Bafetimbi Gomis fires Al-Hilal past UAE’s Shabab Al-Ahli in Asian Champions League group game

Al-Hilal's forward Bafetimbi Gomis celebrates his goal with teammates during the AFC Champions League group B match against UAE's Shabab Al-Ahli at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai. (AFP)
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Updated 17 February 2020

Bafetimbi Gomis fires Al-Hilal past UAE’s Shabab Al-Ahli in Asian Champions League group game

  • Al-Hilal’s second victory in Group B
  • Gomis was top scorer with 11 goals last year when Al-Hilal won the tournament

DUBAI: Bafetimbi Gomis was the hero yet again as reigning champions Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia bounced back from a goal down to edge out the UAE’s Shabab Al-Ahli in the Asian Champions League on Monday.
Gomis, the top scorer with 11 goals last year when Al-Hilal won the tournament beating Urawa Red Diamonds in the final, struck once in each half as the Saudi giants clinched a 2-1 victory at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
It was Al-Hilal’s second victory in Group B but that didn’t stop Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor from going top of the table on goal difference after they thrashed Iran’s Shahr Khodro 3-0 in Tashkent.
Shabab Al-Ahli lagged behind for most of the match but shocked the Al-Hilal defense in the 24th minute as Yousef Jaber came up with a flying header to beat goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Maoyouf after Federico Cartabia had unleashed an excellent shot from a corner.
Although rattled, Al-Hilal never gave away control and needed only 12 minutes to find the equalizer with Gomis heading in after Sebastian Giovinco had gotten past two defenders and chipped the ball into the penalty area.
Al-Hilal created several half chances in the second half but it was Gomis again who delivered, scoring his third goal in two matches.
The Frenchman got rid of his marker and after making some ground half-volleyed Andre Carillo’s cross into the roof of the net in the 72nd minute.
Earlier in Tashkent, Igor Sergeev scored a brace as hosts Pakhtakor strolled to victory over Iran’s Shahr Khodro with all the three goals coming in the second half.
Shahr Khodro, playing in the tournament for the first time, thus lost their second consecutive match, after having gone down to Al-Hilal last week.
Sergeev opened the account for the hosts in the 56th minute with a clinical finish off after Jololiddin Masharipov had done most of the spadework by getting past two defenders and passed the ball.
Four minutes later Masharipov and Sergeev were in the thick of the action again although Dostonbek Khamdamov also played a big part.
Khamdavov received a defense-splitting pass from Masharipov and although he was comfortably placed to score on his own, he chose to square the ball to Sergeev who made no mistake with his effort.
The top Uzbek side then sealed their three points in the 87th minute, with Sherzod Azamov’s strong header off a curling corner kick from Masharipov finding the net .
Meanwhile in Group A, the UAE’s Al-Wahda scraped past Iraq’s Al Shorta 1-0 with Congolese midfielder Paul-Jose M’Poku scoring in the 88th minute.


Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Updated 29 October 2020

Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

  • Kingdom’s inaugural race to take place in city while purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is being completed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah.
The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
Jeddah will host the Saudi race while a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed, which is expected to be in 2023.
It is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s disruption. The first 10 races of the 2020 season were either postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Saudi Grand Prix is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s

The 2021 season will begin in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and then goes on to Bahrain. It includes nearly all the races that had been due to be held this year.
That means a return for grands prix in China, Japan and Canada, which had to be cancelled because of the disruptions to international travel caused by COVID-19, as well as the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix.
F1 has been in conversations with the relevant national governments and all are said to be in agreement the races can take place, unless the pandemic worsens.
In 2018, Riyadh hosted the first Formula E championship in the Middle East in Diriyah with 23,000 in attendance. The second Formula E championship was held in late 2019.
This year, Saudi Arabia held its first Dakar Rally, a 7,800km race that began in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiyah.