Legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history after playing and saving a penalty in their 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia Monday.
El Hadary, who is 45 years and 161 days old, is featuring at his first World Cup for the Pharaohs on his 157th cap, and saved a first-half penalty from Fahad Al-Muwallad.
Ahmed Fathy was penalised for a handball just inside the box, but the goalkeeper dived well to save Al-Muwallad’s powerful spot kick by pushing it onto the bar.
He could however do nothing about a second penalty awarded to Saudi Arabia as Salman Al-Faraj made no mistake from the spot.
El Hadary beat the previous age record, held by Colombia keeper Faryd Mondragon, who was 43 years and three days old when he appeared at the World Cup in 2014.
Speaking at a prematch news conference before he was confirmed as a starter, El-Hadary said: “Obviously every player wants to set a record. It would not only be my achievement but also an achievement for Egypt.”
The Pharaohs were seeking a first World Cup win at their third tournament appearance but ended bottom of Group A as they lost to Uruguay and Russia, before a 95th minute goal by Salem Al-Dawsari saw Saudi Arabia claim a late win on Monday after Mo Salah had put them ahead with a sublime finish.
Elsewhere in the group, Uruguay brought hosts Russia back to earth with a 3-0 spanking at the Samara Arena.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring with a free-kick from just outside the box, before an own-goal from Denis Cherushev made it 2-0.
Russia’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when Igor Smolnikov was sent off 10 minutes before half-time, and Edinson Cavani opened his account at the tournament with a goal in stoppage-time.
Uruguay, who finished as group winners will play the runners-up of group B while Russia will take on the winners of the group in the last 16.