Saudi U-23 football team ends disappointing Tokyo 2020 with a loss to reigning champions Brazil

Saudi U-23 football team ends disappointing Tokyo 2020 with a loss to reigning champions Brazil
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Saudi players celebrate Abdulelah Al-Amri’s equalizer against Brazil. (SAOC)
Saudi U-23 football team ends disappointing Tokyo 2020 with a loss to reigning champions Brazil
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Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, left, President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, watches the Saudi team against Brazil at Saitama Stadium. (SAOC)
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Updated 28 July 2021

Saudi U-23 football team ends disappointing Tokyo 2020 with a loss to reigning champions Brazil

Saudi U-23 football team ends disappointing Tokyo 2020 with a loss to reigning champions Brazil
  • Despite playing well in all three of their matches, the Young Falcons failed to win a single point at the Olympics

Saudi Arabia’s U-23 team bowed out of the Olympic football completion after losing 3-1 to Rio 2016 champions Brazil at Saitama Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The Saudis put in another commendable performance but defensive mistakes cost them the chance of claiming a single point from the three Group D clashes.

The match was watched by the President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee (SAOC), Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal.

Having lost its first two group matches against Ivory Coast (2-1) and Germany (3-2), Saudi Arabia came into this fixture with nothing to play for except pride, while Brazil needed to avoid defeat to confirm progress to the quarterfinals.

Coach Saad Al-Shehri sent out a team that seemed focused on defending, but it took Brazil only 14 minutes to take the lead when Matheus Cunha headed past Amin Al-Bukhairi, the Saudi goalkeeper, who only managed to get a hand to the ball in his first start at Tokyo 2020.

On 20 minutes Brazil almost doubled its lead when Antony Santos headed against the bar from a precise Diego Carlos cross, and the pressure was maintained for several minutes as the Saudis struggled to hold the champions off.

The Young Falcons were getting plenty of possession of their own but were not able to threaten Brazil.

They finally scored the equalizer on 27 minutes when Salman Al-Faraj’s curling freekick was headed firmly by Abdulelah Al-Amri past Santos in the Brazil goal.

As against Germany in the second match, the Saudis were not awed by their more celebrated opponents and the goal gave them even more confidence to attack.

With three minutes left of the first half Cunha’s cross was almost turned in from close range by Antony but Al-Bukhairi saved superbly, injuring himself as the Brazilian attacker seemed to unintentionally step on his hand.

The early stages of the second half saw few chances at either end. Brazil should have taken the lead on 65 minutes after Richarlison’s shot was saved by Al-Bukhairi and Cunha struck the rebound against the post when it would have been easier to score.

Ten minutes later Brazil retook the lead after a Dani Alves freekick was cleared by the Saudi defence, but only to Bruno Guimaraes. He headed the ball back across the penalty area for Richarlison to finish with clinical header for this fourth goal of the tournament.

In the last seconds of normal time Richarlison scored again but the goal was ruled out for offside.

With seven minutes added on, there was still time for Richarlison to tap in Reinier’s cross for Brazil’s third in the 93rd minute.

Their win put Brazil at the top of Group D with seven points and they now progress to the quarterfinals, along with Ivory Coast. They managed a 1-1 draw with Germany, who depart Tokyo with Saudi Arabia.


Saudi and expat runners mark national day with 91 mins 91.91 secs of racing in Jeddah

Saudi and expat runners mark national day with 91 mins 91.91 secs of racing in Jeddah
Updated 11 sec ago

Saudi and expat runners mark national day with 91 mins 91.91 secs of racing in Jeddah

Saudi and expat runners mark national day with 91 mins 91.91 secs of racing in Jeddah
  • Event was part of the Mazda 91st Saudi National Day series in Jeddah and Riyadh

JEDDAH: Over 300 runners of all backgrounds and abilities have taken part in the the Mazda 91st Saudi National Day series on the hills of of Usfan, Jeddah, in a race that lasted 91 mins and 91.91 secs.

Sponsors Under Armor marked the Kingdom’s national day with races in Jeddah and the capital on the same day to celebrate the country’s achievements over the past 91 years.

