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TASHKENT:  High-scoring striker 

Youssef El Arabi yesterday produced 

two goals in injury time to power QNB 

Stars League champions Al Duhail into 

the knockout stage of the AFC Cham-

pions League with a feisty 2-1 win over 

hosts Lokomotiv Tashkent.

El Arabi first converted a penalty 

kick by firing to the left of goalkeeper 

Ignatiy Nesterov (90 +1) and then drib-

bled past two defenders to flick the ball 

home following goal


mouth action at 

Lokomotiv Stadium. 

For Lokomotiv, former Doha-

based Sardor Rashidov scored the goal 

for the home team in the 35th minute.

It was Al Duhail’s fourth consecu-

tive Group B win following last week’s 

3-2 victory over the same rivals in Doha. 

Coached by Djamel Belmadi, Al Duhail 

last Friday sealed the QNB Stars League 

title, completing a memorable perform-

ance over the course of seven months.

Al Duhail striker Ismail Moham-

med, who was brought in late in the 

first half, said: “It’s a great win. It was 

a team effort. Our target was to reach 

the round of 16 and we have done that. 

We are very happy. We fought right 

until the end of the game. That’s what 

we wanted to do. This team has great 

fighting ability.” 

Home side Lokomotiv opened the 

scoring when Uzbekistan international 

Rashdidov - after getting a cross from 

Shukhrat Mukhammadiev - sent the 

ball into the net with a left-footed drive 

to suggest a win for the hosts.

After further exchanges, both 

teams walked off the pitch with hosts 

Lokomotiv enjoying a slight 1-0 advan-

tage. It could have been worse for the 

visitors had it not been for the agility 

of Al Duhail goalkeeper Amine 

Lecomte who produced a few timely 

saves in the first 45 minutes.

In the second half, Lokomotiv 

spent more time on defending their 

slender lead as Al Duhail went on the 

offensive. However, Al Duhail found 

the going tough as the backline of 

Lokomotiv resisted the attacking game 

of the visitors with rough defending.

However, just as the home side 

thought they had the match in their 

bag, the visitors were awarded a pen-

alty when Qatar national team’s U-23 

star Almoez Ali was brought down by 

Salim Mustafoev in his own box. El 

Arabi calmly stepped up and converted 

the spot-kick by going left of the goal-

keeper. It was El Erabi’s fifth goal of 

the AFC Champions League 


But there was more to come from 

El Arabi. Four minutes into injury time, 

the 31-year-old striker deceived his 

marker and another Lokomotiv 

defender to send the ball past goal-

keeper Nesterov with a well-placed 

flick into the net.

Yesterday’s result has secured Al 

Duhail their spot in the round of 16. In 

their next clash, Al Duhail take on 

Zobahan in Isfahan while Lokomotiv 

travel to Abu Dhabi to face Al Wahda.


Tuesday 13 March 2018

Chelsea target 

another good show 

at Camp Nou

Federer takes care of 

business; Djokovic 

crashes out

PAGE | 31

PAGE | 32-33

PAGE | 35

Stage set for thrilling 

MotoGP action at 

Losail Circuit


care of 


Al Duhail reach knockout stage 

Al Duhail’s Youssef El Arabi celebrates after scoring against Lokomotiv Tashkent in the AFC Champions League match in Tashkent yesterday.


Al Duhail, along with Jeonbuk Hyundai, are the only teams to have 

won 100% of their games in the AFC Champions League this 

season (3/3).Indeed, only Jeonbuk (15) have score more goals than 

Al Duhail (9) in the competition this season.

Al Duhail’s El Arabi has been involved in scoring the last four goals 

for his team in the AFC Champions League (3 goals, 1 assist).In fact, 

no player has been involved in more goals than El-Arabi so far this 

season in the AFC Champions League (5 – 4 goals, 1 assist).


Hosts Al Sadd look for quick 

turnaround against Nasaf


DOHA:  After suffering their first defeat 

in Group C of the AFC Champions 

League to Nasaf last week, Doha giants 

Al Sadd will be looking for revenge 

against the Uzbek side at Jassim Bin 

Hamad Stadium today.

 Azizjon Ganiev’s penalty just after 

the hour secured a 1-0 victory for Nasaf 

in Qarshi on Matchday Three as they 

recorded back-to-back home wins to 

move level on points with the Qatari 

team and Persepolis.

The 2011 AFC Champions League 

winners had won their opening two 

games in the competition but missed 

the opportunity to go six points clear 

of Nasaf and now look like being in a 

three-way battle for the two last 16 

qualification spots.

