A fter 51 games and a record 130 goals, the afc asian Cup has been run

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FTER 51 games and a 

record 130 goals, the AFC 

Asian Cup has been run 

and won for another four years, 

with Qatar making history by 

winning the title for the first 

time. With the ink still drying on 

another memorable chapter in 

the competition’s proud history, 

here’s a look at some of the nota-

ble numbers & statistical high-

lights of the 17th edition of Asia’s 

biggest football tournament.



Qatar came within 21 min-

utes of keeping an entire 

tournament worth of clean 

sheets, but their final tally of one 

goal conceded still meant the 

champions had the most miserly 

defence in the tournament. It 

took 609 minutes for goalkeeper 

Saad al Sheeb 

to be beaten, as 

Qatar became the first team to 

reach the final by keeping six 

successive clean sheets.



Potentially the one sta-

tistic of this tournament 

that will become assumed 

knowledge for Asian football 

fans everywhere; tournament 


Almoez Ali 

broke Ali Daei’s 

23-year-old record for goals in 

a single a tournament with nine 

strikes in seven matches. The 

22-year-old incredibly scored his 

nine goals from just 16 shots, 

well short of the 28 from Sardar 

Azmoun, who had the most at-

tempts in the competition.




Almoez Ali 

was he 

revelation of the tourna-

ment, Akram Afif was surely a 

close second. The Al Sadd for-

ward earned Player of the Match 

honours in the final, and lit up 

the tournament as a whole with 

10 assists, the most in record-

ed history. He provided the final 

pass for more than twice as 

many goals as any other player, 

and also created a whopping 26 

chances, with Australia’s Chris 

Ikonomidis his nearest competi-

tor on 14. 



Kyrgyz Republic won the 

respect of the Asian 

football world with their fine dis-

plays in the UAE and, in dynam-

ic defender Valeri Kichin, they 

had the player who executed the 

most interceptions in the tour-

nament. The Akshumkar captain 

intercepted 14 passes from op-

position players, one more than 

Japan’s Gaku Shibasaki. 




Saad al Sheeb 

was deservedly crowned 

the tournament’s best goalkeep-

er, but it was Ignatiy Nesterov, 

appearing in a record fifth AFC 

Asian Cup, who made the most 

saves. The 35-year-old made 21 

stops, but spare a thought for 

Jordan’s Amer Shafi, who made 

20 saves in his side’s four 

matches, and conceded just 

one goal, only to face Round 

of 16 elimination via a penalty 

shootout defeat to Vietnam. 



Iraq were the 

AFC Asian 

Cup’s youngest side, with an 

average age of 23 years and 

309 days, or 23.85 years old. 

China PR (29 years, 212 days) 

were UAE 2019’s oldest side. 

The competition’s three young-

est sides, Iraq, Vietnam and 

Qatar, all reached the knockout 

stage, although the next three 

youngest (India, DPR Korea and 

Yemen) all finished bottom of 

their respective groups. 



Jamie Maclaren’s open-

ing goal for Australia 

in their 3-0 win over Palestine 

wasn’t only his first at senior 

international level, but it com-

pleted the longest pass se-

quence for a goal in the tourna-

ment. Tom Rogic’s final ball was 

the 32nd pass in the build-up to 

the goal, with Qatar’s Abdelka-

rim Hassan’s goal against DPR 

Korea, which ended a 23-pass 

move, the nearest challenger.



Another Al Annabi star 

in the UAE was 



, who fulfilled a variety 

of roles but earned the most 

praise for his defensive contri-

bution to the Qatari cause, and 

racked up a competition-high 46 

clearances. Khouki also man-

aged to score two goals. One in 

the 6-0 group stage defeat of 

DPR Korea, and the other the 

vital opener in the 4-0 semi-final 

win over the UAE. 



Korea Republic’s 

Jung Woo-young was 

officially the competition’s pass 

master, racking up 495 at an ac-

curacy of 89.7%, despite playing 

only five matches. Australia had 

three of the top five distribu-

tors, with Trent Sainsbury, Mark 

Milligan and Milos Degenek all 

exceeding the 400-mark before 

the reigning champions were 

eliminated in the quarters. 





QATAR’S Almoez Ali scored 

eye-popping record nine 

goals at a single Asian Cup, 

surpassing Iran legend Ali 

Daei’s total of eight set in 

1996 with a glorious strike 

in the final that sparked a 3-1 

upset over Japan in the final.

The Al Duhail striker’s 

magnificent run saw him pick 

up the Most Valuable Player 

honours, but Almoez still has 

more to win. 

His strikes against UAE 

in the semi-final and the bril-

liant bicycle kick against Ja-

pan have been chosen in the 

top ten goals of the tourna-

ment, the AFC announced on 

its website.

The 22-year-old had plas-

tic bottles and shoes pelted at 

him after scoring in the semi-

final victory over hosts UAE, 

but had the last laugh as the 

2022 World Cup hosts went 

on to lift the Asian Cup for 

the first time.

Almoez’s Asian Cup form 

was engineered by his on-

field relationship with Akram 

Afif, whose assist total of 10 

set a tournament record. 

Afif supplied the pass that 

put Almoez in the best posi-

tion for his record goal. 

“Akram and I have been 

together for seven years and 

I know where Akram will be 

and where he will pass and 

he knows what is expected 

from me, so it’s normal after 

seven years that we get along 

very well together.”

Also making the Top 10 is 

midfield enforcer Abdulaziz 

Hatem whose two goals in 

the tournament were nothing 

short of spectacular. 

The Al Gharafa man’s 

belter against South Korea in 

the quarter-final was nomi-

nated for top honours aw well 

as 22-yards curler in the final 

against Japan. 

Other goals in the top 10 

include India’s Sunil Chetri’s 

half-volley against Thailand, 

China’s Wu Lei’s scissors kick 

against the Philippines, Iraq’s 

Mohanad Ali’s solo effort 

against Yemen and Vietnam’s 

Nguyen Quang Hei’s freekick 

against Yemen. 