The events were in support of the national goal of encouraging people to lead a healthy and more active lifestyle.

Before the start of the Jeddah Run Series event, runners received a message from Saudi Olympic rower Husein Alireza from London.

“I wish you all the best luck in the race. It is a tough one, but it is a great preparation for Hijaz 50 race which will take place on Dec. 3, 2021,” he said. “I should be with you, so run all the time, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, but don’t give up. It is you against yourself up there, but the most important thing is just enjoy it. Good luck.”

Athletes aged from 18-60 ran through the area’s 9.1 km scenic trails for a duration of 91 mins, 91 secs, with Katie Philcox of the UK winning the women’s race, having covered 11.38 km in that time, and Johan Engelbrecht of South Africa coming first in the men’s competition with 16.27 km.

Hejaz Ultra, a trail-running and hiking group in Saudi Arabia, partnered with Under Armor to organize the event.

Commenting on the race and the Inspire Series, Nesreen Samir Ghonaim, a Saudi member of Hejaz Ultra, said: “We are proud to be part of the Mazda 91st Saudi National Day series run and to see Saudi Arabia’s growing fitness community come out for the day.”

Meanwhile, Fabrice Laborie, a French national who has been living in Saudi Arabia for 20 years and founded Hejaz Ultra in 2016, told Arab News that the race is a key family and corporate community event with a fantastic vibe and energy.

“This is a special day for Saudi Arabia and we decided to celebrate it with fellow athletes from Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Britain, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco and many others.” he said.

“Due to coronavirus procedures, we only registered around 305 runners this year in addition to a large number of virtual runners who were home or walking somewhere in the city.”

“We are proud to be part of the Under Armor series and to see Saudi Arabia’s growing fitness community come out for the day,” he added.

Laborie also expressed his admiration for the Saudi government’s aim to promote physical and social well-being and a healthier lifestyle by providing programs that encourage widespread and regular participation in sports and athletic activities.

Final results

Female runners:

1st Katie Philcox (UK) 11.38 km; 2nd Nujud Alharbi (Saudi Arabia) 10.10 km; 3rd Red Alvarez (Philippines) 9.88 km.

Male runners:

1st Johan Engelbrecht (South Africa) 16.27 km; 2nd Abdelrhim Ghad (Palestine) 16.17 km; 3rd Abubakr Gafar (Sudan) 16.20 km.


Ten-man Dortmund crash without Haaland on Rose’s Gladbach return

Ten-man Dortmund crash without Haaland on Rose’s Gladbach return
Updated 25 September 2021

Ten-man Dortmund crash without Haaland on Rose’s Gladbach return

Ten-man Dortmund crash without Haaland on Rose’s Gladbach return
  • "We really missed Erling and Marco today, but we needed a bit more toughness and determination," admitted Dortmund defender Mats Hummels
  • Wolfsburg lost 3-1 at Hoffenheim, falling to third and losing second place on goal difference to Bayer Leverkusen

