Al-Nassr continue impressive pre-season form with 2-1 friendly win over Torremolinos

Al-Nassr continue impressive pre-season form with 2-1 friendly win over Torremolinos
Action from the friendly between Al-Nassr, in yellow, and Spanish club Torremolinos in Marbella. (Twitter: @AlNassrFC_EN)
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Updated 09 August 2022

Al-Nassr continue impressive pre-season form with 2-1 friendly win over Torremolinos

Al-Nassr continue impressive pre-season form with 2-1 friendly win over Torremolinos
  • The win came in the Riyadh club’s fourth match of their ongoing training camp in Spain

Al-Nassr defeated Spanish club Torremolinos 2-1 in the Saudi team’s fourth friendly match of their pre-season training camp taking place in Marbella.

The Riyadh club drew 2-2 in their first match against Las Palmas, and beat Zaragoza 2-1 in the second and Malaga 2-0 in the third.

Against Torremolinos, Al-Nassr started with a high press early on, Pity Martinez having a shot saved after only four minutes, while the referee disallowed a goal by Talisca after 15 minutes for offside.

Quick-fire goals in the 43rd and 44th minutes by Vincent Aboubakar and Talisca saw Al-Nassr take a two-goal lead into the break.

Torremolinos reduced the deficit in the 74th minute, but Rudi Garcia’s team, thanks to several substitutions, managed to see out the match for the 2-1 win.

Al-Nassr will host Al-Wehda at Mrsool Park on Aug. 27 in their opening fixture of the 2022-23 Saudi Pro League season.


F1: Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap

F1: Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap
Updated 9 sec ago

F1: Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap

F1: Leclerc takes Singapore GP pole as Verstappen aborts lap
SINGAPORE: Max Verstappen looked on course for pole position at the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday when his Red Bull team aborted his lap with just seconds left in qualifying because of a fuel issue and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took pole instead.
“Why? Why? Why?” Verstappen asked when told to box, before unleashing an expletive.
He soon found out why.
“They told me to box and then I realized what was going to happen. We ran out of fuel,” Verstappen told broadcaster Sky. “It is incredibly frustrating and it shouldn’t happen ... At least you (should) track that throughout the session to know you aren’t going to make it. We should’ve seen that way earlier.”
Verstappen starts eighth, although he’s won from 14th on the grid this season in Belgium.
He was well clear of Leclerc at the time splits but Red Bull called him in as he was about to go under fuel limit regulations. Drivers can be disqualified if they don’t have enough fuel left in the tank, which would have meant starting from last place.
Still, he was clearly displeased at what happened.
“I am not happy at all at the moment, I know of course it is always a team effort and I can make mistakes, and the team can make mistakes, but it is never acceptable,” he said. “Of course you learn from it, but this is really bad. It shouldn’t happen.”
Leclerc clinched a season-leading ninth pole and finished .022 ahead of Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez and .054 clear of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
“It was incredibly close, a really exciting session,” said Hamilton, who has a record 103 career poles but none this year. “A really clean qualifying session. It was so difficult to get that lap perfect.”
Perez is confident he can challenge for victory.
“It’s an opportunity tomorrow from the start to attack Charles and I’ll go for the win,” Perez said. “It’s quite disappointing to miss out by two hundredths but at the end of the day I think they did a fantastic job. Very happy.”
But Verstappen’s grid position deals a blow to his chances of wrapping up the title on Sunday on a street track difficult for overtaking. That gives Leclerc a good chance to win his fourth race of the season.
“I thought we wouldn’t get pole but it paid off and I’m really happy,” Leclerc said. “It was really, really special, every qualifying in street tracks are super on the limit.”
Leclerc called it “a matter of time before Max gets his title.”
Verstappen leads Leclerc by 116 points and will clinch his second straight title only if he scores 22 points more than Leclerc, his most realistic challenger.
He must win to secure the title Sunday, along with two other scenarios involving Leclerc. If Verstappen wins, Leclerc can finish no higher than ninth; if Verstappen wins and earns a bonus point for fastest lap, Leclerc can finish no higher than eighth.
The race buildup has seen bickering between teams over an alleged 2021 budget cap breach by Red Bull, which drew an angry response from Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
Also, Hamilton was summoned to appear before the stewards for a potential jewelry breach shortly after third practice had ended at the Marina Bay Circuit.
The seven-time F1 champion was later cleared after being investigated for an alleged infringement of Appendix L, Chapter III of the FIA’s International Sporting Code, which includes a prohibition on the wearing of jewelry. The summons related to Hamilton’s nose stud, which he had previously removed when the FIA’s jewelry ban was applied.
Hamilton said he explained to stewards before qualifying started that he needs to keep the stud in due to complications linked to a blood blister on his nose. Hamilton said he has a doctor’s letter showing all this and stewards accepted his explanation after reviewing footage.
Meanwhile, two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso will start behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and from fifth place in his record 350th F1 race on Sunday, which will be one more than 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was sixth and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly qualified seventh ahead of Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) in 10th.
Williams driver Alex Albon, racing just three weeks after being hospitalized with appendicitis and then suffering respiratory failure, qualified 19th.
He went out of Q1 with Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon — who have a combined 19 F1 wins. Bottas starts from 16th spot with Ricciardo 17th and Ocon 18th.
Earlier Saturday, Leclerc led a rain-hit third and final practice ahead of Verstappen. Half the session was lost as marshals swept water off the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) track, which mostly dried out for qualifying.
Midway through Q2, some drivers changed to the quicker slick tires while other stayed on intermediaries. Mercedes driver George Russell starts 11th after being knocked out of Q2 with four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win
Updated 11 min 15 sec ago

