The Saudi Falcons hit the road for Dubai 24hrs GT3 challenge today

Updated 11 January 2013
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The Saudi Falcons hit the road for Dubai 24hrs GT3 challenge today

Saudi Arabia’s motorsports team The Saudi Falcons led by Red Bull athlete Prince Abdulaziz Turki Al-Faisal (ATF) will be contesting in the 8th edition of the Dunlop 24hrs race at the Dubai Autodrome today.
ATF who will be leading on both legs of the race, will have members Dirk Adorf, Dominik Baumann, and Dominik Schwager on the first team; and Faisal Bin Laden, Dirk Müller, Jo0rg Müller, and Claudia Hürtgen on the second, completing the long and arduous racing challenge for 24 hours against a total of 82 teams from 18 countries with drivers from 41 different nationalities and 25 leading car brands.
The Saudi Falcons look readied in form and fixture to win the title having exhibited a spirit of preparation and success both physically and mentally in the last GT3 race and are hoping to claim victory in Dunlop 24hrs Dubai — one of the most difficult and intensely challenging motor sport races in the Middle East, organized by Dutch agency CREVENTIC in co-operation with DNRT and the Dubai Autodrome Motorsports Club.
ATF who clinched second place back in 2009, and third in 2010, is ready to tackle competitors driving a BMW Z4 GT3 powered by a V8 4.4 liter engine that generates 515 horse power at 8200 RPM, giving it absolute power in acceleration.
“Dubai 24 Hours race comes as an opportunity to increase our success in different races, gain more experience for me and the team, and make our country proud yet again. The race holds lot of opportunities too since we will be facing tough competition from international and well known names in the sport. We are aiming for the win and alongside every single member of the team we will work hard to succeed,” stated Al-Turki during preparations.
An optimistic Bin Laden is expecting to regain form in his game after a long stint away from the sport, saying, “I will work hard to make the best out of it. We all know how important and difficult the participation is especially with the presence of 85 teams and a big number of car manufacturers. We hope that we can rise up to the occasion and with God’s will claim the title at the beginning of the New Year.”


'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

Updated 21 June 2018
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'We want to make Saudi Arabia proud': Pizzi promises better showing against Egypt

  • Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday
  • Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious

ROSTOV-ON-DON: “Keeping possession of the ball seems to be the absolute and most important thing, but then when you sometimes find issues in getting the ball into your opponent’s half, you have to find other movements and ways of doing that,” said Oscar Tabarez after watching his lackluster Uruguay rely on a solitary Luis Suarez goal to eliminate Saudi Arabia from the World Cup. 
Tabarez was talking about his own team’s struggles, yet the assessment is considerably more applicable to the Green Falcons, who dominated possession and retained the ball with ease in midfield, yet for the second match running looked absolutely bereft of ideas in the final third. With Uruguay and Russia now on six points, Saudi Arabia cannot progress from Group A even if they defeat Egypt in their final game on Monday.
The Green Falcons coach Juan Antonio Pizzi confirmed he intends to stay at the helm of the side for the long-haul, yet is only too aware that the potential of this team is being hamstrung by its inability to score. He called it “our weakness”, adding that his side enjoyed “good ball possession, but no effectiveness”. They, he said, did not have the sufficient “weapons or tools” to equalize.
Pizzi’s side have found the net now just twice in their past five games and against Uruguay managed only three shots on target in 90 minutes — two of which came in added time and were so tame they would hardly have troubled the opposition goalkeeper Fernando Muslera had he been relaxing at his far post sipping a drink. In the 5-0 defeat to Russia last week, they failed to muster a single shot on target. 
Wednesday’s overall performance was much improved, yet a lack of penetrative passing was obvious. One passage of play in the opening exchanges saw Saudi Arabia complete 16 passes untroubled without the ball entering the opposition penalty box. When Uruguay finally won possession, they required only four quick exchanges to find Edinson Cavani on the left wing drilling the ball across the front of goal. 
“I don’t share that assessment,” said Pizzi, when it was put to him that his team was too slow to attack. “We played at the speed that was necessary. We need to be accurate, but if you step up the speed you lose accuracy with your passes. We had control of the game and that was why.”
Striker Mohammed Al-Sahlawi had been the focal point of much criticism from Turki Al-Sheikh, the head of Saudi’s General Sports Authority, after the Russia “fiasco” and was dropped from the side against Uruguay. So too was goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, another who Al-Sheikh name-checked as having been at fault.
Pizzi, asked whether the scathing assessment from his bosses had forced his hand when it came to team selection, calmly dismissed the suggestion. He also ruled out the notion that administrative issues between the players and the country’s football federation had caused unrest in his squad.
“I have a list of 23 players here and they are all available to play. We are here together and pushing in the same direction. 
“I wanted — and still want — to make the Saudi Arabian people feel proud of our energy and the desire we show in matches. Unfortunately we were unable to do that against Russia and will be playing our next match without any hope of progressing. I hope now they will feel a little more proud even though we are out of the World Cup,” he said.