BERLIN: Defending champions Bayern Munich will finish the weekend three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table after close rivals Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg both suffered away defeats on Saturday.
Without injured star striker Erling Braut Haaland and club captain Marco Reus, Dortmund had midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud sent off for two first-half yellow cards as their 1-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach left them fourth in the table.
“Of course, we really missed Erling and Marco today, but we needed a bit more toughness and determination,” admitted Dortmund defender Mats Hummels as the visitors played a man down for 50 minutes.
Earlier, Wolfsburg lost 3-1 at Hoffenheim, falling to third and losing second place on goal difference to Bayer Leverkusen, whose 18-year-old Germany international Florian Wirtz sealed a 1-0 win over Mainz to become the youngest player to reach the milestone of 10 Bundesliga goals.
Having lost both Haaland and Reus to injuries in training on Friday, the visitors struggled in front of goal as Moenchengladbach fans whistled Dortmund coach Marco Rose on his return to Borussia Park, where he was in charge for two years before quitting to join their Bundesliga rivals.
The match was decided shortly before half-time when Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria beat England midfielder Jude Bellingham to the ball and fired the hosts ahead with the game’s first clear chance.
Emotions were running high and referee Denis Aytekin dished out eight yellow cards, two of which were shown to Dahoud.
He was booked early for fouling Gladbach captain Lars Stindl, and then sent off on 40 minutes for a late tackle on US defender Joe Scally.
Dortmund squandered the chance to grab a late equalizer when Belgium winger Thorgan Hazard headed over in added time.
Haaland and Reus face a race against time to be fit for Tuesday’s Champions League game at home to Sporting Lisbon while Saturday’s win hauled Gladbach up from the relegation places to 11th.
Wolfsburg took the lead in Sinsheim when winger Ridle Baku fired in a stunning long-range shot from the left flank, but Andrej Kramaric, Christoph Baumgartner and Pavel Kaderabek scored three unanswered goals for Hoffenheim.
“It’s a shame we didn’t take the points, but Hoffenheim were very efficient — better than us in that regards,” said Wolfsburg head coach Mark van Bommel after his first league defeat in charge.
RB Leipzig picked up a much-needed confidence boost before Tuesday’s home Champions League game against Brugge with a 6-0 thrashing of Hertha Berlin.
Three defeats in their opening five league games, as well as a 6-3 thrashing at Manchester City in Europe, had piled pressure on Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch.
The American reacted by switching Denmark forward Yussuf Poulsen up front for struggling new striker Andre Silva.
Poulsen linked up with French winger Christopher Nkunku to cause havoc in the Hertha defense.
Nkunku was outstanding with two goals and two assists, while Poulsen, Nordi Mukiele, Emil Forsberg and Amadou Haidara also got on the scoresheet.
Union Berlin are unbeaten in their last 20 home league games after a 1-0 win against Bielefeld in the capital.
Substitute striker Kevin Behrens came off the bench to claim his first Bundesliga goal in only his fourth game for Union.
However, the win was overshadowed by injury to Union defender Timo Baumgartl, who was knocked out during a first-half collision and taken to hospital, where it was confirmed he suffered concussion.
“Timo Baumgartl is doing well. Under the circumstances, that’s the most pleasing news,” said Union coach Urs Fischer.


Salah gets 100th PL goal but Liverpool held 3-3 at Brentford

Salah gets 100th PL goal but Liverpool held 3-3 at Brentford
Updated 25 September 2021

Salah gets 100th PL goal but Liverpool held 3-3 at Brentford

Salah gets 100th PL goal but Liverpool held 3-3 at Brentford
  • Juergen Klopp’s side was unable to reap the maximum profit from slip-ups by Manchester United and Chelsea
  • Instead Liverpool moved just one point clear at the top, while preserving the top flight’s only remaining unbeaten record