Al Sadd also suffered a 2-1 defeat 

to Umm Salal in the Qatar Stars League 

at the weekend and have now lost three 

consecutive matches in all competi-

tions, while Nasaf’s good form 

continued with a 3-1 victory over 


Saydullo Rakhmatov is suspended 

for the visitors, who are looking for only 

their second win away from home in 

the competition, after he picked up a 

second booking of the group stage last 


Meanwhile, the technical coordi-

nation meeting for the 2018 AFC 

Champions League Matchday Four 

clash between Al-Sadd and Nasaf was 

held yesterday morning.

During the meeting, it was decided 

that Al Sadd will wear their all-white 

home kit while Nasaf will sport all-blue. 

The Al Sadd goalkeeper will wear an 

orange kit and the Nasaf keeper will 

play in green. 

The attendees also discussed the 

organizational details of the match, in 

addition to agreeing on AFC proce-

dures. The meeting was attended by 

match commissioner Abdulghafoor 

Abdulhameed, referees assessor Vic-

tor Kulbakov and representatives of 

both clubs. 

Al Sadd was represented by first 

team manager Abdullah Al Breik and 

marketing officer Ahmed Al Sayed. 

The match is set to kick off at 6:15 PM.

Al Rayyan down 

Al Hilal to register 

first win in ACL


DOHA:  Goals from Abderrazaq 

Hamdalla and Rodrigo Tabata handed 

Al Rayyan their first win of the 2018 AFC 

Champions League as they defeated Al 

Hilal 2-1 in Matchday Four yesterday.

As a quiet first half drew to a close, 

the hosts found a breakthrough just one 

minute before half time.

Hamdalla was brought down in the 

six-yard box by defender Abdullah Al 

Zori and the Moroccan forward stepped 

up and converted from the spot to hand 

Al Rayyan a valuable lead heading into 

the break.

Al Hilal had a chance to snatch an 

equaliser through Yasser Al Qahtani’s 

header after the onrushing goalkeeper 

failed to clear the ball, but Al Qahtani 

saw his attempt blocked by defender 

Gonzalo Viera.

While Al Hilal struggled to pro-

duce meaningful attacks, Al Rayyan 

doubled their lead after Hamdalla 

broke free on the counter and pro-

duced a pass to Captain Tabata who 

was afforded too much space and 

fired a shot at the heart of Ali Al Hab-

si’s net in the 66th minute to put his 

side’s victory beyond doubt.

The visitors got their consolation goal 

in the 89th minute after Ahmed Yasser 

fouled Achraf Bencharki in the box and 

Al Qahtani drove home the resulting pen-

alty kick.

Both teams have away fixtures on 

Matchday Five as Al Hilal face Emirati 

side Al Ain, while Al Rayyan travel to 

Tehran to face Esteghlal.

A file picture 

of Al Sadd 

team in 

action in 

the AFC 



Action from the AFC Champions League match 

between Al Rayyan and Al Hilal in Doha yesterday.

AFC Champions League 

Results and fixtures 

Lokomotiv (1) 1 Al Duhail (0) 2 

Al Wahda (1) 3 Zob Ahan (0) 0 

Al Rayyan (1) 2 Al Hilal (0) 1

Today’s fixtures (GMT) 

Melbourne Victory vs Kawasaki 

Frontale (0830) 

Kashima Antlers vs Sydney 


Ulsan vs Shanghai SIPG (1000) 

Shanghai Shenhua vs Suwon 

Bluewings (1200) 

Tractor Sazi vs Al Jazira (1230) 

Al Wasl vs Persepolis (1515) 

Al Sadd vs Nasaf (1515) 

Al Ahli vs Al Gharafa (1715) 

March 14 fixtures (GMT) 

Cerezo Osaka vs  

Buriram United (1000) 

Jeju United vs Guangzhou 

Evergrande (1000) 

Tianjin Quanjian vs Jeonbuk  

Motors (1200) 

Kitchee vs Kashiwa  

Reysol (1200)








Real Sociedad striker Willian 

Jose and Besiktas midfielder 

Anderson Talisca were the 

surprise inclusions in Brazil’s 

squad to face Russia and 

Germany in friendlies later 

this month, as head coach Tite 

announced his squad yester-


Both men were given the 

chance to impress in what was 

a larger than usual 25-man 

squad, Tite’s last before nam-

ing the 23 who will go to the 

World Cup in Russia.

“Willian Jose and Talisca 

bring different components,” 

Tite told reporters. 

“Willian Jose has had two 

great seasons at Real Socie-

dad, really developing as a 


“Talisca can finish from 

mid-distance, from balls in 

the air, he has a physical pres-

ence that can be an advantage 

against defences set up in 

lines of four or five,” he said. 

