Dembele double fires Lyon to victory against Arsenal

Lyon's players celebrate with the trophy after the pre-season friendly match for the Emirates Cup between Arsenal and Lyon. (AFP)
Updated 28 July 2019

Dembele double fires Lyon to victory against Arsenal

  • The Ligue 1 side overturn Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s icebreaker to claim the pre-season trophy

LONDON: Substitute Moussa Dembele scored twice as Lyon came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 in a pre-season friendly in London on Sunday.

Gunners boss Unai Emery had opted against including Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil in his squad after they were involved in an attempted car-jacking during the week.

He also named new signings Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli on the bench, with the pair coming on as the Ligue 1 side overturned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener to win the pre-season trophy.

Alexandre Lacazette limped off injured early as Arsenal dominated the opening half, Aubameyang smartly tucking home Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross 10 minutes before halftime.

But after the break, with changes taking place for much of the half, Lyon battled back and Dembele struck either side of Martinelli having a debut Emirates Stadium goal ruled out for hand ball.

Before kickoff the fans observed a period of applause in memory of Jose Antonio Reyes.

The former Arsenal forward died in a car accident on June 1.

Meantime, Arsenal target Nicolas Pepe is also weighing an offer from Napoli and will decide his future at the start of the coming week, a source close to the deal told AFP on Sunday.

A second source said French champions Paris-Saint Germain had also entered the race to sign the 24-year-old.

The Ivory Coast striker, who featured on five occasions for his country at the African Cup of Nations, scored 22 goals last season as Lille finished in a surprising second place in Ligue 1.

British media reported on Sunday the Gunners had scheduled a medical for Pepe.

The first source told AFP it was not certain the 13-time international would end up in North London.

“The club have received three written offers for €80 million ($100 million) and the player will probably choose either Arsenal or Napoli,” the source said.

“This should be settled by Tuesday,” the source added.

“Both clubs are offering him a net salary of €8 million a year.

“Pepe’s preference would be for Arsenal, who will be competing in the Europa League this season. But the prospect of playing in the Champions League with Napoli and coach Carlo Ancelotti could still turn the balance to Italy.”

The second source said PSG were also interested in the Paris-born forward but their approach may have come too late and could also be hampered by their need to trim costs to satisfy UEFA’s financial fair play rules. Contacted by AFP, Lille president Gerard Lopez refused to comment.


Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

Updated 18 November 2019

Saudi bowlers off to QubicaAMF World Cup

  • First woman from the Kingdom to compete in the championship in Indonesia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is sending its first woman to compete in the 55th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup that begins in Indonesia.

Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.

Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating in the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating in the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The men’s competition started Sunday at 9 p.m.

The women’s competition will begin at 3 p.m. today, where Mashael will take part in six rounds. The competition will run until Nov. 24.

HIGHLIGHT

  • Mashael Alabdulwahid will join her male teammate Abdulrahman Al-Khilaiwi, under the supervision of coach, Mario Joseph, to take part in the contest in Palembang.
  • Both players underwent training at a camp in Riyadh to prepare for the event. The training program included participating at the Asian Championship in Kuwait for Abdulrahman, and participating at the GCC 6th women’s bowling tournament for Mashael.

The competition continues on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and after completing 24 rounds, the top 24 players will be selected to compete for the top eight positions by playing eight runs on Friday. On Saturday, the best four female players and four male players will be chosen to compete in the finals.

Abdulrahman said that he is looking forward to the world cup. “This year there is a new advantage and that is having teammate Mashael joining me for the first time. I’m proud of her! It’s a big thing for Saudi women and for us in the team because this world exposure will help them to learn and give them an incentive to develop their skills,” he said.

The 20-year-old player has been bowling for the past 10 years. Despite his young age, thanks to his perseverance and sense of discipline he managed to win many victories, but the most distinguished were those in 2018. He delivered the bronze medal at the World Cup in Detroit, and two bronzes at the Asian Bowling Championship in the Philippines in the same year, and a gold medal for the trio event at the Arab Bowling Championship in Oman.

Mashael, 32, was only able to play officially last year in February 2018 when the Saudi Bowling Federation (SBF) received the decree to allow women to play in sports. However, she has been playing for fun since early childhood when she used to travel to Egypt with her family and where she managed to learn from the professionals and get hooked on the game. Mashael was chosen to take part in the Egypt Arab Championship and World Bowling Women’s Championship in Las Vegas in August 2018.

Mashael said: “Playing for fun is definitely enjoyable but when you wear your country’s flag that’s a huge responsibility put on your shoulder. You become an ambassador and a role model and when I’m put in that situation, I definitely want to give my all to be fit for that honor, and give the best image worthy of our beloved country.”

The bowlers expressed their gratitude to the Saudi Bowling Federation and its president Bader bin Abdullah Al-Alsheikh for his support and for creating opportunities for them so that they can progress, enrich their experiences and win awards and achievements.