Adel Hussein Abdulla completes Baja Poland to stay in hunt for FIA T2 crown

Adel Hussein Abdulla back in action at Baja Poland on Sunday. (AN photo)
Updated 28 August 2016
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Adel Hussein Abdulla completes Baja Poland to stay in hunt for FIA T2 crown

SZCZECIN, Poland: Nissan’s Adel Hussein Abdulla bounced back from Saturday’s disappointment to set some solid stage times over the remaining four special stages of Columna Medica Baja Poland, round seven of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies on Sunday.
The Qatari and French navigator Jean-Michel Polato suffered a broken suspension bracket on Saturday that prevented them from tackling the third stage, but TOK Sport team technicians repaired the damage without any problems on Saturday evening and Adel Hussein Abdulla was able to rejoin the competitive action in the FIA T2 Championship on Sunday and reach the rally finish in Szczecin in an unofficial eighth place.
The Qatari is chasing the FIA T2 title this season – open for drivers of cars entered as Series Production Cross-Country vehicles – and his Nissan Patrol has support from Nissan Qatar, Nissan Middle East and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF).
Adel Hussein trailed series leader Yasir Saeidan by nine points at the start of the weekend, but the Saudi endured several punctured tires as well on Saturday afternoon and neither driver was able to benefit from a useful points’ haul in Poland.
Poland’s Robert Kufel, driving a Nissan Navara, dominated the early stages of the event in the T2 category, but he hit trouble on Sunday morning and this opened the door for Martin Sobiech to snatch the win in T2.
Kufel recovered well over the closing stages to move back ahead of Klaudia Podkalicka and snatch second place. Saeidan reached the finish in an unofficial seventh place, with Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Harqan in fifth.
“Obviously it was disappointing to have the problem on Saturday, but it could have been a lot worse,” said Adel Hussein. “Yasir also had problems and that meant he was not able to take full advantage of our issues and pull clear in the championship.”
Adel Hussein was unable to return to action for the second of Saturday’s 176.33km selective sections in the military area around Drawsko Pomorskie and was handed further time penalties. But the situation could have been a whole lot worse for the Qatari until his arch rival for the FIA T2 Championship, Yasir Saiedan, was also delayed and lost time.
Kufel reached the overnight halt with a seven-minute lead in the category over Martin Sobiech, as Saeidan slipped from second to seventh position after his own technical issues.
Two runs through two further shorter stages were planned for Sunday to complete the action before the ceremonial finish in the Szczecin Rally Park.
Saiedan was fastest through the 30.78km of the Dobra stage, as Kufel maintained the outright lead and Adel Hussein returned to action to record the sixth quickest time. Saeidan was the man to beat in the subsequent 17.65km of the Lubieszyn stage as well, although Adel Hussein was back in a competitive pace and third quickest on a stage where the T2-leading Kufel had his own fair share of problems.
Adel Hussein finished strongly with top three times on the last two stages and remains firmly in title contention heading to the penultimate round of the FIA World Cup in Morocco at the start of October.

2016 Columna Medica Baja Poland – positions after SS7 (T2 class):
1. Martin Sobiech (POL)/Inez Kieliba (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 6hr 27min 00sec
2. Robert Kufel (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) Nissan Navara 6hr 29min 21sec
3. Klaudia Podkalicka (POL)/Blazejj Czekan (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 6hr 29min 54sec
4. Grzegorz Szwagrzyk (POL)/Jakub Moliter (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 6hr 51min 15sec
5. Mohammed Al-Harqan (QAT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) Toyota Land Cruiser 6hr 56min 28sec
6. Rebeka Jankowska (POL)/Grzegorz Jankowski (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 7hr 06min 53sec
7. Yasir Saeidan (SAU)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Toyota Land Cruiser 200 10hr 00min 54sec


A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

Updated 20 March 2019
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A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

  • Can the Whites and Green Falcons find the back of the net more often?
  • Both teams need to set the tone ahead of the important World Cup qualifiers.

LONDON: Ahead of Thursday’s friendly between the UAE and Saudi Arabia Arab News looks at the main priorities for both sides as they embark on their new eras after the Asian Cup and ahead of the all-important the World Cup qualifiers.

FIND THOSE SCORING BOOTS

For the past 18 months both sides have struggled for goals. Under Alberto Zaccheroni the UAE scored just 10 goals in the past nine matches — five of those coming against lowly Kyrgyzstan and India — and likewise the Green Falcons have also struggled to find the back of the net. Heading toward the World Cup qualifiers, now is the time to find those scoring boots.

PUT ON A SHOW

Both sides have technically gifted players, can keep the ball and at times trouble opposition defenses. But both have been too defensive, too safety-first and, at times, too dull. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and the friendlies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers might be no bad time to throw caution to the wind and see what the players can do in the final third.

SET THE TONE

As the modern cliche goes, a week is a long time in football. With all the sackings and player movements, it is not hard to see the kernel of truth in that overused saying. But, conversely, time can also move very fast in the “Beautiful Game.” It may be six months before the World Cup qualifiers begin, but it will be September before the coaches and players know it. Set the tone and tactics now and triumphs will be easier to come by then and, more importantly, further into the future.