Jordan told to have no fear against Australia ahead of Al-Ain clash

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Jordan will be out to make life tough for the Socceroos. (AFP)
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Updated 05 January 2019
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Jordan told to have no fear against Australia ahead of Al-Ain clash

  • Belgian coach Vital Borkelmans tells team they can shock defending champions.
  • Socceroos warned they cannot take anything for granted.

LONDON: Jordan must believe they can beat Australia if they are to have a chance of winning their opening clash today.
That is the message from coach
Vital Borkelmans, whose side head into the Group B match on the back of a run of form that has seen them win just once since last May. As if that was not bad enough they have to face the defending champions in Al-Ain — the age-old mantra of making sure you do not lose your first match of a tournament doubtless not far from their minds.
But since the new coach took his seat in the dugout in October, there has been some encouragement. A 2-1 victory against India and a 1-1 draw against Saudi Arabia were both cause for optimism. And even if those results were followed by defeats to Kyrgyzstan and Qatar — slightly tempered by a draw against China — Borkelmans, below, is clearly a glass-half-full kind of guy as he was only stressing the positives ahead of Jordan’s crunch clash against the Socceroos.
“My team is ready physically and mentally and tomorrow they will hopefully make a good game like they did in Qatar and make a lot of chances as we did against China, Kyrgyzstan and Qatar,” the Belgian said. “They made a lot of chances and it’s very important they continue to do so and one day it will change, and maybe that will be (against Australia).”


If there is an obvious Achilles heel, it is a lack of goals. During the pre-tournament training camp in Qatar they scored just once in their three matches. It is hard to see Jordan troubling an Australia side that, despite missing key players through injury, still enter the tournament as one of the big favorites.
“Australia (are) very good, they were at the World Cup and the experience they have at the Asian Cup is amazing,” the coach said.
“For us, we are preparing for every game, not only Australia is very important. (We have) games against Syria and Palestine. There are three Arab teams in this group, so this is a special group.
“This tournament is so special, for every team and every country the start is always dangerous and every team is scared to lose.”
The Socceroos would do well, however, to not take Jordan lightly. While much has changed since the sides met in qualifying the Aussies will be only too aware that they were beaten by the Middle East team 2-0 in Amman before gaining revenge 5-1 in the return in Sydney.
Perhaps because of that Australia coach Graham Arnold has told his players that reputation will count for nothing come kick-off. The Socceroos may be defending champions, but the message being delivered from the dugout is that if they fail to bring their A-game, anything could happen.
“(Winning the title four years ago) is a great memory, but we’re totally focused on what’s in front of us,” Arnold said. “We can’t do anything about the past and what’s in front of us is the Asian Cup. For the players it’s time to get the show started. Everyone’s been talking about it for a long time and we’ve prepared for it and we’re ready.”
Arnold confirmed Mathew Leckie will not be fit enough to play after sustaining a hamstring injury in the build-up to the tournament, but he remains hopeful the Hertha Berlin winger will return soon.
“He’s coming along really well,” Arnold said. “Obviously it’s one game at a time and we’ve really thrown our belief behind him, and he has a strong will to be with us. He’s worked hard and at this minute he’s only out for the first game. We’ll reassess for the second.”


Sixth season of ​​Formula E to start in Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah in November

Updated 16 June 2019
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Sixth season of ​​Formula E to start in Saudi Arabia’s Ad Diriyah in November

  • The electric cars competition will witness two rounds as part of the sixth ABB FIA Formula E event
  • Fourteen such events are scheduled in 12 cities on four different continents

RIYADH: FIA World Motor Sport Council revealed on Saturday that the 2019 Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix will kick off the new season on Nov. 22 and 23, 2019, on the outskirts of Riyadh.

The electric cars competition, organized by the FIA and the Saudi Arabia General Sport Authority (GSA), will witness two rounds as part of the sixth ABB FIA Formula E competition, out of 14 organized in 12 cities on four different continents including, Santiago, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Rome, Paris, Berlin, New York, and London and Seoul, which were recently added.

Alberto Longo, vice CEO of Formula E, said that the upcoming season will be one of the most exciting in the short history of the competition.

He also welcomed Mercedes Benz and Porsche to the list of competitors, and Seoul and London to the competition’s venues.

He said that the present season is about to end with three more rounds to go, and that there is a fierce competition for the title.

CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

● Nov. 22: Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

● Nov. 23: Ad Diriyah, Saudi Arabia

● Dec. 14: TBA

● Jan. 18, 2020: Santiago, Chile

● Feb. 15, 2020: Mexico City, Mexico

● March 1, 2020: Hong Kong, China

● March 21, 2020: TBA — China

● April 4, 2020: Rome, Italy

● 9 April 18, 2020: Paris, France

● 10 May 3, 2020: Seoul, S. Korea

● 11 May 30, 2020: Berlin, Germany

● 12 June 20, 2020: New York, US

● 13 July 25, 2020: London, UK

● 14 July 26, 2020: London, UK