Japan’s Tsukasa’s Shioka-

ni and Iraq’s Baha Abdelrah-

man complete the list. 

Al Annabi scored 19 goals 

at the 2019 Asian Cup, con-

ceding just one against Japan. 

Goalkeeper Saad al Sheeb set 

a record six clean sheets at a 

single championship, taking 

609 minutes to let in a goal.

Fans can visit 


afc.com to vote for their favour-

ite goals of the tournament.

Almoez, Abdulaziz strikes among 

top goals of AFC Asian Cup 2019

Abdulaziz Hatem shapes up to deliver his stunning long-range goal in the quarter-final against S Korea.



 India’s Sunil Chetri’s half-volley against Thailand


 China’s Wu Lei’s scissors kick against the Philippines


 Iraq’s Mohanad Ali’s solo effort against Yemen


 Vietnam’s Nguyen Quang Hei’s freekick against Yemen


 Japan’s Tsukasa’s Shiokani’s piledriver against Uzbekistan


 Jordan’s Baha Abdelrahman’s freekick against Vietnam 



Abdulaziz Hatem’

long range shot in QF against S Korea



Almoez Ali’s

 curler into the bottom corner against UAE



Abdulaziz Hatem’s 

brilliant curler against Japan in the final



Almoez Ali’s 

record-setting bicycle kick in the final


Qatar’s goalkeeper Saad al Sheeb knocks the ball over his goal during 

the 2019 AFC Asian Cup semi-final against UAE in Abu Dhabi. 


Qatar star Almoez Ali essays the brilliant bicycle kick against Japan in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 final. Two of Almoez 

and two of Abdulaziz Hatem’s scoring strikes made the top 10 list of the tournament’s outstanding goals.

Al Duhail  


the signing  

of Japan  







World’s best Under-17 talents return  

to Doha for Al Kass Cup 2019 




DOHA is gearing up for an 

equestrian extravaganza with 

two major back-to-back events 

taking place at Al Shaqab, 

member of Qatar Foundation.

The first, from February 

28 to March 2, is the open-

ing leg of the Longines Global 

Champions Tour (LGCT) 

2019. The second, and the 

jewel in Qatar and Al Shaqab’s 

equestrian crown, is CHI Al 

Shaqab 2019, which will be 

held from March 7 to 9. 

In addition, during the 

entire period of February 

28-March 9, Al Shaqab will 

have a festival area to provide 

a variety of fun-filled activities 

and entertainment that will ca-

ter to children and adults alike.

Additionally, Al Shaqab 

will also be the venue for the 

Qatar International Sports 

and Fitness Exhibition (QIS-

FE) from April 2 to 6, under 

the patronage of Sheikh Joaan 

bin Hamad al Thani, Presi-

dent of the Qatar Olympic 

Committee. Exhibitors across 

the areas of sports and fitness 

facilities, health and wellness, 

nutrition, and sportswear will 

be displayed at the event. 

Unlike previous years 

where Al Shaqab was the host 

venue of the LGCT finals, this 

year will see the spectacu-

lar venue providing the per-

fect backdrop to kick off this 

thrilling competition.

CHI stands for Concours 

Hippique International or 

“Equestrian Internation-

al Competition”, and is Al 

Shaqab’s signature event. 

With ExxonMobil as the main 

sponsor, the competition 

will see top riders compete 

in three Olympic equestrian 

disciplines of showjumping, 

dressage, and para dressage. 

CHI Al Shaqab is the first 

equestrian competition of its 

kind in the Middle East and 

Asia region to be sanctioned 

by the International Eques-

trian Federation. 

Attracting the best ath-

letes and horses from around 

the world since its incep-

tion in 2013, it is one of only 

five international equestrian 

events to showcase three or 

more equestrian disciplines.  

Capturing the excite-

ment and spirit of top-class 

sport, CHI Al Shaqab further 

strengthens Qatar’s status as 

a hub for international sport-

ing competition, while paying 

tribute to Qatar’s rich eques-

trian heritage.

Khalifa al Attiya, Presi-

dent of CHI Al Shaqab and 

Al Shaqab’s Executive Di-

rector, said, “The Arab world 

has a very rich equine herit-

age, and through events such 

as this, Al Shaqab preserves 

and perpetuates that aspect of 

Qatari culture. CHI Al Shaqab 

significantly contributes to 

the international equestrian 

and business community, 

highlighting Qatar’s role as a 

global sporting destination.

“Al Shaqab is also proud 

that CHI Al Shaqab always 

serves as an important event 

for the local community as 

well. The Festival Area is ex-

tremely popular and this year 

there will truly be something 

for everyone in terms of enter-

tainment and fun activities. I 

would like to encourage every-

one in Qatar to attend CHI Al 

Shaqab 2019, the first leg of the 

Longines Global Champions 

Tour 2019, and the Qatar In-

ternational Sports and Fitness 

Exhibition, as I’m confident 

they will leave Al Shaqab with 

unforgettable memories.”

Tickets for both the first leg 

of the Longines Global Cham-

pions Tour 2019 and CHI Al 

Shaqab go on sale today (Mon-

day, February 4), and will be 

available on the Al Shaqab 

website (www.alshaqab.com). 

Ticket prices are QR35 for 

adults and QR15 for children 

between the ages of 6 and 12. 

Children under the age of 6 

will enjoy free entry to public 

areas of both competitions.  

For the first time, exclu-

sive VIP tables and boxes 

have been introduced this 

year to enable corporate or-

ganisations to entertain their 

highly valued clients and 

special guests to witness and 

enjoy two world-class eques-

trian competitions in Qatar.

The state-of-the-art Al Shaqab will host Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) 2019 from February 28 to March 2 and the prestigious CHI Al Shaqab 2019 from March 7 to 9. 

