Son Heung-min tells South Korea to shape up or go home after nervy win over Bahrain

Son is only too aware that his side need to find their form if they are to live up to favorites tag. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019

Son Heung-min tells South Korea to shape up or go home after nervy win over Bahrain

  • Spurs star unhappy with South Korea performance as they struggle to beat part-timers Bahrain.
  • South Korea now face Qatar in tough last-eight clash.

DUBAI: Tottenham Hotspur star Son Heung-min told his South Korea team-mates “we’re better than that” after they needed extra time to scrape past Bahrain’s part-timers 2-1 in the Asian Cup last 16 .
Kim Jin-su’s diving header at the end of the first extra period was all that separated South Korea’s well-paid professionals and a Bahrain squad who mostly have day-jobs.
Paulo Bento’s South Korea, runners-up in 2015 and one of the favorites for the title, survived to reach the last eight, where they will face Qatar.
“It was a tough game. We played against a team who packed the defense and played counter-attack, so it’s not easy,” said Son.
“It’s all about attitude as well, and I’m a bit unhappy with our performance. I think we’re better than that.”
Son took a boot to the head as he weathered some robust challenges in a first half which South Korea dominated with 73 percent of possession.
The Koreans took a while to settle before Son started to make his presence felt with some typically direct running which caused panic in the Bahrain defense.
South Korea broke the deadlock two minutes from half-time, when Son picked out Lee Yong whose cross was parried by goalkeeper Sayed Shubbar Alawi to Hwang Hee-chan, who snaffled the easy chance.
They threatened to run riot after the break before Bahrain hit back and it took a magnificent flying stop from Kim Seung-gyu to keep out Jamal Rashed’s thumping effort.
And against all expectations, Bahrain were suddenly level with 13 minutes remaining when Mohamed Al Romaihi smashed in the rebound from Mahdi Al-Humaidan’s shot.
The goal stunned South Korea, who had only conceded at one Asian Cup game since 2011 — the 2015 final, which they lost 2-1 to Australia after extra time.
Hwang Ui-jo nearly snatched the victory in injury time, when a defensive mix-up put him one-on-one with Alawi, but he spooned his shot wide to set up the additional 30 minutes of play.
Bahrain goalkeeper Alawi withdrew with an apparent hamstring injury but one of the first tasks for his replacement, Abdulkarim Fardan, was to pick the ball out of the net.
Substitute Kim Jin-su found time and space to steady himself and drive home his header from Lee Yong’s cross, a goal which the team celebrated by holding up the 16 shirt of injured Newcastle United midfielder Ki Sung-yueng.
Ju Se-jong also rammed a shot against the post in a positive finish for the Koreans, and while they celebrated there were tears from the Bahrainis at the final whistle.
Bahrain’s coach Miroslav Soukup was full of praise for his hard-working players, who reached the knockout stage for just the second time in their history.
“Eighty percent of my team are amateurs. They go to work in the morning and in the afternoon they’re training,” said the Czech.
“Then they fly to the Asian Cup and play against the top team, against players who play in the top leagues in the world.
“I want to say thank you very much to my team for the full tournament, because they’ve done a great job... this team has a good future.”


Saudi female bowlers off to Las Vegas tournament

Updated 22 August 2019

Saudi female bowlers off to Las Vegas tournament

  • The team’s six members will compete against the best women bowlers around the world

JEDDAH: The Saudi women’s bowling team left on Wednesday to participate in the sixth World Bowling Women’s Championship, a first in the history of Saudi bowling. The championship will be held at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas from Aug. 22-31.

The six bowlers who will participate in the championship are Mashael Al-Abdulwahid, Ghada Nimir and Amani Al-Ghamdi from Riyadh, Nahla Adas and Mariam Al-Dosari from Alkhobar and Hadeel Termein from Jeddah, under the supervision of British coach Mario Joseph.

The Saudi delegation will be headed by Badr bin Abdullah Al-Asheikh (head of the delegation), Dr. Razan Baker, team manager, Waleed Al-Dawsari, team director and media relations official Hamd Al-Shaghrood.

The team’s six members joined a training camp in Riyadh in preparation for the championship, and participated in three local open tournaments in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar this year. The team will participate in the singles, doubles, trios and team competitions.

In an interview with Adas, who won third place in the fourth Women’s Championship held in Alkhobar this year, said: “It is a great honor for me to participate in this world championship, and this is a feat by itself. I have always dreamed about standing next to the world’s women champions, and my dream is coming true now, after one year of effort and giving, under the leadership of the federation’s chairman Badr Al-Asheikh and his constant support. He is like a leader who ventures out, challenges and allows us to compete for a bright vision full of achievements in the Arab world and internationally.”

In a history-making feat the Saudi national women’s bowling team will participate in the World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas. (Photo/Supplied)

Nimir spoke about the playoffs in Riyadh, having scored the highest total: “From the beginning to the end of the playoffs which qualified me for the world championship, I was able to win first place in Riyadh. This feeling has been indescribable, a dream come true due to my love for the game, practice as a hobby then as a professional and now participation in the world championship. I am very happy to participate in this international and historical event, and I hope we achieve a positive result in this championship. I also thank the Saudi Federation with all its members for their efforts and this opportunity they gave us.”

As for Al-Ghamdi, she spoke about her passion for bowling which pushed her to reach an international level. She said: “Bowling is a sophisticated sport that requires concentration, training, perseverance and skills, and the women’s empowerment we are witnessing today has greatly contributed to our presence in all the local and international events. That is why I cannot describe my feelings to have qualified for the world championship, and I am grateful for your support of our dear and beloved country.”

“I am very happy to participate in this international and historical event, and I hope we achieve a positive result in this championship.

Ghada Nimir

Al-Abdulwahid, who won the bronze medal at the federation’s women’s championships in 2018 and 2019, said: “I cannot describe my happiness to see my dream come true, and this is my first move toward my goal. I have had this dream since I was a child, and I am proud to have qualified among the best players of the Saudi national team in order to participate in the world championship which is a precious chance. I am lucky to be honored to play with professionals from all over the world, which will give me confidence and experience in my bowling career, and I hope that our presence will be honorable, positive and fruitful for the rest of the players and motivate them to excel.”

Termein said: “I am happy and proud to represent my country first, and my city second since I am the only qualified player from Jeddah. I aim to reach advanced rankings in the championship, and I would like to thank the Saudi Bowling Federation for giving us the chance to join the international championship.”

Al-Dosari, who also won a bronze medal in the federation’s championship in 2018, expressed her happiness saying: “I am grateful and proud to have this opportunity and qualify to participate in the international championship to represent the Kingdom. I consider this a great honor and I am very excited seeking to give my best performance.”