The inclusion of Valencia 

goalkeeper Neto and 32-year-

old Gremio captain Pedro 

Geromel were also 


Neto got his first call up in 

2010 but has never played for 

the national side.

Geromel’s only appear-

ance for Brazil was in a 

friendly against Colombia in 

2017 to raise money for the 

victims of the Chapecoense 

airline disaster. Brazil play 

Russia in Moscow on March 

23 and then face World Cup 

winners Germany in Berlin 

four days later.

The five-times world 

champions kick off their 

World Cup campaign against 

Switzerland on June 17 before 

facing Costa Rica and 


They have lost just once 

in the 17 matches since Tite 

took over, 1-0 to Argentina in 

a 2017 friendly in Australia, 

but the match against Ger-

many in particular will be a 

big test and the first time they 

have faced the Europeans 

since they went down 7-1 in 

the World Cup semi-final four 

years ago.

Brazilian football team head coach 

Tite, arrives for a press conference 



Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma/ITA), Neto (Valencia/ESP), Ederson (Man City/ENG),

Defenders: Daniel Alves (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Fagner (Corinthians) Filipe Luis 

(Atletico Madrid/ESP), Marcelo (Real Madrid/ESP), Miranda (Inter Milan/ITA), Mar-

quinhos (PSG/FRA), Thiago Silva (PSG/FRA), Geromel (Gremio), Rodrigo Caio (Sao 


Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid/ESP) Fernandinho (Manchester City/ENG), Fred 

(Shakhtar Donestk/UKR), Paulinho (Barcelona/ESP), Renato Augusto (Beijing 

Guoan/CHN), Willian (Chelsea/ENG), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona/ESP), Talisca 


Forwards: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City/ENG), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/ENG), 

Douglas Costa (Juventus/ITA), Willian Jose (Real Sociedad/ESP), Taison (Shakhtar 



Willian Jose has 

had two great 

seasons at Real 

Sociedad, really 

developing as a 

player. Talisca can 

finish from mid-

distance, from balls 

in the air, he has a 

physical presence 

that can be an 

advantage against 

defences set up in 

lines of four or five: 

Coach Tite 

Martial fit for Sevilla 

clash, says Mourinho


LONDON: Anthony Martial (pictured) is fit and 

available for Manchester United’s Champions 

League round of 16, second-leg game at home to 

Sevilla, manager Jose Mourinho said yesterday.

The French forward missed last week’s Pre-

mier League victories over Crystal Palace and 

Liverpool but trained on Monday ahead of the 

visit of the Spanish club today.

Midfielder Paul Pogba remains a doubt, how-

ever, as United try to capitalise on the 0-0 draw 

in the first leg in Spain.

“I don’t know if (Pogba) is fit but he trained 

after you left,” Mourinho told a news conference 

after a training session that was open to the media. 

“Martial is fit yes.” Zlatan Ibrahimovic also trained 

with the squad although Mourinho did not offer 

any clues as to whether the Swedish striker might 

be involved against Sevilla.

He has not played since December 26.

United go into the game full of confidence after 

Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool cemented 

their place in second spot in the Premier League 

to make their qualification for next year’s Cham-

pions League via a top-four finish highly likely.

That is a marked contrast to last season when 

they finished sixth and had to win the Europa 

League to earn a place back in the continent’s elite 

club competition.

Asked if United have the potential to go all the 

way this season, Mourinho was cautious.

“Not yet, but when a team reaches the last 

eight anything is possible,” he said. “Now I have 

only one name and that is Sevilla, I know is very 

difficult to go through.

“If we go through to the quarter-final draw, 

doesn’t matter the opponent, will always be one 

of the big names in European football but we will 

try.” Midfielder Michael Carrick sat alongside 

Mourinho in the news conference and the former 

England international confirmed he will end his 

playing career at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old has made only three appear-

ances since experiencing an irregular heart rhythm 

in September.

“There comes a time when, as much as you 

like or don’t like it, your body tells you it’s time to 

stop playing. It’s something you have to accept,” 

Carrick said.

“I’ve tried all sorts of different things to bring 

the best out of me over the years and I can say 

that I’ve given my best, so I can look back with no 


Sky suspends Carragher for spitting at girl


LONDON:  Former Liverpool 

defender Jamie Carragher was 

suspended as a soccer analyst by 

the  Sky television network 

yesterday after being filmed spit-

ting in the direction of a 

14-year-old girl through his car 


Carragher said that while his 

future at the broadcaster 

“remains to be seen,” he had not 

offered his resignation.

