Al Ain's head coach Cosmin Olaroiu.
Al Ain's head coach Cosmin Olaroiu.

Al Ain's struggle to close the door

Cosmin Olaroiu, the Al Ain coach, is looking for his club to finish off matches once they have establisted a lead after his team twice surrendered two-goal leads in five Pro League games.

They conceded five second-half goals to Al Ahli to go down 6-3 in their league opener and then surrendered a 2-0 lead as they barely held on for a 2-2 draw against Al Jazira last week.

Such results must be worrying to Olaroiu, although Al Ain were impressive between the Ahli and Jazira matches, thrashing Ajman 4-1, Al Dhafra 7-0 and Dibba Al Fujairah 5-1.

"The players were thinking they had already won the match when we were 2-0 up against Jazira," the Romanian said.

"At the end we were fortunate to return with an away point because they came very close to score a late winner.

"We committed a lot of mistakes and failed to score from the several scoring opportunities we created, particularly in the first half. It is a little disappointing but we can only try to work on our mistakes ahead of the next game."

Al Ain will be at home to face the unbeaten Al Wasl at the Tahnoun bin Mohammed Stadium tonight and Olaroiu expects it to be "another difficult game" for his side.

"They are a much better team than they were last season," he said. "They have dangerous players like [Emiliano] Alfaro and [Mariano] Donda in attack and their defence is solid with Lucas Neill.

"And, of course, all the teams change their approach when they play us because we are the champions. They find a little glory with a good result over us."

Olaroiu will have the full squad at his disposal, including Jires Kembo Ekoko who was forced to leave because of an injury early in the second half after scoring the team's second goal against Jazira.

"This game comes too soon and the players are a little tired after a hard game against Jazira," he said. "We concentrated on the physical side of the training in the last two days but we are prepared well in all areas - technically, physically and mentally."

Wasl and Al Nasr remain the league's only unbeaten teams, but Wasl have dropped some valuable points from three draws, against Nasr, Ahli, and Al Dhafra.

However, they have maintained a good level under Gilles Morisseau, Metsu's assistant, winning four points from two league games.

But away to Al Ain, Morisseau faces his biggest test in his four matches in charge in all competitions. "My philosophy has remained the same," Morisseau said. "There is no difference because I work in the same way as [Metsu] worked and I try to keep the same spirit and direction that he wants to give to the team.

"We've passed the last two weeks in a very difficult way. But, believe me, the spirit of Bruno and the mind of Bruno is always in the changing room."

That backdrop also had a unifying effect in the Al Ain camp, with Olaroiu saying he would like to see Metsu back in the Wasl dugout. "Although we are playing a match our prayers are with him and I wish he returns to his position as the Wasl coach," Olaroiu said.

Monster Hunter: World


PlayStation 4, Xbox One

West Asia Premiership

Dubai Hurricanes 58-10 Dubai Knights Eagles

Dubai Tigers 5-39 Bahrain

Jebel Ali Dragons 16-56 Abu Dhabi Harlequins


Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

The specs: 2018 BMW R nineT Scrambler

Price, base / as tested Dh57,000

Engine 1,170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin four-stroke engine

Transmission Six-speed gearbox

Power 110hp) @ 7,750rpm

Torque 116Nm @ 6,000rpm

Fuel economy, combined 5.3L / 100km


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

UAE Tour 2020

Stage 1: The Pointe Palm Jumeirah - Dubai Silicon Oasis, 148km
Stage 2: Hatta - Hatta Dam, 168km​​​​​​​
Stage 3: Al Qudra Cycle Track - Jebel Hafeet, 184km​​​​​​​
Stage 4: Zabeel Park - Dubai City Walk, 173km​​​​​​​
Stage 5: Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet, 162km​​​​​​​
Stage 6: Al Ruwais - Al Mirfa, 158km​​​​​​​
Stage 7: Al Maryah Island - Abu Dhabi Breakwater, 127km

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The Transfiguration

Director: Michael O’Shea

Starring: Eric Ruffin, Chloe Levine

Three stars

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,400m
Winner: AF Tathoor, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)
5.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 1,000m
Winner: Dahawi, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi
6pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 2,000m
Winner: Aiz Alawda, Fernando Jara, Ahmed Al Mehairbi
6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 2,000m
Winner: ES Nahawand, Fernando Jara, Mohammed Daggash
7pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m
Winner: Winked, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi
7.30pm: Al Ain Mile Group 3 (PA) Dh350,000 1,600m
Winner: Somoud, Connor Beasley, Ahmed Al Mehairbi
8pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m
Winner: Al Jazi, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

The Facility’s Versatility

Between the start of the 2020 IPL on September 20, and the end of the Pakistan Super League this coming Thursday, the Zayed Cricket Stadium has had an unprecedented amount of traffic.
Never before has a ground in this country – or perhaps anywhere in the world – had such a volume of major-match cricket.
And yet scoring has remained high, and Abu Dhabi has seen some classic encounters in every format of the game.
October 18, IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders tied with Sunrisers Hyderabad
The two playoff-chasing sides put on 163 apiece, before Kolkata went on to win the Super Over
January 8, ODI, UAE beat Ireland by six wickets
A century by CP Rizwan underpinned one of UAE’s greatest ever wins, as they chased 270 to win with an over to spare
February 6, T10, Northern Warriors beat Delhi Bulls by eight wickets
The final of the T10 was chiefly memorable for a ferocious over of fast bowling from Fidel Edwards to Nicholas Pooran
March 14, Test, Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by six wickets
Eleven wickets for Rashid Khan, 1,305 runs scored in five days, and a last session finish
June 17, PSL, Islamabad United beat Peshawar Zalmi by 15 runs
Usman Khawaja scored a hundred as Islamabad posted the highest score ever by a Pakistan team in T20 cricket


The flights

Emirates flies direct from Dubai to Rio de Janeiro from Dh7,000 return including taxes. Avianca fliles from Rio to Cusco via Lima from $399 (Dhxx) return including taxes.

The trip

From US$1,830 per deluxe cabin, twin share, for the one-night Spirit of the Water itinerary and US$4,630 per deluxe cabin for the Peruvian Highlands itinerary, inclusive of meals, and beverages. Surcharges apply for some excursions.

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Where to buy and try:

Nutritional yeast


Organic Foods & Café

Bulletproof coffee

Wild & The Moon


Comptoir 102


Organic Foods & Café

Charcoal drinks and dishes

Various juice bars, including Comptoir 102

Bridgewater Tavern

3 Fils


Supermarkets across the UAE

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now


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