Saudi Arabia’s U-19 team clinch remarkable Asian Cup with victory over Korea

Saudi Arabia’s Young Falcons pulled off a remarkable win against South Korea in the Asian Cup final on Sunday, with talisman Turki Al-Ammar leading the line. (Twitter: @SaudiNT)
Updated 04 November 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s U-19 team clinch remarkable Asian Cup with victory over Korea

  • Caps a wonderful week for Saudi Arabia as their semifinal win over Japan saw them qualify for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup
  • Young Falcons showed the defensive resolve that had got them to the final and held on to claim the title

JAKARTA: Saudi Arabia’s Young Falcons pulled off a remarkable win against South Korea in the Asian Cup final on Sunday, with talisman Turki Al-Ammar leading the line to land the Kingdom its third title at U-19 level and their first since 1992.
It caps a wonderful week for Saudi Arabia as their semifinal win over Japan saw them qualify for next year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, where they will be joined by their beaten opponents Korea.
It took the Saudis just two minutes to go ahead, with Al-Ammar finishing on the rebound after Abdulmohsen Al-Qahtani’s initial shot had been saved.
Twenty minutes later, they had a second goal. Khalid Al-Ghannam struck a scintillating drive over Lee Gwang-yeon in the Korean goal from distance to send the Saudi supporters in the Bogor’s Pakansari Stadium into raptures.
Korea pressed harder in the second half in a bid to rescue the game, and they reduced the deficit midway through the half, as Cho Young-wook calmly despatching a penalty, which had been given after Jeon Se-jin was upended in the area by Muhannad Al-Shanqiti.
Ten minutes after that, Jeon should have dragged his team level, but he steered his attempt wide at the far post from a pinpoint cross from Um Won-Sang.
But the Young Falcons showed the defensive resolve that had got them to the final and held on to claim the title and spark wild celebrations.


Francesco Molinari looking for ‘dream’ end to season in Dubai at DP World Tour Championship

Updated 15 November 2018
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Francesco Molinari looking for ‘dream’ end to season in Dubai at DP World Tour Championship

  • 2018 has been an incredible year for Molinari
  • If Molinari wins this weekend, it would make him just the third player in history to win multiple Rolex Series events

LONDON: Francesco Molinari is looking to end a fairytale season by becoming the European No. 1 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, which starts today, and the first Italian to achieve the feat.
2018 has been an incredible year for Molinari, with a maiden Major victory in the Open Championship in July, which followed a first Rolex event victory at the BMW PGA Championship in May. He has also not missed a single cut this season, a run that extends over four years in regular European Tour events.
And in a glorious Ryder Cup for the Europeans, he became the first player from the continent to win five points out of five, while securing the winning point in his singles match against USA’s Phil Mickelson.
Speaking to journalists ahead of today’s tee-off, the Italian said: “It feels incredible, a new position for me, I’ve never been here in the past.
“I think it’s just a consequence and a sign of an incredible season. I would have never guessed that I would be here in this position if you told me in April or May this year but it’s been an incredible summer, topped by an unbelievable Ryder Cup.
“Really, it’s a dream season for me and it’s nice to be here in this position. Hopefully I’ll be able to close it out. I know it’s not going to be easy and I’m not making any assumptions but I’ll do my best on the course to do the job.
And when asked about his prospects of winning the Harry Vardon trophy this weekend, he said: “You can have the best week of your life and win one tournament but to win a competition that lasts throughout the season, with the amount of talent there is right now on the European Tour, is something really hard to do but it’s also still hard to figure out for me how I’m here in this position.”
Molinari needs to finish tied-fifth or better at the Jumeirah Golf Estates to seal the Race to Dubai crown, but Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood — the man he formed such a strong bond with in Paris — is the only man who can prevent him the perfect ending.
Victory for the Englishman on the Earth Course is the only way he can deny Molinari the title, but the Italian was full of praise for his “best friend” and would not begrudge Fleetwood if he successfully defended his Race to Dubai crown.
“I know we said this and we’re going to sound really cheesy but if I don’t win, I’d rather see him win than anyone else,” he said.
“We really are good friends and he’s had an amazing season. To think that he won last year and to come here, still with a chance to win two in a row, it’s incredible, really.
“So fair play to him. What I can say for me is that it’s been a great season and however it goes this week, I’m still going to have lots of great memories from all of what I’ve done this year, and probably the best memory is what we’ve done together with him in France.
“I can’t really be mad at him, even if he wins.”
If Molinari wins this weekend, it would make him just the third player in history to win multiple Rolex Series events and he praised the introduction of the European Tour’s prestige level of tournaments.
“There’s a few events that we target every year,” he said. “It’s great for us to have the opportunity to play in such special tournaments.
“Especially for guys like me, playing a home event in Italy that is part of the Rolex Series, just gives a completely new meaning to the Italian Open.”