Al Shaqab all set to host exciting  

back-to-back international events



SECOND seed Kiki Bertens of 

the Netherlands, who will also 

be seen in action at the Qatar 

Total Open 2019 tournament,  

on Sunday defeated Croatia’s 

Donna Vekic 7-6(2) 6-4 to 

win the St Petersburg Ladies  

Trophy and claim her eighth 

WTA singles title.

Bertens, the world number 

eight, was slow out of the blocks, 

and found herself trailing 5-2 in 

the first set before staging a re-

markable turnaround.

“I would like to say to Don-

na congratulations on a great 

week and sorry for today,” 

Bertens said after collecting 

the trophy at a glittering pres-

entation ceremony. 

“It was an amazing final to 

play... I will be back next year.”

Both players made 33 un-

forced errors each, but Bertens 

won 79 percent of her first 

serve points and sent down 

eight aces and 27 winners 

compared to 16 from Vekic.

“Congrats to Kiki and your 

team. You were too good for me 

today,” Vekic said. 

“I’m really looking forward 

to playing doubles with you in 

Indian Wells.

“Sorry, (coach) Torben 

(Beltz) we are going to have to 

wait a little bit longer for that 

first title but at least the finals 

are getting bigger,” she added.

Bertens claims St Petersburg 

title ahead of Qatar Total Open



IF you have been using the 

Red Street to go to the City 

Centre or crossing by the 

Corniche, you may have seen 

Khalifa International Tennis 

& Squash Complex sporting a 

glittering new look.

As you may have guessed 

it right, with less than 10 days 

to go for the start of the Qatar 

Total Open 2019, the stadium 

is ready, awaiting the annual 

tournament which is one of 

the most sought-after ladies 

tennis events in the region.

The venue is looking beau-

tiful with the branding com-

pleted and all necessary make-

overs done in readiness for the 

Premier WTA Tour event to be 

held at the ultra-modern venue 

from February 11 to 16.

The $916,131 total prize 

money tournament will fea-

ture a host of the world’s top 

players led by the new World 

No. 1 and Australian Open 

champion Naomi Osaka of Ja-

pan, World No. 3 Simona Ha-

lep of Romania, 2017 cham-

pion in Qatar and World No. 

5 Karolina Pliskova, Angelique 

Kerber – a three-time Grand 

Slam champion and 2014 fi-

nalist, and Netherland’s Kiki 

Bertens among others.

Other players to watch out 

for include 2016 champion 

Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, 

World No. 13 Anastasija Sev-

astova, 2017 US Open finalist 

Madison Keys as well as Lat-

via’s Jelena Ostapenko – the 

2016 finalist in Doha.

With tickets selling fast 

both online and onsite at Land-

mark, City Centre and Villaggio 

malls and the Khalifa Interna-

tional Tennis & Squash Com-

plex, this year’s event, which is 

the 17th edition, promises a far 

bigger attendance compared to 

the previous editions.

“The Qatar Total Open 

2019 is here and we are re-

ally impressed with level of 

our preparations and readi-

ness for this tournament. The 

event popularity is increasing 

by the day and we are highly 

encouraged with the ticket 

sales. Without any doubt, the 

tournament has come to stay 

as one of the biggest event in 

Qatar’s sporting calendar and 

we believe that the 17th edition 

this year will be far bigger than 

all in the past,” said Tourna-

ment Director Saad Saleh al 


“We are looking forward to 

welcoming everyone, especial-

ly families, in this one week fi-

esta of tennis. There are lots of 

activities lined up to make the 

event memorable for everyone 

both on the courts and at the 

public village,” he added.

Held since 2001, the Qatar 

Total Open has grown to be-

come one of the biggest WTA 

Tour events in the region and 

it has consistently featured the 

world’s top ten players on a 

regular basis.

The last edition was won 

by Czech Petra Kvitova, who 

recorded her 13th consecutive 

victory beating Spaniard Gar-

bine Muguruza 3–6, 6–3, 6–4 

in a highly entertaining final.

Khalifa International Complex wears  

new look for Qatar Total Open 2019

Premier WTA 

Tour event in 

Doha starts on 

February 11

The Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex will be playing host to the 17th edition of Qatar Total Open. 

CHI Al Shaqab 2019 & Longines Global Champions Tour 2019

  to wow 

visitors at Qatar’s state-of-the-art equestrian venue this Feb and March


ig action international 

showjumping will be 

back much earlier 

than usual at the Al Shaqab 

equestrian centre as Doha 

will now play host to the 

first event of the 2019 Lon-

gines Global Champions 

Tour and Global Champi-

ons League for teams (GCL) 

rather than the finale as it 

did till the 2018 edition. 

Three new cities join the 

circuit this year – New York, 

Montreal and Sweden’s 

capital city Stockholm – 


making a record 20 events 

for the world’s premier 

showjumping circuit. After 

a series of strategic expan-

sions in recent years, the 

Longines Global Champi-

ons Tour and GCL series has 

a significant footprint span-

ning The Americas, Europe, 

Asia and the Middle East. 

And with Qatar’s capital be-

ing the first to host the high 

profile curtain raiser at its 

world class equestrian facil-


Once again the soaring 

architecture of the arena will 

be a magnificent backdrop 

to top-level show jumping 

with the first LGCT of the 

season with all the action 

being broadcast on GCTV 

live streaming. 

The new event in New 

York will take place on Gov-

ernors Island, with breath-

taking views of the Statue 

of Liberty and the Lower 


Manhattan skyline.

New York joins existing 

flagship events in major cit-

ies including Paris, London, 

Shanghai, Madrid, Mexico 

City, Rome and Doha.

2019 LGCT & GCL Calendar 

LGCT Doha: Feb 28-March 2; 

Mexico City: April 11-13; Mi-

ami: April 18-20; Shanghai: 

May 3-5; Madrid: May 17-19; 

Hamburg: May 30-1 June; 

Cannes: June 6-8; Stock-

holm: June 14-16; Cascais/

Estoril: June 20-22; Monaco: 

June 27-29; Paris: July 5-7; 

Chantilly: July 12-14; Berlin: 

July 26-28; London: August 

2-4; Valkenswaard: August 

9-11; Rome: Sept 6-8; Rama-

tuelle/Saint Tropez: Sept 

12-14; Montreal: Sept 20-22; 

New York: Sept 27-29; GCL 

Prague Playoffs: Nov 21- 24.

