Five things to do in the UAE this week.
FOOTBALL: Asian Champions League, Al Jazira v Al Hilal, Tuesday, 8.35pm
With two defeats in their opening two fixtures, Al Jazira will be desperate to get points on the board if they harbour any hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Asian Champions League. Henk ten Cate’s side welcome Saudi Arabia giants Al Hilal to Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium for this crucial Group C encounter, buoyed by a thrilling 3-2 comeback win to defeat Al Nasr on Thursday in the Arabian Gulf League. Jazira’s Brazilian playmaker Thiago Neves will no doubt be eager to show his former employers he has the skills to unlock even the tightest defences. Lose, and Jazira’s qualifying campaign is virtually over, with the return leg to come next month.
FOOTBALL: Asian Champions League, Al Ain v Al Ahli (KSA), Wednesday, 7.10pm
Much like their Arabian Gulf League rivals Jazira, Al Ain have so far failed to register a point in this year’s Asian Champions League after opening with a pair of defeats to Qatari side El Jaish.
They too face Saudi Arabia opposition in the form of Al Ahli and with Brazilian striker Douglas finally finding his shooting boots — his double in a 4-2 win over Baniyas took his tally since joining in January to 10 goals in as many matches — Al Ain coach Zlatko Dalic will look to his newly prolific frontman and Omar Abdulrahman to find a way past Ahli.
ICE HOCKEY: IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia, Abu Dhabi Ice Rink, until Friday
The ninth staging of the continental championship, which is a round-robin format, will take place at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink and runs until Friday. UAE, the hosts, take on joint-favourites Chinese Taipei on Saturday. Mongolia, Thailand and Singapore make up the five teams. The team with the highest points will be the winner. In the case of a tie between the two teams, the winner will be decided on the head-to-head record. Click here for the tournament schedule.
CRICKET: Emirates Airline Twenty20, Friday, Dubai, 10.30am start
The tournament, being held in Dubai for a seventh successive year, precedes the four-day English county season curtain-raiser between the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the defending county champions in Abu Dhabi. This year, Yorkshire are the defending county champions as well as the Emirates Airline T20 champs. In the MCC side is England's Ian Bell, one of only a handful of batsman to have scored a Test century against all current Test-playing nations with the exception of Zimbabwe. The action takes place at The Sevens ground on the Dubai-Al Ain Road.
RUNNING: Zayed Charity Marathon, Saturday, Abu Dhabi, from 3pm
Runners can take part in 1K, 3K, 5k and 10K runs around the capital’s Formula One track at Yas Marina Circuit. There are categories for children and adults. Gates open at 1pm with the first race for 8-11 year olds starting at 3pm. To register, visit https://www.yasmarinacircuit.com/en/fitness/fitness-activities/zayed-marathon.
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