Heskey scores in Jets win over Sydney

Updated 22 December 2012
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Heskey scores in Jets win over Sydney

SYDNEY: Former England striker Emile Heskey scored his sixth goal of the A-League season as the Newcastle Jets bounced back from a losing run to beat struggling Sydney FC 2-1 on Saturday.
Heskey scored from close range after lead-up work from James Virgili in the 26th minute for a 2-0 lead before Panamanian international Yairo Yau pulled one back in the 32nd minute.
But Sydney’s Italian marquee star Alessandro Del Piero barely featured as the side remained anchored at the bottom of the 10-team competition with just three wins and a draw in 12 games.
Del Piero played a superb ball to Yau in the final minutes but the striker sent his shot just over the crossbar.
Competition leaders Central Coast extended their unbeaten streak to nine games as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
The A-League leading marksman Daniel McBreen scored in the 44th minute for his 10th of the season but the Phoenix equalized through a header from Spaniard Dani Sanchez in the 83rd minute.
The Mariners lead the A-League by two points after second-placed Adelaide United were thrashed 6-1 by Shinji Ono’s Western Sydney Wanderers in Sydney on Friday.
In Saturday’s remaining game, Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson pinched a winner deep in injury-time to secure a pulsating 2-1 derby triumph over crosstown rivals Melbourne Heart.
Thompson scored two minutes into injury time to snatch all three points and sink the Heart, who had grabbed an equalizer through Brazilian Fred just minutes earlier.


What now for Saudi Arabia’s big four teams?

Updated 19 April 2018
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What now for Saudi Arabia’s big four teams?

  • Al-Hilal won their 15th top-flight title this season.
  • Big summer for Saudi Arabia football with the Green Falcons at the World Cup.

Now the Saudi Professional League season is over for another year Arab News can look back at their title tilts and what the big four clubs have to do over the coming months ahead of the next season.

 



AL-HILAL

Finished: Champions

Coaching situation: Ramon Diaz was in charge for much of the season, but was fired in February after setbacks in the Champions League.
Assistant Juan Brown did Okay in the final stretch, but a top-class coach could get more out of this team.

Squad priorities: A reliable goalscorer to support Omar Khribin and with veteran defender Osama Hawsawi leaving for pastures new, a replacement center-back with leadership qualities. Welcoming back the major stars — Carlos Eduardo, Khribin, Nawaf Al-Abed and Salem Al -Dawsari — will be a major boost.

Aim next season: Win the AFC Champions League

 



AL-AHLI

Finished: Second

Coaching situation: Sergiy Rebrov is out of contract at the end of June. His future is likely to depend on how the team fares against Al-Sadd in the second round of the AFC Champions League in May.

Squad priorities: There is not much wrong. The Jeddah giants were the highest scorers in the league last season and had the second best defense. Keeping star midfielder Leonardo fit will help as will a little cover in the center of defense. Star striker Omar Al-Somah fell out with the coach in a public way in the penultimate game of the season. It may be that one of them has to go. The Syrian has been player of the year for three years and has a longer contract than Rebrov.

Aim next season: Win the league. Maintain good performances in Asia.


 
AL-NASSR

Finished: Third

Coaching situation: Krunoslav Jurcic arrived in January and the former Croatian national team boss produced an upswing in results. May just be a temporary appointment and it needs to be sorted quickly.

Squad priorities: Looks good with the Saudi Arabia national team keeper, a strong center-back pairing of Omar Hawsawi and Bruno Uvini and the full-back position seemingly sorted with the January signing of Saad Suhail. They probably need a defensive midfielder and have to keep Junior Kabananga. The DR Congo striker has shown enough in his few weeks at the club to suggest that he could be a real star next season, especially with Leonardo pulling the strings behind him.

Aim next season: A genuine title challenge and getting through the play-offs into  the 2019 AFC Champions League.

 


AL-ITTIHAD

Finished: Ninth

Coaching situation: A bottom half finish is unacceptable for a team with Al-Itithad’s stature and history. Chilean coach Jose Luis Sierra may find that winning domestic cups is no substitute for challenging for the title.

Squad priorities: There is too much reliance on players such as Carlos Villanueva, a creative spark in the team, and Fahad Al-Ansari, the midfield engine, who are the wrong side of 30. The possible return of star winger Fahad Al-Muwallad will help, but an introduction of energy is needed.

Aim next season: Top three and, if the team wins the King’s Cup, a good showing in the 2019 AFC Champions League.