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China, S.Korea to rotate players in final group tie
Abu Dhab: Korea Republic may have Son Heung-min available but China will not let that affect their focus when the two regional rivals meet in a winner-takes-all AFC Asian Cup Group C clash at the Al Nahyan Stadium on Wednesday. The East Asian sides go into the clash with perfect records, having beaten Kyrgyz Republic and Philippines in their earlier matches, and a draw would mean China topping the group on goal difference.
 
 
UAE coach Zaccheroni vows better performance
Al Ain: UAE coach Alberto Zaccheroni was left demanding more as the hosts squandered their one-goal lead against Thailand in a frustrating end to their group games. Zaccheroni said he realised that after two tame draws and a win to qualify from Group A, the team wasn’t living up to the expectations of home fans with only 17,000 at Al Ain’s 26,000-capacity Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Monday. “Today I was expecting a better
   
Rivalry and revenge as Iran face Iraq
Dubai: One of football’s great rivalries takes centre-stage at the Asian Cup on Wednesday when Iran play Iraq still smarting from their controversial exit four years ago. Iran played most of the classic 2015 quarter-final with 10 men after Mehrdad Pooladi’s hotly disputed first-half dismissal but when it ended 3-3 after extra-time, Iraq edged the penalty shoot-out. Iran’s protest that Iraq yielded an ineligible player was
 
 
India coach quits after late heart-break
Sharjah: India coach Stephen Constantine stepped down on Monday after an injury-time Bahrain penalty floored his side 1-0 and denied the cricket-mad nation a historic spot in the Asian Cup knockout stages. India were moments away from reaching the knockout phase for the first time before Bahrain’s Jamal Rashid converted a dramatic penalty to shatter their dreams and sneak Bahrain through. After the defeat, Constantine announced
   
Kyrgyzstan face Philippines in must-win match
Dubai: Alexander Krestinin declared his Kyrgyzstan side mentally equipped to keep their AFC Asian Cup Round of 16 hopes alive, ahead of their must-win Matchday Three tie against fellow debutants the Philippines. The two sides enter Wednesday’s clash at Rashid Stadium still looking for their first ever points in the competition, but both know a win will provide a realistic chance of reaching the knockout stage as one of the four
 
 
Vietnam, Yemen eye knock-out spot with win
Al Ain: Vietnam head coach Park Hang-Seo is confident of bagging the three points against Yemen when the two sides clash in their final AFC Asian Cup Group D tie at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on Wednesday. Both teams have yet to earn a point in the Continental showpiece with Vietnam having the higher chance of qualifying as one of the best four third-placed teams - based on a better goal difference. Park is well aware of the
   
Fleetwood hopes to get his new irons hot for ad challenge
Abu Dhabi: Tommy Fleetwood will be using a brand new set of clubs as he aims to win the $7 million Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the third time in three years. A victory on Saturday (the tournament starts Wednesday) would make the Englishman the first player to win a fully-sanctioned European Tour event three times in a row after Ernie Els at the Heineken Classic in 2004. But the 27-year-old from Southport will be without his
 
 
AIFF rejects reports on Constantine axing
NEW DELHI: Reacting to reports that Indian football team coach Stephen Constantine will be shown the door once his contract expires in March, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Saturday that those discussions will only take place after the Asian Cup. “We’re completely focused on AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 and the team has been performing excellently under Stephen Constantine having risen to 97 from 173 in the FIFA
   
Pune beat Mumbai to post first ever PBL win
PUNE: Despite some surprises in their line-up, Pune 7 Aces started their home leg with a 4-3 win over two-time runners-up Mumbai Rockets in a riveting Premier Badminton League (PBL) tie that went down to the wire at the Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Sports Complex on Saturday. The Pune charge was led by Vladimir Ivanov and Line Kjaersfeldt each of whom brought home a couple of wins to help the debutants get their first ever victory.
 
 
Biggest ever Muscat Marathon kicks off on Friday
Muscat: Led by the largest number of elite long-distance athletes ever gathered in Oman, next week’s Al Mouj Muscat Marathon is on course to be the biggest ever. With the clock counting down to the two-day festival of running – starting with the main marathon event on Jan. 18 – almost 8,000 athletes have registered, setting yet another record with increased entries in all six running categories. At what is likely to be the head
   
Star athlete Lajnef gets Women Leadership Award
Dubai: Dubai-based international athlete Sarra Lajnef has added to her impressive list of accolades the Women Leadership Award from the World Women Leadership Congress for her outstanding personal achievements and resolute determination in pursuit of sporting excellence. Sarra’s inspirational accomplishments came to the attention of the Middle East Women Leadership Awards committee after an extensive research process, which
 
 
Registration opens for NAS futsal, volleyball qualifiers
DUBAI: The organising committee of the Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Tournament has announced the opening of registration for teams wishing to participate in the futsal and volleyball qualifiers for the seventh edition of the tournament, which is held during the holy month of Ramadan under the guidance and patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council
   
ANIB’s continued sponsorship boost for UAE cricket
Abu Dhabi: Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday officially announced that Al Nabooda Insurance Brokers (ANIB) will continue their partnership with the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) as official sponsor of the UAE national cricket teams for 2019, specific to UAE’s men’s, women’s, U19 and U16 representative sides. Zayed Abbas, ECB Member and Spokesperson said: “Emirates Cricket Board is exceptionally pleased to continue our
 
 
Peterhansel sees stars in ‘tough’ Dakar stage win
San Juan de Marcona: Stephane Peterhansel recovered from an early accident that left his head spinning, to win Monday’s seventh stage of the Dakar Rally ahead of Nani Roma with Carlos Sainz in third after 387km of rolling, desert terrain. Overall leader Nasser Al Attiyah finished fourth, while Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb had a day to forget, finishing more than 30 minutes down after suffering an early electrical problem in the
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