Doha to raise the curtain as 

New York joins LGCT circuit

Qatar’s Bassem Mohammed winning the LGCT Grand Prix at  

Al Shaqab in November, 2018.

Osaka to lead stars’ show

The $916,131 total prize-money tournament will feature a 

host of the world’s top players led by the new World No. 1  

and Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan, World 

No. 3 Simona Halep of Romania, 2017 champion in Qatar  

and World No. 5 Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber – a 

three-time Grand Slam champion and 2014 finalist, and 

Netherland’s Kiki Bertens among others.

ASTANA: Kazakhstan’s national tennis team defeated Portugal, the 

second day of Davis Cup qualification action, and is headed to the fi-

nals in the tournament’s new format in Madrid in November. The third 

and final point for the home team was sealed by Mikhail Kukushkin’s 

6-4, 6-1 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa on Saturday, reports 


news. Facing a 0-2 deficit, Sousa and Gastao Elias had given Portugal 

a glimmer of hope in the doubles that opened the second day of the 

tie, defeating the Kazakh duo of Aleksandr Nedovyesov and Timur 

3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Portugal have never played in the World Group under the 

previous format, while Kazakhstan have competed in the top category 

eight times, reaching the quarterfinals five times. 


Kazakhstan defeat Portugal, make final

 Davis Cup


Kiki Bertens 

with the trophy 

after her  

victory over 

Croatia’s Donna 

Vekic in the 

final of the 

St. Petersburg 

tournament at 

The Sibur Arena 

in Saint  

Petersburg on 





Monday, February 4, 2019



MANCHESTER City closed 

to within two points of Pre-

mier League leaders Liverpool 

thanks to Sergio Aguero’s hat-

trick in a 3-1 win over Arsenal 

on Sunday.

FOR the second time in a 

week, Aguero scored inside 

the first minute to give City the 

perfect start.

However, just like in a 

shock defeat at Newcastle on 

Tuesday, the champions failed 

to press home their advantage 

as Laurent Koscielny profited 

from some slack defending to 

head home an equaliser just 10 

minutes later.

Pep Guardiola’s men were 

knocked out of their stride for 

most of the remainder of the 

first half, but retook the lead in 

style just a minute before the 

break when Ilkay Gundogan’s 

delightful lofted pass teed up 

Raheem Sterling to cross for 

Aguero to tap home.

The same two players com-

bined for the Argentine to se-

cure his 10th Premier League 

hat-trick in controversial fash-

ion as the ball came back off 

Aguero’s arm before rolling over 

the line just after the hour mark.

A sixth consecutive away 

league game without a win 

sees Arsenal slip down to sixth 

behind Manchester United, 

who were 1-0 victors at Leices-

ter earlier on Sunday, and 

three points adrift of fourth-

placed Chelsea in the battle for 

Champions League football 

next season.

Aguero has now scored 

seven times in as many games 

in 2019 to underline his im-

portance to City’s quest for sil-

verware on four fronts.

The 30-year-old capped a 

flying start from the hosts by 

steering home an unstoppable 

header past Bernd Leno just 

51 seconds in after Alex Iwobi 

was caught in possession by 

Aymeric Laporte.

Moments later the ball was 

in the Arsenal net again, but 

this time Laporte was rightly 

flagged offside.

The Gunners had barely 

threatened before levelling 

when Koscielny stooped low 

to head home Nacho Mon-

real’s flick-on.

City also led early on in 

defeats by Crystal Palace and 

Leicester in December and Ko-

scielny’s equaliser shifted the 

mood and momentum of the 

game as the home side feared 

the same fate may further 

damage their title challenge.

Instead, one brilliant move 

swung the outcome back in 

their favour. Sterling played 

a one-two with Gundogan 

before volleying a magnifi-

cent, first-time centre across 

the face of the net for the un-

marked Aguero to turn in at 

the far post.

In contrast, the second half 

was a stroll and City should 

have more than just the one 

goal to show for their domi-


Sterling was again the ar-

chitect with a darting run into 

the area which left the Arse-

nal defence in tatters before 

he reached the by-line and 

crossed for the sliding Aguero 

to steer the ball in via his arm.

Kevin De Bruyne, Ber-

nardo Silva and Aguero again 

peppered Leno with powerful 

shots that the German kept 

out to maintain some respect-

ability for Arsenal.

But that is all they had to 

show for another sorry away 

performance that leaves their 

chances of avoiding a third 

straight season in the Europa 

League fading.

Man City striker Sergio Aguero 

(centre) celebrates scoring his 

goal during their Premier League 

match against Arsenal in  

Manchester, on Sunday. 


Aguero hat-trick 

sinks Arsenal, 

City close gap 

on Liverpool



TWELVE of the world’s best 

U-17 teams from 12 different 

countries will take part in the 

2019 Al Kass International 

Cup at Aspire Academy from 


Football fans will have the 

opportunity to see some of 

the world’s greatest talents in 

Doha for the 11-day tourna-

ment that will conclude on 

February 15.

The technical meeting with 

officials from all 12 teams was 

held at The Torch hotel on 

Sunday, one of the two offi-

cial accommodation hotels for 

the tournament with the other 

one being Al Aziziya Boutique 

Hotel. Qatar’s Aspire Academy 

will add local flavour to the 

tournament, which was won 

last year by Paris St. Germain 

(France), who now hold the re-

cord of being the only team to 

have won three titles.

