‘Homeless’ Somalia shock Zimbabwe for first World Cup victory

Zimbabwe, at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, above, was defeated 1 – 0 by Somalia in Djibouti. (AFP Photo)
Updated 05 September 2019

‘Homeless’ Somalia shock Zimbabwe for first World Cup victory

  • Unable to play at home because of the unstable security situation in the east African country, the Somalis moved the first round first leg to Djibouti
  • The Ocean Stars shrugged off the disadvantage to win the match four minutes from time when Ali soared to head home a perfectly weighted cross

JOHANNESBURG: A late Anwar Sid Ali goal enabled Somalia to shock Zimbabwe 1-0 Thursday and achieve their first World Cup qualifying victory.
Unable to play at home because of the unstable security situation in the east African country, the Somalis moved the first round first leg to Djibouti.
The Ocean Stars shrugged off the disadvantage to win the match four minutes from time when Ali soared to head a perfectly weighted cross into the corner of the net.
Zimbabwe, who competed at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations three months ago, host the return match in Harare Tuesday.
This is the sixth appearance of the Somalis in World Cup qualifying and they have been able to play at home only once, in a 1982 eliminator.
The best results they managed before facing Zimbabwe were three draws. They lost eight other qualifiers, including five-goal hidings from Ghana and Ethiopia.
Somalia are ranked 202 of 211 football nations — 90 places below Zimbabwe in the latest world rankings.
Sudan and Rwanda achieved comfortable away victories in other first legs, virtually guaranteeing progress to the second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Ramadan Agab scored a hat-trick to give Sudan a 3-1 victory in neighboring Chad, only the third away win for the Jediane Falcons in 32 World Cup qualifiers.
He completed his treble midway through the second half in N’Djamena before Chadian Ezechiel N’Douassel converted a penalty.
Rwanda cruised to a 3-0 victory over the Seychelles in Victoria with two goals within four minutes during the opening half setting them up to succeed.
Muhadjir Hakizimana and Yannick Mukunzi netted for the Rwandan Wasps before half-time and Maddie Kagere added a third goal nine minutes from time.
On Friday, former World Cup qualifiers Angola and Togo start their campaigns. Comoros host the Togolese in Moroni and the Gambia have home advantage over the Angolans in Bakau.


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.