Saudi Arabia drawn in group with Iran and North Korea at Asian Games

Saad Al-Shehr will lead Saudi Arabia at the Asian Games. (AFP)
Updated 07 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia drawn in group with Iran and North Korea at Asian Games

  • Myanmar make up the quartet in Group F
  • Coach Saad Al-Shehri has named a 28-man squad

Saudi Arabia's U-23 squad will meet the 2014 silver medalists after the groups were drawn for the Asian Games next month.
The young Green Falcons have been placed in Group F along with North Korea, who lost 1-0 in extra time to South Korea four years ago, Iran and Myanmar.
The group winners and runners-up as well as four best teams in third place in the groups will qualify for the knockout round of the tournament which runs in Indonesia from Aug. 18 to Sept. 2.
Saudi Arabia will play Iran on Aug. 15, Myanmar two days later and then the crunch clash against North Korea on Aug. 21. The final is at the Pakansari Stadium on Sept. 1.
Saudi Arabia reached the quarterfinal four years ago, losing 3-0 to Iraq but they were runners-up in 1986 and finished third in 1982.
Coach Saad Al-Shehri will be hoping his side perform better than they did at December's Gulf Cup where they failed to get out of the group. He will prepare his players by taking them to the Czech Republic for a training camp between July 9 and July 28.

He named the following squad:

Mohamed al-Rabihi
Mohamed al-Bassas
Abdullah Hassoun
AbdulBasit Hindi
Faisal Darisi
Ali Al-Asmari
Yussof Al-Harbi
AbdulRahman Al-Gharib
Ayman Al-Khlif
Abdullah Majrishi
Mansoor al-Mawled
Nawwaf Abu Amer
Saad al-Slouli
Mohamed al-Zubaidi
Saleh Al-Wahaymed
Moutaeb Al-Hamad
AbdulRahman Al-Dosary
Anas Zubani
Fahd Al-Roushaydi
Nayef Kariri
Amin Bukhari
Aoun Slouli
Hassan Abu Sharara
Haroun Kamara
Nasser Al-Omran
Abdullah Al-Yussof
Abdulilah Al-Omari
Abdulkoudous Attiyah

ASIAN GAMES DRAW

Group A
Indonesia
Hong Kong
Laos
Chinese Taipei

Group B
Thailand
Uzbekistan
Bangladesh
Qatar

Group C
Iraq
China PR
Timor-Leste
Syria

Group D
Japan
Vietnam
Pakistan
Nepal

Group E
South Korea
Kyrgyzstan
Malaysia
Bahrain

Group F
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
Iran
Myanmar


Ranieri confident of pulling ‘quality’ Fulham out of the mire

Updated 16 November 2018
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Ranieri confident of pulling ‘quality’ Fulham out of the mire

  • Ranieri, the manager behind Leicester’s incredible 2016 league title win, took over from sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday
  • Claudio Ranieri: When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be safe ... I need fighting spirit

LONDON: Claudio Ranieri said Friday that he was confident that he can drag rock bottom Fulham out of relegation danger after taking over at the newly-promoted Premier League side this week.
Ranieri, the manager behind Leicester’s incredible 2016 league title win, took over from sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday after his Serb predecessor only managed one win in 12 matches in his debut season as a coach in England’s top flight.
Fulham have lost nine times on their way to gaining just five points, but Ranieri believes there is still hope for a team bolstered with around 100 million euros ($114 million) of summer signings after winning promotion from the Championship last season.
“When I watched some matches I said this team has enough quality to be safe ... I need fighting spirit,” said Ranieri to reporters on Friday.
The Italian wants to combine that talent — owner Shahid Khan splashed out on Jean Michael Seri Andre Schuedefensivesrrle, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson — with the grit that saw his Leicester team overcome all the odds two years ago.
“Quality with fighting spirit we can do a good job. If there is only quality, without organization, defensive tactics, it’s difficult to help the players to maintain the clean sheet,” added Ranieri.
“Now for me it’s important to put in the brain of my players this philosophy. Play football, play well, but when you lose the ball I want to see you with an anchor, like pirates.”
Ranieri returns to England as a coach for the first time since being sacked by Leicester in February 2017 after a disastrous title defense.
He was in Leicester last weekend to pay his respects to Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and the four others killed in a helicopter crash last month.
However Ranieri played down suggestions of creating another miracle by winning the title with Fulham.
“Forget what happened yesterday, that was a bonus. A fairytale I forget,” the 67-year-old said of his and Leicester’s first ever league title win.
“Now it’s important, don’t think about the miracle. It’s important there will be a lot of battles and it’s important to be ready together.”
Asked whether he would reward his Fulham players with pizza when they kept clean sheets like he did at Leicester, Ranieri joked: “Pizza is not enough now. Better everybody to McDonald’s.”
He will face two of his former clubs in his first three games, with the December 2 trip to Chelsea followed by what will be an emotional return to Leicester three days later.
He said: “I think only of Southampton. In this moment it’s important. Don’t think about other things, Southampton, Southampton. And then after Southampton, Chelsea.”