Soony Saad - Sporting KC vs. Minnesota United FC - June 3, 2017

Sporting Kansas City forward Soony Saad helped Lebanon keep a commanding lead in Group B of 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying as the Cedars rescued a late 2-2 draw at North Korea on Tuesday.


Saad entered the action as an 88th-minute substitute with Lebanon trailing 2-1 at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, collecting his ninth cap at the senior international level. The visitors pressed for an equalizer in the dying embers and were rewarded in the 94th minute when captain Hassan Maatouk's free kick flashed untouched through a crowded penalty area and nestled into the corner of the net.


Kim Yu Song drew first blood for the hosts in the 23rd minute before Lebanon clawed even two minutes into the second half on a low strike from Nour Mansour. Ri Yong Jik appeared to have given North Korea all three points with an 87th-minute goal, but Saad's arrival and a late wave of Lebanese pressure resulted in a last-gasp leveler.


Lebanon remains five points clear atop Group B with three qualifiers still to play between now and March 2018. The top two finishers in the group will advance to the AFC Asian Cup, Asia’s quadrennial national team tournament in which Lebanon made its lone appearance in 2000. The 2019 edition will be played from Jan. 5 to Feb. 1 in the United Arab Emirates.


2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying – Group B

Team
PTS
W
L
D
GF
GA
GD
Lebanon
7
2
0
1
6
3
+3
North Korea
2
0
0
2
3
3
  0
Hong Kong
2
0
1
2
2
4
 -2
Malaysia
1
0
1
1
2
3
 -1

Saad will now return to Sporting Kansas City ahead of Sunday’s MLS regular season match at Columbus Crew SC, set for noon CT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

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