The incident happened on 

Saturday after Carragher left Old 

Trafford, where he was working 

for  Sky Sports at Manchester 

United’s game against 


In a video of the incident, the 

teenager’s father repeatedly 

mentioned Saturday’s score - 

Liverpool lost 2-1 - before 

Carragher spat.

Sky takes this matter 

extremely seriously and strongly 

condemns Jamie’s actions,” Sky 

said in a statement. 

“We have made that clear to 

him in person today and sus-

pended him from his duties. It 

falls well below the standards we 

expect of our people.” 

During an appearance on Sky 

News, after the spitting footage 

was aired on a big screen, Car-

ragher called the incident a 

“moment of madness.” 

“My biggest regret is for the 

14-year-old girl to be caught in 

the middle of it,” Carragher said. 

“That devastates me more 

than anything. I’ve got a daugh-

ter exactly the same age and I 

can’t say how I’d react if some-

one did that to her.” 

Carragher joined Sky after 

retiring from playing in 2013 and 

has won plaudits for his tactical 

analysis on the flagship “Mon-

day Night Football” show and 

other Premier League 


“I have brought shame on the 

name of football,” Carragher 


“I was a role model, people 

looked up to me.” 

A lively on-air partnership 

has been formed with former 

Manchester United rival Gary 

Neville, who backed Carragher 

to keep his job.

“No excuses he’s made a big 

mistake,” Neville wrote on 


“He’s massively passionate 

about football and he’s over-

stepped the mark and shouldn’t 

have reacted. I’ve been on TV for 

3 years with him and imo (in my 

opinion) this isolated incident 

shouldn’t stop us working 


The swift decision by Sky to 

suspend Carragher comes with 

the European pay TV broadcaster 

targeted for a takeover and 

under scrutiny from British 


Comcast, the owner of NBC 

and Universal Pictures, launched 

a bid last month to rival an offer 

by media mogul Rupert Murdo-

ch’s 21st Century Fox. It comes 

as The Walt Disney Co. tries to 

buy Fox for $52.4bn on the 

assumption that Fox would buy 

out the rest of Sky.

A Jamie Carragher’s file photo.



given chance 

for debut



Racing Club striker Lautaro 

Martinez has been named in 

Argentina’s squad for friend-

lies against Italy and Spain 

later this month, coach Jorge 

Sampaoli said yesterday.

Martinez, 20, has scored 

12 goals in 14 appearances 

for Racing this year and was 

added to the squad as one of 

five home-based players.

Boca Juniors winger 

Cristian Pavon was also 

included, as was his 32-year 

old team mate, uncapped 

midfielder Pablo Perez as 

Sampaoli prepares to decide 

who he will pick for this 

year’s World Cup in Russia.

Two other uncapped 

players, 21-year old right 

back Fabricio Bustos and 

midfielder Maximiliano 

Meza, both of Independiente, 

were also named in the 

squad to play Italy at the Eti-

had stadium in Manchester 

on March 23 and then face 

Spain in Madrid four days 


Sampaoli had previously 

announced 22 overseas-

based players, although 

Manchester City striker Ser-

gio Aguero pulled out on 

Sunday due to a knee injury.

Poor attendance 

at home games a 

worry for Wenger


LONDON: Arsenal manager 

Arsene Wenger is worried by 

an apparent dip in attendance 

at the Emirates Stadium in 

recent weeks but said he is 

confident the team will do 

“absolutely everything” to win 

back their fans.

British media reports said 

there were thousands of 

empty seats in Arsenal’s 3-0 

Premier League win over 

Watford on Sunday despite 

the club selling 59,131 tickets, 

just short of their total capac-

ity of 59,867 seats.

The stadium was a lot 

emptier in the 3-0 league 

defeat by Manchester City 

earlier this month although 

freezing conditions could 

have kept fans away on that 

day. Wenger acknowledged 

that empty seats were a 


“Of course I worry 

because I want our fans to be 

behind our team and be 

happy,” Wenger told Stand-

ard Sport. 

“But after what happened 

in that week (against City) it’s 

a bit understandable.

“We are in a job where we 

have to get the fans on our 

side and do absolutely every-

thing to achieve it. That’s what 

we want to do.” 

Arsenal are sixth in the 

league with 48 points and face 

an uphill task to qualify for 

next season’s Champions 

League by finishing in the top 


Arsene Wenger

Brazil name 3 uncapped 

players for friendlies




Stage set for thrilling MotoGP action



DOHA: MotoGP rider and fans 

are itching to get the season’s 

opening race underway from 

March 16 at the state-of-the-art 

lighting system at the Losail 

International Circuit.

