New coach Peseiro drops Al Qahtani
The Saudi striker is dropped from the national squad after missing training.
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2009 10:06 GMT

Former AFC player of the year Yasser Al Qahtani is now on the outer of his national team [AFP]
New Saudi Arabia coach Jorge Peseiro has looked to make an immediate impact on the squad after he dropped former Asian Player of the Year Yasser Al Qahtani from side ahead of their crunch World Cup qualifying match on April 1 after he missed a training session.

The 26-year-old Al Qahtani, rated the continent's leading player in 2007, played in Al Hilal's club match against Al Wehda on Monday night but missed a national squad training session on Tuesday.

"The coach has decided against including Yasser Al Qahtani after he missed the training and didn't reply repeated phone calls,'' Saudi team manager Fahed Al Musebeih said.

Al Qahtani was already going to miss Saturday's World Cup match against Iran due to suspension but Peseiro has also ruled him out for the match against United Arab Emirates four days later.

Warm up matches

Iran warmed up for Saturday's match with a 1-0 win over Kuwait on Monday night, via Maziar Zareh's penalty in the 84th minute.

The Saudis were held to a scoreless draw in a friendly against Asian Cup champion Iraq on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia is fourth in the five-team Group B half way through the final full round of Asian qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with four points.

South Korea leads the group with eight points, one clear of North Korea and two ahead of Iran.

The top two teams in Asian Groups A and B earn direct places at the World Cup in South Africa, while the third-place teams in each group play off for a spot in an intercontinental qualifier.

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