The other participating 

teams include Real Madrid 

(Spain), Kashiwa Reysol (Ja-

pan), Rangers FC (Scotland), 

Raja Club Athletic (Morocco), 

AS Roma (Italy), FC Bayern 

München (Germany), Altinor-

du FK (Turkey), Étoile Spor-

tive du Sahel (Tunisia), FC 

Spartak Moscow (Russia) and 

Suwon Samsung Bluewings 

(South Korea).

The 2019 edition of the 

tournament has a couple of 

new features. For the first time 

the video assistant referee 

(VAR) is going to be used to 

review decisions made by the 

head referee with the use of 

video footage and a headset for 

communication. Also, the tour-

nament will star female ref-

erees from all over the world. 

They are sent by FIFA and will 

use the 2019 Al Kass Inter-

national Cup as part of their 

preparations for the 2019 FIFA 

Women’s World Cup that takes 

place in France this summer.

Ward Abdallah, Member 

of the Organising Committee 

of the Al Kass International 

Cup, said: “We are honoured 

to welcome some of the world’s 

top youth teams to Qatar to 

compete in the eighth Al Kass 

International Cup – a tourna-

ment that grants young play-

ers an opportunity to showcase  and  enhance  their  football 


The first day of the tourna-

ment already offers many high-

lights: After the opening cer-

emony, taking place on Pitch 5 

of Aspire Academy, the compe-

tition starts with the game be-

tween last year’s finalists Paris 

Saint-Germain and Kashiwa 

Reysol at 4:35pm. In the sec-

ond match of Day 1, Qatar’s 

Aspire Academy will face Raja 

Club Athletic from Morocco at 


Official tournament spon-

sor Al Kass TV will broadcast 

all the games live with both 

Arabic and English com-

mentary. Live streaming of 

all the matches will available 

on http://internationalcup.


Currently celebrating its 

eighth year, Al Kass Interna-

tional Cup is organised by Al 

Kass Sports Channels, in col-

laboration with Aspire Zone 

Foundation and the Qatar 

Football Association. The Un-

der-17 football tournament 

is a global championship for 

worldwide competitive clubs.

The Al Kass International 

Cup has established itself as 

a key international football 

event that supports the Qa-

tar National Vision 2030 and 

contributes to building on the 

foundations of a proud foot-

balling nation up to the 2022 

FIFA World Cup and beyond.

Inaugurated in 2012, Al 

Kass International Cup is an 

annual tournament that pro-

vides some of the world’s choice 

young footballers the opportu-

nity to demonstrate their ability 

and skills on the world stage. 

The tournament also aims to 

contribute to the nurturing of 

passion for football in Qatar 

and the region by offering up a 

12-day action-packed competi-

tion that seeks to propel Qatar 

to the forefront of sporting ex-

cellence and leadership.

Fans will have the opportunity to see some of the world’s greatest talents in Doha for the 11-day tournament that will conclude on February 15.


World’s top talents for  

Al Kass Cup 2019 

Past winners

Al Kass International Cup: 

2012: Paris Saint-Germain

2013: Fluminense

2014: Aspire Football Dreams

2015: Paris Saint-Germain

2016: Aspire Football Dreams

2017: Real Madrid

2018: Paris Saint-Germain



AL Duhail have announced the 

signing of Japan’s Shuya Naka-

tima from Portuguese first di-

vision club Portimonense. The 

announcement was made on 

their official Twitter account on 


Nakajima, who trained with 

his Al Duhail teammates, was 

signed to replace South Korean 

playmaker Nam Tae Hee, who’s 

out for the rest of the season due 

to cruciate ligament injury.

The Blue Samurai star him-

self was withdrawn from the 

squad for the AFC Asian Cup in 

the United Arab Emirates due to 

injury, where Japan lost 3-1 to 

Qatar in the tournament’s final 

on Friday.

The left-winger will be a 

massive reinforcement for the 

QNB Stars League champions 

who will return to league action 

against Al Sailiya on Saturday. 

The 24-year-old is expected 

to be drafted straight into the 

main team for his league debut 

on Saturday.

As part of improving the 

team, Duhail parted ways with 

former Tunisian World Cup 

coach Nabil Maaloul for Portu-

guese Rui Faria, an associate of 

Jose Mourinho.

The six-time league champi-

ons are two points behind leaders 

Al Sadd SC. Duhail last week lost 

the QSL Cup against Al Gharafa 

and will hope the Blue Samurai 

export delivers the results for the 

Reed Knights.

The league champions have 

also added former Juventus and 

Morocco international Mehdi 

Benatia to their ranks. Ahmad 

has rejoined Duhail after a com-

pleting a loan spell with Vissel Ko-

beof Japan.

According to different re-

ports, including Japan’s Nikkan 

Sports, have reported that the star 

playmaker has been bought by Al 

Duhail for a rumored transfer fee 

of €35 million ($40 million).

If correct, the figure would 

be a record for the transfer of a 

Japanese player, outstripping the 

roughly $29 million Parma paid 

to acquire Hidetoshi Nakata from 

Roma in 2001, according to Nik-

kan Sports.

The former FC Tokyo play-

er was previously linked with 

a move to Wolverhampton 

Wanderers, but Portimonense 

reportedly rejected a transfer 

bid from the English Premier 

League side. 

After being left out of the 

squad for last summer’s World 

Cup, Nakajima has emerged as 

one of Japan’s next generation 

of stars under new manager 

Hajime Moriyasu.

Al Duhail announce signing of Japan star Nakajima 

The Blue Samurai star was signed to 

replace the injured Nam Tae Hee

Shuya Nakatima of Al Duhail at a training session at the club’s train-

ing ground in Al Duhail on Sunday.

The Blue Samurai star him-

self was withdrawn from the 

squad for the AFC Asian 

Cup in the United Arab 

Emirates due to injury, 

where Japan lost 3-1 to 

Qatar in the tournament’s 

final on Friday.


HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, shared the national team’s historic Asian Cup 2019 success with members of the staff at the headquarters in Doha on Sunday. Also present on the occasion were QOC First 

Vice-President Sheikh Saud bin Ali al Thani, QOC Secretary-General Jassim Rashid al Buenain and IAAF Vice-President Dahlan al Hamad. 



