenge. Saudi Arabia then doubled their lead in the 84th minute through the same attacking pair that combined for the first goal. Alkhulaif found an open Alyami on the back post and the striker put the chance away to ultimately give his side all three points.

Ecuador responded with a goal of their own late on through substitute Jordy Caicedo with a close-range finish, but it proved to be mere consolation.