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win

Gallagher haunts Palace as Chelsea boss Potter seals first win
  • Potter was taking charge of Chelsea for just the second time since replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel in September
  • The former Brighton boss had overseen a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League

LONDON: Graham Potter earned his first win as Chelsea manager after Conor Gallagher returned to haunt Crystal Palace with the decisive goal in a 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
Potter was taking charge of Chelsea for just the second time since replacing the sacked Thomas Tuchel in September.
The former Brighton boss had overseen a 1-1 draw with RB Salzburg in the Champions League and was seconds away from another frustrating result until England midfielder Gallagher rode to the rescue.
Odsonne Edouard had put Palace ahead early on before former Barcelona forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalized with his first goal for Chelsea late in the first half.
That set the stage for Gallagher to come off the bench and win it for Chelsea deep into stoppage-time, in the process breaking the hearts of the team he played for on loan for the whole of last season.
“It’s a very special moment to come on and get the winner. It was written in the stars. Everyone knows how much I loved it at Palace but I’m just buzzing to get my first goal,” Gallagher said of his maiden strike for Chelsea.
Relieved to get off the mark after a tricky test in south London, Potter said: “We’re delighted with the result. It’s a tough place to come. I thought we started quite well but conceded from the first action into the box.
“Credit to the boys, they recovered well and did not let their heads go down. It was nice to get an equalizer and get back in the game.
“There’s character, that’s for sure. They could’ve felt sorry for themselves after conceding the goal but the players stood up all the way through.
“There was a collective spirit among the players. We are delighted with the three points.”
Edouard met Jordan Ayew’s seventh-minute cross and lifted the ball past Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga into the top corner.
Raheem Sterling was inches away from a quick equalizer when the Chelsea forward pounced on his own rebound and watched his second effort hit the post.
Palace were furious when Ayew looked through on goal, only to be stopped in his tracks by Thiago Silva, with the Chelsea defender escaping with just a booking.
Silva’s presence on the pitch proved vital moments later when Reece James found the Brazilian at the edge of the area and he nodded the pass in the direction of Aubameyang, who spun and fired past Vicente Guaita.
Palace nearly went back in front after half-time when Michael Olize battled his marker before picking out Wilfried Zaha, who could not beat Kepa with a powerful strike.
Gallagher was warmly received by Palace fans when he stepped on the pitch in the 76th minute.
But those friendly sentiments were quickly forgotten when he curled in the decider to spark jubilant celebrations among Potter and his backroom staff.


Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown

Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown
Updated 26 min 12 sec ago

Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown

Bayern’s Mueller, Kimmich Covid positive ahead of Dortmund showdown
  • Both will miss the side's upcoming Champions League game against Viktoria Pilsen

BERLIN: Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Mueller have tested positive for Covid-19, just a week before they travel to face Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.
The German champions confirmed the news late on Saturday afternoon, with the statement saying both players have “no symptoms” and are currently in home isolation.
Both will miss the side’s upcoming Champions League game against Viktoria Pilsen, but may still be able to play in Saturday’s game against Dortmund.
They took part in Bayern’s dominant 4-0 home win over Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night.
Bayern on Friday welcomed back captain Manuel Neuer and midfielder Leon Goretzka, who had been in Covid isolation for a week after testing positive while on Germany duty.
Kimmich and Mueller were also in Germany’s Nations League camp.
Kimmich, who had previously remained unvaccinated due to “fears and concerns” with the vaccine, was vaccinated early in 2022.


Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony

Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony
Updated 25 min 56 sec ago

Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony

Riyadh’s King Fahd International Stadium to host Saudi Games opening ceremony
  • The games are set to be the largest sporting event hosted in the Arab world to date

RIYADH: The first edition of the Saudi Games will begin in Riyadh on October 27 under the patronage of King Salman, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday. King Fahd International Stadium will host the ceremony.