Monday, February 4, 2019



AMBATI Rayudu struck a 

sparkling 90 in tough condi-

tions to help India overcome 

the loss of four early wickets 

and beat New Zealand by 35 

runs in the final one-day in-

ternational in Wellington on 

Sunday, sealing a 4-1 series 


With the series already 

safe, stand-in skipper Rohit 

Sharma sent his men in to 

bat on a moist surface and 

the tourists found themselves 

struggling on 18 for four.

Matt Henry did the early 

damage, uprooting Sharma’s 

off-stump with the batsman 

on two, before Trent Boult 

enticed Shikhar Dhawan (6) 

to play a loose shot that was 

taken by Henry at third man.

Shubman Gill (7) was 

the next player sent back 

by Henry, poking a routine 

catch to Mitchell Santner at 

square cover, before Boult 

rattled MS Dhoni’s off-

stump to claim a prized scalp 

for a single run.

 It was left to Rayudu to 

mount a salvage mission, 

which the right-hander duly 

did, staying at the crease for 

113 deliveries and being abet-

ted by Vijay Shankar (45).

“After we lost four wick-

ets, all we needed was some-

body to show application. 

The partnership between 

Rayudu and Vijay Shankar 

turned the game for us,” 

Sharma said.

Kedar Jadhav (34) kept 

the scoreboard ticking over 

and all-rounder Hardik Pan-

dya (45) cut loose at the end 

with five sixes and two fours 

to set the Kiwis a 253-run 

victory target.

New Zealand lost Henry 

Nicholls (8) early on, while 

his strike partner Colin Mun-

ro (24) lasted 19 balls, with 

Mohammed Shami account-

ing for both openers.

Ross Taylor was the next 

to go after Pandya trapped 

him leg before on one. Re-

plays showed the ball would 

have gone over the stumps, 

but Taylor did not review on 

the advice of skipper Kane 

Williamson at the other end.

Williamson took 72 balls 

to get to 39, but he was 

caught by Dhawan at deep 

mid-wicket off a Jadhav de-

livery to leave New Zealand 

on 105 for four.

Tom Latham and James 

Neesham mounted a fight-

back before Yuzvendra Cha-

hal struck twice in succession 

to remove Latham (37) and 

Colin de Grandhomme (11).

Neesham (44) was run 

out by Dhoni who, spotting 

the batsman out of his crease 

following an appeal for 

lbw, picked up the ball and 

knocked off the bails.

That broke New Zea-

land’s spirit and Pandya, 

Chahal and Bhuvneshwar 

Kumar cleaned up the tail 

and secured victory. 

Visiting bowlers help inflict a crushing 35-run defeat on the home team

Rayudu lifts India to 

4-1 ODI series win

West Indies rout England, clinch Test series



KEMAR Roach and captain Jason Holder led 

another rout of the England batting line-up as 

the West Indies completed a crushing series-

clinching 10-wicket victory after tea on the 

third day of the second Test at the Sir Vivian 

Richards Stadium in Antigua on Saturday.

Trailing by 119 runs at the start of the sec-

ond innings after Darren Bravo’s ultra-patient 

half-century extended the West Indies first 

innings total to 306 in the morning, England 

were demolished for 132 with Roach and Hold-

er claiming four wickets each.

Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Camp-

bell then enjoyed the formality of knocking off 

the 14 runs required for victory in 2.1 overs, 

Campbell sealing the result in style by hoisting 

James Anderson for six over midwicket.

Following on a 381-run hammering of the 

visitors in the first Test in Barbados a week ear-

lier, the result gave the West Indies the series 

2-0 with the final match of the rubber starting 

next Saturday in St Lucia.

West Indies have also reclaimed the Wisden 

Trophy, symbol of supremacy in Test series be-

tween the two teams, after almost 10 years in 

England hands.

These two comprehensive victories also 

mark the first occasion since the 1994 tour of 

the Caribbean that the West Indies have beaten 

England in successive Tests.

“We’re hungry for success,” said a delighted 


“This group has been together for a while 

and we have been doing some exceptional 

things. The way we ended last year was disap-

pointing and everyone wanted to turn things 


A dejected England captain Joe Root said: 

“It’s been frustrating. I think we’ve been out-

performed once again and that’s quite hard to 


“As a bowling group I thought we worked 

exceptionally hard. Scoring under 200 isn’t go-

ing to win you many games of cricket.”

Brief scores

England (1st Innings): 187

West Indies (1st Innings, overnight 272-6)

England (2nd Innings): 132 all out

West Indies (2nd Innings): 17 for no loss

Shan fires CBQ to 40-run win over Galfar



SHAN blasted an unbeaten century and 

grabbed three wickets to spark Commer-

cial Bank Qatar to a fine 40-run victory 

over strong Galfar Al Misnad in an enter-

taining Premier Division match at the Qa-

tar Airways Cricket Tournament. 

Qatar Airways, who has been sup-

porting the Qatar Cricket Association 

activities in the country for a long time, 

has sponsored the tournament to provide 

competitive opportunity to players and 

help them raise their level.  

At the West Bay grounds, CBQ piled 

up 281 for six in 50 overs after electing 

to bat first. Shan was exceptional mixing 

his aggression and patience well. He fired 

three sixes and 17 boundaries to compile 

142 not out off 146 balls. 

Abbas (56 with four boundaries in 102 

balls) and Dharmang (24 in 20 balls with 

five fours) propped up the innings as well. 

Gayan (three for 76) and Yusuf picked five 

wickets between them. 

Rizlan led the chase and cracked a 

century for himself as well. However, he 

could not get as much help from other 

teammates as he would have wanted. Ri-

zlan’s splendid 101 off 99 balls contained 

nine boundaries. Joe contributed 63. His 

80-ball knock had four sixes and a four. 

Iqbal Chaudhry hit a six and three fours 

in 24. 

