RIYADH — The Saudi Arabian national football team is set to play two friendly matches against Nigeria and Mali in Portugal during the upcoming international break in October.

In an official statement released on Wednesday, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation announced that Saudi Arabia would face Nigeria on October 13 and Mali on October 17 at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, Portugal.

The Saudi national team will hold their training camp in Portugal as part of the third phase of their preparation program for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in Qatar early next year.

During their recent friendly matches in Newcastle Saudi Arabia suffered a 1-0 defeat against South Korea after a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica last Friday.

These upcoming friendly matches in Portugal mark the first round of tests for Italian coach Roberto Mancini, who took charge of the Saudi national team just a week before the Newcastle training camp.

Mancini will have a better opportunity to assess the abilities of the players in the Saudi Arabian league, with several league rounds and Round 32 matches in the King's Cup scheduled before the October camp.

It's worth noting that the Saudi national team will kick off their official journey with Mancini by facing Jordan on Nov. 21, 2023, in Amman as part of the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

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