The games are set to be the largest sporting event hosted in the Arab world to date, in terms of the number of participants and the amount of prize money on offer.

Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal expressed his gratitude to King Salman for his generous sponsorship of the event, which he said was a clear sign of the country’s leaders’ interest in and support for sports.

“These projects will positively affect our youth,” Prince Abdulaziz said. “This tournament is one of the most important programs to emerge from Saudi Vision 2030. I wish good luck to all our participants.”

The Saudi Games will provide more than 20,000 athletes the chance to participate in the qualifying phase.

More than 6,000 athletes and 2,000 technical and administrative supervisors will participate in the tournament proper on behalf of 200 clubs from across the Kingdom.

Individuals participating under the flag of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee will be grouped into one category, and will also be competing in 45 individual and team sports, including five sports for Paralympians.

Participants will be competing for the highest prize money in the history of the region with more than SR200 million (around $53 million) on offer. Gold-medal winners will receive SR1 million, with silver- and bronze-medal winners awarded SR300,000 and SR100,000 respectively.

-ENDS-


Trossard hat-trick denies Liverpool in De Zerbi’s bow as Brighton boss

Trossard hat-trick denies Liverpool in De Zerbi’s bow as Brighton boss
Updated 44 min 45 sec ago

Trossard hat-trick denies Liverpool in De Zerbi’s bow as Brighton boss

Trossard hat-trick denies Liverpool in De Zerbi’s bow as Brighton boss
  • Jurgen Klopp's men were starring down the barrel of a first league defeat in front of fans at Anfield since 2017
  • Belgian Leandro Trossard scored twice inside the first 17 minutes

LIVERPOOL: Leandro Trossard scored a hat-trick for Brighton as Liverpool’s slow start to the Premier League season continued in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Anfield on Saturday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were starring down the barrel of a first league defeat in front of fans at Anfield since 2017 when the Belgian scored twice inside the first 17 minutes.
Liverpool have won only won two of their first seven league games of the season to already fall 11 points behind leaders Arsenal.
The Reds looked to have turned the game around when Roberto Firmino struck twice either side of half-time before Adam Webster’s own goal put the home side in front.
But in Roberto De Zerbi’s first game as Brighton boss, the Seagulls got the reward their performance deserved when Trossard fired in at the back post seven minutes from time.
A point leaves Liverpool down in ninth, while Brighton remain in fourth.
De Zerbi’s debut lived up to the hype as the Italian’s brand of intricate passing out from the back cut Liverpool to shreds in the early stages.
Klopp spoke out at length in defense of Trent Alexander-Arnold after he was overlooked by England manager Gareth Southgate during the international break.
But critics of Alexander-Arnold’s defending were given more ammunition after just four minutes when he was turned by Trossard and the Belgian fired into the far corner.
A nightmare opening 20 minutes for the hosts could have been much worse but for two big saves from Alisson Becker.
Danny Welbeck placed his header from close range too close to the Brazilian, who then produced a brilliant stop as he flew off his line to deny Trossard.
However, Liverpool were not so lucky when they passed up a third big chance after the opener as Brighton again worked an opening down the side of Alexander-Arnold and Trossard’s strike had too much power for Alisson.
Klopp summoned Virgil van Dijk to the touchline after the second goal in a bid to restore some order and the Reds did get a foothold before the break.
Firmino’s fourth goal of the season was initially ruled out for offside as he dinked into an unguarded net after Mohamed Salah knocked the ball past Robert Sanchez.
A VAR review came to Liverpool’s rescue, though, to halve the arrears.
Klopp had surprisingly left Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez on the bench from the start, but Diaz replaced Fabio Carvalho at the start of the second half.
The Colombian made a quick impact as he charged at the Brighton defense and laid the ball across for Firmino, who cut inside Lewis Dunk and coolly found the far corner.
Firmino’s future is uncertain with the Brazilian’s contract set to expire at the end of the season.
But his renaissance in front of goal should have resulted in a hat-trick as he headed straight at Sanchez with the chance to complete the comeback.
Welbeck should have restored Brighton’s lead when he failed to connect with a low cross from close range.
Moments later, the Seagulls were behind thanks to a calamitous goalkeeping error from Sanchez.
Not for the first time this season, the Spanish international flapped at a corner and punched the ball into his own net off the unfortunate Webster.
True to De Zerbi’s reputation as an attack-minded coach, Brighton never stopped piling men forward and finally took one of their chances when Trossard turned home Kaoru Mitoma’s cross.