Shan went on torment the rivals fur-

ther with ball and collected three scalps. 

Zaheer and Amir shared four wickets. 

In a Division A Twenty20 match, 

Javed’s all-round show lifted Gulf Col-

ours Lagaan past United Challengers by 

four wickets. His three-wicket haul and a 

double by Saeed limited the rivals to 136 

for nine in 18 overs. Later he slammed a 

six and seven fours to get 51 in 40 balls 

and Ameen whacked three sixes and a 

four in his 23-ball 32 to set up a four-

wicket victory. 

Riding Titu’ all-round performance, 

Bangladesh Seniors crushed Al Rayyan 

Club by 102 runs in another match. Titu’s 

71 in 50 balls had a six and 10 boundaries 

and Ilyas hit seven fours in his 33-ball 50 

had racing them to 192 for four. Al Rayyan 

Club collapsed at 90 all out in 19.3 overs, 

crumbling under the run pressure. Rifat 

and Halim grabbed two wickets each.


Premier Division (50 overs a side)

CBQ beat Galfar Al Misnad by 40 runs

CBQ: 281 for 6 in 50 overs (Shan 142 not out, Abbas 56, Dharmang 24; Gayan 

3/76, Yusuf 2/51)

Galfar Al Misnad: 241 all out in 44.5 overs (Rizlan 101, Joe 63, Iqbal Chaudhry 

24; Shan 3/29, Zaheer 2/45, Amir 2/55)

Man of the match: Shan (142 not out & 3 wkts) of CBQ 

Division A T20

Gulf Colours Lagaan beat United Challengers by four wickets

Gulf Colours Lagaan: 136 for nine in 18 overs (Ahnaf 45 in 28 balls; Javed 

3/24, Saeed 2/21)

Gulf Colours Lagaan: 137 for six in 19 overs (Javed 51 in 40 balls, Ameen 32 

in 23 balls; Satish 3/30)

Man of the match: Javed (51 runs & 3 wkts) of Gulf Colours Lagaan

Bangladesh Seniors beat Al Rayyan Club by 102 run

Bangladesh Seniors: 192 for four (Titu 71 in 50 balls, Ilyas 50 in 33 balls; 

Talha 2/31, Nasir 1/23)

Al Rayyan Club: 90 all out in 19.3 overs (Ismail 21 in 32 balls; Rifat 2/19, 

Halim 2/4)

Man of the match: Titu (71 runs, 1 wkt and 2 catches) of Bangladesh Seniors

Khelalfi dominates Manateq Qatar National Sprint again



BABAR Azam hit a majestic 90 

but Pakistan’s long streak of se-

ries wins came to an end in the 

second Twenty20 international 

against South Africa at the 

Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

South Africa took a winning 

2-0 lead in the three-match se-

ries with a dramatic seven-run 

win. Pakistan had not lost a T20 

series since they were eliminat-

ed from the World T20 in India 

in March 2016.

Pakistan were on track to 

overhaul South Africa’s 188 for 

three until Azam was out off 

the first ball of the 17th over. It 

started a collapse in which six 

wickets fell for 34 runs in four 


The contrast between the 

two innings was stark. South Af-

rica started slowly but stand-in 

captain David Miller plundered 

an unbeaten 65 off 29 balls as 

the hosts scored 127 runs off the 

last ten overs, including 29 off 

the final over bowled by Usman 


Pakistan scored rapidly at 

the start of their innings, with 

Azam hitting the first three balls 

off Beuran Hendricks for four. 

It was 70 for one at the end of 

the six-over power play -- 26 

runs ahead of South Africa’s to-

tal at the same stage.

Azam and Hussain Talat 

(59) put on 102 off 75 balls for 

the second wicket.

“We had the game but we 

couldn’t finish it,” said Pakistan 

captain Shoaib Malik.

The tempo of the game 

changed when Azam pulled a 

slower ball from Beuran Hen-

dricks to deep midwicket after 

hitting 13 fours and a six in a 

58-ball innings.

“We didn’t start too well 

with the ball,” said Miller, who 

was named man of the match. 

“We were too short and too 

wide but the bowlers pulled it 


Although neither took a 

wicket, Miller praised left-arm 

spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and 

new fast bowler Lutho Sipamla 

for economical bowling in the 

middle overs before the late-

innings collapse.

Miller, captaining South 

Africa for the first time because 

Faf du Plessis was rested for the 

last two matches of the series, 

hit five sixes and four fours in 

an explosive innings, which fol-

lowed a similarly aggressive 45 

off 27 balls by Rassie van der 

Dussen, who hit four sixes.

South Africa made a rela-

tively sedate start on an unu-

sually slow, dry Wanderers 

pitch. Left-arm spinner Imad 

Wasim, who opened the bowl-

ing, took one for nine in four 

overs. He bowled a maiden to 

new opening batsman Janne-

man Malan, who had an oth-

erwise promising innings of 33 

off 31 balls.

Left-arm fast bowler Shin-

wari conceded 63 runs off his 

four overs.


South Africa 188 for 3 (Miller 65*, van der Dussen 

45, Imad 1-9) beat Pakistan 181 for 7 (Babar 90, 

Talat 55, Phelukwayo 3-36) by seven runs

Azam’s fiery 90 

goes in vain

South Africa halt Pakistan’s T20 

series winning streak


Monday, February 4, 2019

Abdulla al Khelaifi continued his domination in the Class 1 as he 

emerged the winner of the second round of the Manateq Qatar 

National Sprint at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday. Driving 

Westfield Sport, he clocked 38.594 in the opening run and improved 

it to 38.059 in the next – which proved unmatchable for other drivers. 

