UAE’s Al-Ain score shock win on penalties over River Plate at Club World Cup

Al-Ain’s players converted all five penalty kicks, before goalkeeper Khalid Eisa saved Enzo Perez’s fifth shot for River to seal a 5-4 victory in the shootout. (AFP)
Updated 18 December 2018
0

UAE’s Al-Ain score shock win on penalties over River Plate at Club World Cup

AL AIN, UAE: South American champions River Plate were upset by Al-Ain FC in the Club World Cup on Tuesday, losing in a penalty shootout after the semifinal finished 2-2 following extra time.
Al-Ain’s players converted all five penalty kicks, before goalkeeper Khalid Eisa saved Enzo Perez’s fifth shot for River to seal a 5-4 victory in the shootout.
River endured the humbling loss to the team from the UAE less than two weeks after thrilling their fans with a memorable win over fierce Argentine rivals Boca Juniors in the final of the Copa Libertadores.
Real Madrid play Kashima Antlers on Wednesday in the other semifinal.
River entered the match heavily favored, but it quickly found it faced a more than worthy opponent that attacked effectively and got an inspired performance by Eisa in goal.
Marcus Berg put Al-Ain ahead in the third minute when he grazed a corner kick near the post and sent it between the legs of goalkeeper Franco Armani.
Rafael Santos Borre pulled River Plate level in the 11th after redirecting a shot into the net following a pair of saves by Eisa.
Borre added a second goal just five minutes later by scoring from a tight angle after a quick attack.
Al-Ain pressed for a second goal, coming close before halftime when a video review disallowed a goal by Hussein El-Shahat for offsides.
The equalizer came in the 51st when Brazilian forward Caio exchanged passes with Tsukasa Shiotani before cutting back inside a defender and shooting past Armani.
Borre went close to putting River back in front, only for Eisa to make an excellent one-handed save to turn back his powerful header.
Gonzalo Martinez had an opportunity to put River back in front from the penalty spot after Mohamed Ahmad fouled Milton Casco in the area. But Martinez hit the 68th-minute spot kick against the crossbar.
River were outplayed the rest of the way and only a save by Armani in extra time sent the match to penalties.
Al-Ain beat Team Wellington of New Zealand and Esperance de Tunis in previous rounds.
The final is on Saturday.


Finch, Starc shine as Australia beat Sri Lanka in World Cup

Updated 15 June 2019
0

Finch, Starc shine as Australia beat Sri Lanka in World Cup

  • Defending champions record their fourth win of tournament at the Oval encounter

LONDON: Australia captain Aaron Finch and pace bowler Mitchell Starc stole the show as the holders eased to an 87-run win over Sri Lanka at the Oval on Saturday.

Finch equalled his career-best one-day international score with a masterful 153 and Steve Smith chipped in with 73 as Australia scored 334-7.

Needing a World Cup record run-chase to claim a shock win, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start thanks to a first-wicket partnership of 115 between captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera.

But Perera departed for 52 and when Karunaratne fell on 97 the game swung back in Australia’s direction.

Starc was the catalyst with a fiery spell of three wickets in six balls, Australia eventually dismissing Sri Lanka for 247 thanks in large part to his 4-55 from 10 overs.

Kane Williamson added three wickets of his own as Australia made it four wins from their five group matches after previously beating Afghanistan, the West Indies and Pakistan.

Their lone defeat in the 10-team tournament came against India and their latest victory puts them well on course for a semifinal berth.

Sri Lanka, who lost their last seven wickets for 42 runs, have only one win from their five matches, a disappointing run that includes two washouts.

They face a struggle to reach the semifinals with only four matches left, a spell that features encounters with title contenders England and India.

Sri Lanka had briefly looked capable of surpassing the World Cup chase set by Ireland, who made 329-7 to beat England in 2011.

Karunaratne and his opening partner Perera blasted 24 from the first two overs and reached their fifty partnership in just the seventh over.

But Starc bowled Perera and Jason Behrendorff dismissed Lahiru Thirimanne for 16 as Australia hit back.

A six from Kusal Mendis in the 31st over signalled Sri Lanka’s intent to get cracking.

But crucially Karunaratne stumbled short of his maiden World Cup century when he carelessly flicked Richardson to Glenn Maxwell at backward point.

That left Sri Lanka 186-3 and set the stage for Starc to turn the screw by dismissing Milinda Siriwardana, Thisara Perera and Mendis in quick succession.

Mendis’s mistimed drive off Starc reduced Sri Lanka to 222-7 and shattered their resistance.

Earlier, Finch took the Sri Lanka attack apart with a dazzling display that included 15 fours and five sixes.

He was well-supported by Smith’s 73 from 59 balls and the pair put on 173 runs for the third wicket.

Together with opening partner David Warner, Finch took the attack to the Sri Lankans after being put in to bat under cloudy skies in south London.

The pair passed 50 for the opening wicket for the fourth time in five games at the World Cup.

Sri Lanka had no answer to Finch’s brutal assault and by the time he departed, caught by Karunaratne off Isuru Udana, he had put Australia in a commanding position.

Maxwell’s quick-fire 46 from 25 balls rubbed salt into Sri Lanka’s wounds.