LONDON: Mohamed Salah scored his 100th Premier League goal for Liverpool on Saturday but it was not enough to beat Brentford, which twice pegged the Reds back in a breathless 3-3 draw.
Juergen Klopp’s side was unable to reap the maximum profit from slip-ups by Manchester United and Chelsea earlier in the day as it shared the points with Brentford in early-evening entertainment in west London.
Instead Liverpool moved just one point clear at the top, while preserving the top flight’s only remaining unbeaten record.
And Klopp will be relieved at that after Ivan Toney had what would have been a late winner ruled out for offside.
The German coach will also know his side will not face many tougher trips all season, with vibrant Brentford leading through Ethan Pinnock and, following goals from Diogo Jota and Salah, equalizing through Vitaly Janelt.
Then, when Curtis Jones smashed Liverpool ahead again, Bees sub Yoane Wissa came up with another equalizer.
There was a taste of things to come when both teams were denied by goal-line clearances in the opening 10 minutes.
First, Salah missed out on a seventh-minute opener thanks to a spectacular piece of defending from Kristoffer Ajer, who slid in to hook the ball off the line.
Moments later, at the other end, Bryan Mbeumo latched onto Toney’s flick-on and lifted the ball over Alisson, but this time Joel Matip got back to scoop the ball clear from underneath the crossbar.
Brentford was more than holding its own against the 2020 champion and took the lead in the 27th minute. Spanish winger Sergi Canos — who spent three years at Liverpool as a youngster but played only nine minutes for the first team — got down the Reds’ right and drilled in a low cross that Toney helped on for Pinnock to tap in.
The lead lasted barely three minutes, however, before Jordan Henderson swung in a cross from the right and Jota headed home at the far post.
Seven minutes before the interval, Henderson teed up Jones on the edge of the area and his shot was deflected onto a post by Pinnock.
Jota should have been celebrating his second of the afternoon from the rebound but somehow David Raya got his body in the way of the shot and it flew wide.
After the break Salah grabbed his landmark goal. The Egypt striker was initially flagged offside as he tucked away Fabinho’s ball over the top, but a VAR check showed he was in fact onside.
Back came Brentford, though, and when Pontus Jansson slid in to crash Ajer’s cross onto the bar, Janelt popped up at the far post to force the loose ball home.
Jones blasted Liverpool back in front in the 67th with a low drive that took a deflection in a crowded penalty area as it flew past Raya.
Salah should have had goal No. 101 after he was played in by Sadio Mane but he chipped the ball onto the roof of the net.
Moments later Wissa arrived at the far post and produced a composed finish to equalize yet again, before Toney was denied a late winner by the linesman’s flag.


All Blacks clinch Rugby Championship as Wallabies shine

All Blacks clinch Rugby Championship as Wallabies shine
Updated 25 September 2021

All Blacks clinch Rugby Championship as Wallabies shine

All Blacks clinch Rugby Championship as Wallabies shine
  • All Blacks coach Ian Foster recalled big guns Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick for the historic 100th Test against the Springboks

TOWNSVILLE, Australia: A relieved New Zealand clinched the Rugby Championship crown Saturday by downing South Africa in a bruising and intense clash between the world’s top two teams, as a resurgent Australia stretched their win streak to three.

All Blacks coach Ian Foster recalled big guns Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick for the historic 100th Test against the Springboks after an experimental side easily beat Argentina last week.

And they led from the front in the 19-17 victory, rubbing salt into South African wounds after snatching their No. 1 world ranking last week.

But it was a messy affair which ultimately came down to Jordie Barrett’s boot, with the fullback landing a difficult penalty with two minutes left in the first of a double header at Townsville, in northern Queensland. In the later match, the Wallabies ground down Argentina 27-8, consigning the struggling Pumas to a fifth straight defeat as Dave Rennie’s men won three on the trot for the first time since 2017.

“We knew this game was going to come down to the wire and it was tit for tat there, we just stuck at it,” said All Blacks skipper Ardie Savea after their 10th straight victory.

“We backed ourselves and just glad to come away with the win, relieved actually.

“They put us under a lot of pressure with the box kicks and their chase line and we had to adapt,” he added.

“It was a bit messy, but that’s Test match footy.”

New Zealand’s win ensured they once again won the southern hemisphere title, with world champions South Africa having needed a bonus-point victory to keep their slim championship hopes alive. After five games, the All Blacks have an uncatchable 24 points with a game to play.

Australia, who beat South Africa twice before dismantling Argentina, move up to second on 13 points, two clear of the Springboks, with the Pumas flailing at the bottom.

New Zealand and South Africa scored a try apiece within the opening five minutes when Will Jordan then Sbu Nkosi crossed to set the game alight.

But while the All Blacks went to the break 13-11 in front, they lacked their usual composure as the Springboks successfully shut down their fluent style.

Both sides traded penalties through the second half until Barrett kept his cool and landed the decisive blow in the dying stages from 40 meters out.

“We never like to lose because we come from a very proud country that expects results from us as a team,” said South Africa captain Siya Kolisi, whose side have now lost three in a row.

“But I’m glad of the way the boys stood up today. I can’t fault my teammates or coaches and thought we were right in there. Not much went wrong tonight.”