Abdul Aziz Aljabri (Nissan 370Z) was overall runner-up with 41.155, 

while Elie Daccache (Renault Clio) was third. The Class 2 was topped 

by Mohammed al Khayarin (Mitsubishi Evo8) with his third run of 

39.259. Mohammed Aldelaimi (Mitsubishi Evo10) was narrowly 

second to him. Khayarin also won the Class 3 in Chevrolet Corvette, 

clocking 39.149 in the third run. Mansour Chebli (Renault Clio), 

Nadim Ziade (EvoX) and Saad Fahad (Porche GT3) won the Class P1, 

P2 and P3, respectively. QMMF President Abdulrahman al Mannai, 

the chief guest, gave away the prizes. The QMMF president along with 

other QMMF officials and participants also cut a cake to celebrate 

Qatar’s historic Asian Cup victory.

Captain Jason Holder of West Indies celebrates 

winning the second cricket Test match against 

England at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in 

North Sound on Saturday.  


India celebrate their ODI series victory following the fifth one-day international (ODI) cricket match against 

New Zealand in Wellington on Sunday.  



R. Sharma b Henry  


S. Dhawan c Henry b Boult  


S. Gill c Santner b Henry  


A. Rayudu c Munro b Henry  


M. Dhoni b Boult  


V. Shankar run out (Neesham/Munro)  


K. Jadhav b Henry  


H. Pandya c Boult b Neesham  


B . Kumar c Taylor b Boult  


M. Shami run out (Boult)  


Y. Chahal not out  


Extras (b 5, lb 7, wd 2 nb1)  


Total (for all out; 49.5 overs)  


Fall of wickets: 1-8 (Sharma), 2-12 (Dhawan), 3-17 

(Gill), 4-18 (Dhoni), 5-116 (Shankar), 6-190 (Rayudu), 

7-203 (Jadhav), 8-248 (Pandya), 9-252 (Kumar), 

10-252 (Shami)

Bowling:  Henry 10-1-35-4 (1nb), Boult 9.5-2-39-3 

(2w), Neesham 5-0-33-1, de Grandhomme 7-0-33-0, 

Munro 10-0-47-0, Santner 3-0-18-0, Astle 5-0-35-0.


C. Munro b Shami  


H. Nicholls c Jadhav b Shami  


K. Williamson c Dhawan b Jadhav  


R. Taylor lbw Pandya  


T. Latham lbw Chahal  


J. Neesham run out (Dhoni)  


C. de Grandhomme lbw Chahal  


M. Santner c Shami b Pandya  


T. Astle lbw Chahal  


M. Henry not out  


T. Boult c Shami b Kumar  


Extras: (wd 3)  


Total (all out; 44.1 overs)  


Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Nicholls), 2-37 (Munro), 3-38 

(Taylor), 4-105 (Williamson), 5-119 (Latham), 6-135 

(de Grandhomme), 7-176 (Neesham), 8-194 (Astle), 

9-204 (Santner), 10-217 (Boult)

Bowling:  Kumar 7.1-0-38-1, Shami 8-0-35-2 (1w), 

Pandya 8-1-50-2 (1w), Shankar 4-0-19-0, Chahal 

10-0-41-3, Jadhav 7-0-34-1 (1w).


CBQ’s Shan (left) and Javed of Gulf Colours 

Qatar Cricket Association’s Domestic Cricket Head Gul Khan Jadoun 

honours Galfar Al Misnad’s Mohamed Shiraz on being selected in the 

Sri Lankan team for the tour of South Africa. The tour, starting on 

February 13 with one of the two Test matches, includes five ODIs and 

three T20 internationals. 


Taskin ruled 

out of New 

Zealand tour



BANGLADESH’S tour of New 

Zealand this month suffered a 

blow Sunday after pace bowler 

Taskin Ahmed was ruled out 

of the series with an ankle in-

jury by the team doctor.

Ahmed was recalled into 

the side’s one-day international 

and Test squads after an im-

pressive show for the Sylhet 

Sixers in the Bangladesh Pre-

mier League Twenty20 tourna-

ment. He was the competition’s 

leading wicket-taker with 22 

scalps until an injury against 

Chittagong Vikings on Friday.

Chief selector Minhajul 

Abedin said a replacement for 

Ahmed had not yet been decid-

ed. Bangladesh will play three 

ODIs and three Test matches 

in New Zealand between Feb-

ruary 13 and March 20.


back in form, 

smacks ton



USMAN Khawaja finally 

found form again to stroke a 

fine century Sunday and steer 

Australia into a massive lead 

over Sri Lanka as the tourists 

battle to stay in the second 

Test at Canberra.

At stumps, the visitors 

were 17 without loss, chasing a 

huge 516 to win with two days 

remaining after Tim Paine de-

clared Australia’s second in-

nings at 196 for three.

Dimuth Karunaratne and 

Lahiru Thirimanne were both 

unbeaten on eight, weathering 

some 30 minutes before bad 

light stopped play slightly early.

Sri Lanka had resumed the 

third day at 123 for three and 

in a hostile morning session 

lost four wickets and Kusal 

Perera, who retired after being 

hit on the head by a bouncer.

Their resistence folded in 

the second over after lunch, 

with Mitchell Starc taking five 

wickets to leave them trailing 

by 319 after Australia’s first in-

nings 534 for five declared.

Paine opted against the 

follow-on in Australia’s last 

Test batting opportunity be-

fore the Ashes tour to England 

later this year.

Khawaja padded up know-

ing his place in that squad 

was in doubt after managing a 

high-score of just 72 across six 

Tests in a lacklustre summer.

He responded in emphatic 

fashion, smashing his eighth 

Test ton off 134 balls. 

“Obviously getting a hun-

dred and setting up another 

game that we can hopefully 

win, that’s the ultimate feeling 

for the team and for myself,” 

said Khawaja, who admitted it 

had been a tough few months 

on and off the field.


Sri Lanka 215 (Karunaratne 59, Starc 5-54) 

and 0 for 17 need 499 more runs to beat 

Australia 5 for 534 dec and 3 for 196 dec 

(Khawaja 101*, Head 59*)

Pakistan’s Babar Azam during his 

knock of 90 in Johannesburg. 


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