Spain and Barcelona legend Xavi exhibited his enduring class during round eight of the Qatar Stars League, getting on the score sheet as Al Sadd struck two late goals to defeat bitter rivals Al Arabi 3-2 in a typically-spicy Doha derby.
Xavi, 36, and Algeria striker Baghdad Bounedjah (2) struck on Saturday night to finish off Al Arabi, who fought their way back into the game thanks to a brace from former Al Ahli man Luis Jimenez.
The result kept the 13-time champions on the tail of undefeated leaders El Jaish, for whom Uzbekistan winger Sardor Rashidov’s solitary strike downed relegation threatened Al Kharaitiyat.
After two heavy defeats in the top flight, many would have feared for Al Shahania after they conceded two first-half goals against bottom of-the table Al Wakrah.
However, the newly-promoted side grew in confidence and managed to draw level at 2-2 with ten minutes to spare though Algerian forward Mohamed Tiaiba. Shahania will now be targeting a win against lowly Kharaitiyat on Friday.
There was no shortage of numbers at the Al Shaheed Jiu-Jitsu Championship as the stars of tomorrow proved yet again that the UAE has a bright future in the sport.
More than 1,500 Emiratis flocked to the IPIC Arena in Abu Dhabi over the weekend for the annual tournament hosted in honour of those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty while defending the security and stability of the UAE.
In what was an emotional occasion, the youngsters, aged 10 to 17, did not disappoint with the fans treated to some thrilling encounters on the mat.
Among the winners were Saif Sulaiman Aleissaee and Hamed Suhail, who triumphed in the grey 78kg and white 50kg divisions respectively. For Aleissaee, it was a 12th medal in his trophy cabinet and one he looks back with great pride.
“I have been competing in jiujitsu for two years, having seen my brothers take up the sport at school,” said the 14-year-old. “The UAE has a lot of very good people who do jiu-jitsu and having seen Faisal Al Ketbi compete in the tournaments, those performances have really inspired me. I enjoy doing jiu-jitsu because I love sport. The sport is very big in the UAE and for me to win a gold medal is a big honour.”
Suhail was left exhausted after getting the better of Ahmed Al Shamsi in the final but was thrilled to be on the top step of the podium “There wasn’t any hesitation from me to taking part in this competition,” said the 11-year-old. “I love jiu-jitsu and to be part of a memorable tournament is great. No match is easy as all the boys and girls in the UAE are strong and talented. To win a medal is fantastic and I am happy to have made the country proud.”
Abdulrahman Yousef had to settle for bronze in the grey junior 60kg category, with Sultan Wahedi triumphing. But that didn’t dampen his spirits. “A medal is a medal and it feels good to win bronze,” said the 13-year-old Yousef. “This wouldn’t have been possible without my coaching team and family who have supported me every step of the way.”
For Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, vice chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and executive director of school operations at the Abu Dhabi Education Council, the weekend tournament is proof the sport is on the right track.
“The turn-out has been outstanding, in line with the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation’s vision of promoting the sport for the younger generation,” he said. “Championships are organised on the weekends so that they can compete, and allows parents to support them. It’s great a lot of kids are embracing this sport and I hope more can take up jiu-jitsu.”
Four football fans who won Ooredoo’s “Stand For Good” competition had the chance to meet Lionel Messi in Barcelona.
The fans won the online strategy game which asked players to digitally capture a football pitch in locations across Ooredoo’s footprint and then hold the pitch for 12 hours.
The four winners, who came from Palestine, Oman, Qatar and The Maldives,were also treated to the opportunity to see Messi in action in a match in Barcelona the following day.
During the campaign, around 780,000 users visited Ooredoo’s dedicated gaming microsite http://standforgood.com, and more than 14,000 players took part, with 1,320 pitches successfully held.
Most importantly, the campaign brought international attention to Ooredoo’s CSR initiatives, including its work with the Leo Messi Foundation on the Mobile Health Clinic programme, which provides healthcare services for remote areas in Indonesia, Myanmar, Algeria, and Tunisia.