A revitalized Australia came into their clash against Argentina with their confidence high after consecutive wins over the Springboks, and they kept the momentum going.

Reece Hodge opened their account with a try after just four minutes and Samu Kerevi added another in a bone-crunching first half where Argentina were forced to make a gruelling 62 tackles.

The Wallabies wobbled early in the second stanza and Argentina skipper Julian Montoya powered over for a try, before the home team regained focus and finished strongly with Andrew Kellaway getting their third five-pointer.

“We’re obviously happy to win. We worked hard in the first half to put ourselves in a strong position, then there was probably a bit of frustration,” said Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

“But we worked hard and sustained a lot of pressure for 20 minutes after half-time, so I guess mixed emotions.

“Happy to win, but we need to be better.”


Man City end Chelsea hex as Man Utd pay penalty

Man City end Chelsea hex as Man Utd pay penalty
Updated 25 September 2021

Man City end Chelsea hex as Man Utd pay penalty

Man City end Chelsea hex as Man Utd pay penalty
  • Gabriel Jesus' second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola's men
  • Bruno Fernandes sent his spot-kick high over the bar, just the 2nd time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for United

LONDON: Manchester City ended their Chelsea hoodoo on Saturday, beating the European champions 1-0 while Bruno Fernandes missed a last-gasp penalty in Manchester United’s shock 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa.
Gabriel Jesus’ second-half strike proved decisive for Pep Guardiola’s men, who gained a measure of revenge for three consecutive defeats by Chelsea, including a painful loss in the Champions League final in Porto.
The win lifted the defending champions to 13 points alongside Liverpool, Chelsea and United, who conceded a late goal to Villa defender Kortney Hause before suffering the agony of the missed spot-kick.
Elsewhere, Jamie Vardy netted twice at the right end against Burnley after scoring an early own goal in a 2-2 draw for stuttering Leicester while Norwich slumped to their sixth consecutive league defeat.
Guardiola said this week that his side lacked a “weapon” to match Chelsea’s record signing Romelu Lukaku or United’s Cristiano Ronaldo to decide games inside the box.
But Jesus ultimately made the difference for City, who could have won more convincingly but for a combination of wasteful finishing and some impressive last-ditch defending.
The Brazilian forward got the break City deserved in the 53rd minute as his effort deflected off Jorginho to leave goalkeeper Edouard Mendy flat-footed.
The visitors had chances to double their lead, with Jack Grealish drawing a sharp save before Jesus was denied a second by Thiago Silva’s goal-line clearance while Thomas Tuchel’s team failed to muster a single shot on target.
“Sometimes we believe we need a proper striker to finish, but the important thing is the way we play,” Guardiola told the BBC.
“The most important thing is doing it as a team and as a unit. It’s like last season. Sergio (Aguero, who has left the club) was injured all year and we won the Premier League.”
Villa arrived at Old Trafford with a woeful record of one win in their previous 45 Premier League games against Manchester United, including 33 defeats.
The home side, boasting a star-studded attack including Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood had 28 shots in all but Villa missed some gilt-edged chances of their own.
Just when it appeared the game was drifting toward a draw, Villa’s Hause flicked a near-post header beyond David de Gea from a Douglas Luiz corner in the 88th minute.
Minutes later he went from hero to villain when he handled Fernandes’ cross but the United playmaker sent his spot-kick high over the bar — just the second time he has failed to score from a penalty in 23 attempts for the club.
It was a second home defeat of the week for United and a first in the Premier League this season, while they also lost Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to injuries in front of watching England boss Gareth Southgate
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side have lost three of their past four matches in all competitions criticized the way Fernandes was surrounded before his penalty.
“First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that’s not to my liking,” he said. “Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.
“It doesn’t get in Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again. The decision (on who takes penalties) is made before the game.”
Everton beat Norwich 2-0 while West Ham overcame struggling Leeds 2-1 with a late Michail Antonio goal. Watford had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Newcastle after having a late goal ruled out for offside.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in action at Brentford in the late kick-off on Saturday, with a chance to go three points clear at the top of the table.