Dammam: Saudi Arabia women’s national football team have won their first-ever trophy after claiming victory in a four-team tournament held in the Kingdom featuring the hosts, Pakistan, Mauritius and Comoros.
Saudi Arabia recorded a 1-1 draw in their final match against Pakistan on Thursday night to top the Women’s International Friendly Tournament standings with 7 points. Saudi Arabia opened the scoreline through Al Bandary Mubarak’s first half strike. The result came after wins against Mauritius 1-0, through Mariam Al Tamimi’s goal from the penalty spot, and Comoros 2-0, following goals from Noura Ibrahim and Dalia Adel. Pakistan finished second in the table with 4 points, with Comoros and Mauritius following with 3 points respectively.
Individually it was a success for Saudi Arabia too, with Sarah Khalid winning best goalkeeper of the tournament having conceded just one goal. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Maria Jamila Khan claimed the best player award, with Comoros’ Onalaya Ali receiving the top scorer award.
The milestone moment marks another chapter in the transformation of the women’s game in Saudi Arabia. It was the first time a women’s 11-a-side international tournament had been hosted in the country, with all matches held at the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium in the Eastern Province.
Lamia Bahaian, Supervisor of the Women’s Football Department and board member at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, said: “This is a momentous day in Saudi Arabian football, and we congratulate the talented players in the women’s national team, as well as all the management, coaching and staff members, on this wonderful achievement. We are all very proud.
Boost for the future
“Winning this tournament will inspire many young girls across the Kingdom to become involved in football and experience all the joys that the beautiful game offers.”
In a further boost for the future of the Saudi Arabian women’s national team, the average age of the players competing in the tournament was 23 years old.
Monika Staab, the Saudi Arabia Head Coach, said: “Winning this tournament is an important milestone in Saudi Arabian football and will give the players huge confidence as they progress their national team careers. I am delighted with the players and how they performed over the past three games triumph — it provides a huge springboard for future success.”