It’s that time of the year to 

see how well the teams and rid-

ers have prepared over the 

winter at the pre-season tests in 

Sepang, Malaysia; Buriram, Thai-

land; and Losail, Qatar.

The real time action is just a 

few days away. Another season 

of that rollercoaster is about to 


Round One of the MotoGP 

season will kick off with the 

Grand Prix of Qatar - held in 

association with Visit Qatar - 

from March 16 to 18 at Losail.

Ten years have passed since 

the desert oasis of Losail Inter-

national Circuit hosted the first 

floodlit MotoGP race and 15 years 

since it hosted the first race of 

the MotoGP calendar.

For the records, the 2018 rac-

ing season will feature a 

whopping 19 rounds over the 

course of eight full months of 

racing, starting with the opener 

in Qatar.

Defending champion Marc 

Marquez, Valentino Rossi, Jorge 

Lorenzo, and Dani Pedrosa have 

all made headlines over the 

course of the winter and fans are 

expecting the series superstars 

to make to the podium in several 


Fans are not ruling out Mav-

erick Viñales, Cal Crutchlow, 

Andrea Dovisioso, and Danilo 

Petrucci. With a little bit of luck 

and smart race strategies, these 

fellas could very well catch up to 

the top riders, and even dethrone 


On the face of it, it’s hard to 

bet against reigning champion 

Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). 

The rider from Cervera is now a 

six-time World Champion and 

he’s taken four premier class 

crowns in five years. Qatar is 

usually a more difficult venue for 

Marquez and Honda, and 

although both will want to begin 

another title defence on the 

offensive and at the front, it may 

be a case of good things come to 

those who wait for the number 

93 and teammate Pedrosa, who 

makes his 200th premier class 

start – as well as for HRC test 

rider and Independent Team 

challenger Cal Crutchlow (LCR 

Honda Castrol).

Ducati begin the season with 

the statistics stacked the oppo-

site way. Losail is a venue that 

suits the red machines, and And-

rea Dovizioso has proven that 

with a good number of podiums 

in recent Qatar GPs. But that was 

then, and this is now. ‘Desmo-

Dovi’ is a contender from the 

start in 2018, and it’s not just the 

podium that Borgo Panigale have 

in their sights – it’s the top step. 

That would make for a big open-

ing statement from the Italian on 

the Italian machine. His team-

mate Lorenzo will be looking for 

similar headlines in his second 

year in red, too – and it’s his pole 

record that still stands from 2008 

when he was a rookie in the pre-

mier class. With three wins to his 

name at the venue in MotoGP, 

Lorenzo is the second most suc-

cessful rider at the track on the 

premier class grid this year - 

added to another three wins in 

the lower classes.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s 

Rossi has four MotoGP wins at 

Losail to Lorenzo’s three, and the 

rider from Tavullia always has 

some serious form for race day 

pace in the desert.

Saud Al Attiyah, Losail Cir-

cuit Sports Club President said 

the excitement is very high ahead 

of the race. 

“Our event is also one of the 

most anticipated races of the 

season but this 2018 is a mile-

stone and a very special event 

for us as it marks 15 years of 

being the Home of Motorsport in 


“We are very excited to cel-

ebrate this Anniversary in 

association with Visit Qatar, 

teams, riders, spectators, fans 

and all the international motor-

sport community as we are 

planning several activities for all 

those who come to visit us.’’

“The Grand Prix of Qatar is 

always one of the highlights of 

the season, not only for being the 

very first round of this exiting 

championship but also for our 

night racing, making our event 

one of the most exclusive racing 

weekends of our calendar.” 

Rashed Al Qurese, Chief 

Marketing & Promotion Officer 

at Qatar Tourism Authority 

said: “Over the past 14 years, 

MotoGP has cemented its posi-

tion as a key event on Qatar’s 

sporting and tourism calendars. 

Through our partnership with 

LCSC, we hope to help raise the 

event’s profile internationally 

to spread Qatar’s message of 

welcome to the world and 

attract more visitors.” 

“We look forward to wel-

coming all the riders in Doha and 

wish them all the success over 

the coming weekend and a great 

international race season ahead,”  

he added.

Tickets are still available for 

the Grandstand, Losail Club 

Grandstand, Losail VIP Club and 

VIP Village for 250, 2.500, 3.500 

and 4.500 Qatari Riyals 


They can be purchased at 

Q-Tickets, Virgin Megastore’s in-

store or online platforms and at 

the Losail Circuit Sports Club 

during the week of the event.

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