Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Bolivia goalkeeper Dainel Vaca to score. Scott Halleran / Getty Images
Sergio Aguero lifts the ball over Bolivia goalkeeper Dainel Vaca to score. Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Barcelona and Man City combine as Messi and Aguero lead Argentina to thumping win



Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero stole the show as Argentina warmed up for the start of World Cup qualifying next month with a 7-0 thrashing of Bolivia on Friday.

Aguero scored twice and set up two more for Ezequiel Lavezzi in a one-sided victory at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium as Messi grabbed a quickfire double after coming on as a second half substitute. Angel Correa added the seventh.

It was Argentina’s first match since their agonising Copa America final defeat to Chile in July, when Gerardo Martino’s men failed to end their 22-year wait for a major title.

With Barcelona star Messi left on the bench in the first half, it was left to Manchester City striker Aguero to stamp his authority on proceedings.

Aguero created the first goal for Paris Saint-Germain’s Lavezzi after only six minutes, lofting a superb pass into the path of the midfielder who controlled well and rifled home.

Richard Jolly: New manager, no improvement: Netherlands calamitous Euro 2016 qualifying bid worsens

Better was to follow just after the half-hour mark, when Aguero opened his account for the evening with a sublime angled chip over Bolivia goalkeeper Daniel Vaca to make it 2-0.

The in-form Lavezzi then grabbed Argentina’s third in the 41st when a quickly taken free-kick caught Bolivia’s defenders napping. Aguero weaved his way to the edge of the area and then slipped in Lavezzi, who finished for 3-0.

The onslaught continued early in the second half, Aguero latching onto a perfectly weighted pass from Lavezzi to dink in his second of the evening over the hapless Vaca for 4-0.

Martino waited until the 65th minute to give Messi a chance to get in on the goalscoring action, and the diminutive superstar did not have long to wait, heading home just two minutes after coming on as a substitute.

The goal saw Messi complete a goalscoring full house against South American opposition; previously Bolivia were the only country from the region the superstar had failed to score against.

Messi grabbed his second 15 minutes from time, pouncing on another wonderful pass by Aguero and rounding Vaca to make it 6-0. With Bolivia’s defence being pierced at will by Argentina, few would have bet against Messi completing a hat-trick.

However it was Correa who scored next, finishing off an assist from Matias Kranevitter.

Argentina, who face Mexico in Tuesday in a further friendly in Texas, open their World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador next month.

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AIDA RETURNS

Director: Carol Mansour

Starring: Aida Abboud, Carol Mansour

Rating: 3.5./5

HOW TO WATCH

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Company profile

Name: Yodawy
Based: Egypt
Founders: Karim Khashaba, Sherief El-Feky and Yasser AbdelGawad
Sector:
HealthTech
Total funding: $24.5 million
Investors: Algebra Ventures, Global Ventures, MEVP and Delivery Hero Ventures, among others
Number of employees:
500

Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Stars: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Pom Klementieff, Simon Pegg
Rating: 4/5

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Attacks on Egypt’s long rooted Copts

Egypt’s Copts belong to one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, with Mark the Evangelist credited with founding their church around 300 AD. Orthodox Christians account for the overwhelming majority of Christians in Egypt, with the rest mainly made up of Greek Orthodox, Catholics and Anglicans.

The community accounts for some 10 per cent of Egypt’s 100 million people, with the largest concentrations of Christians found in Cairo, Alexandria and the provinces of Minya and Assiut south of Cairo.

Egypt’s Christians have had a somewhat turbulent history in the Muslim majority Arab nation, with the community occasionally suffering outright persecution but generally living in peace with their Muslim compatriots. But radical Muslims who have first emerged in the 1970s have whipped up anti-Christian sentiments, something that has, in turn, led to an upsurge in attacks against their places of worship, church-linked facilities as well as their businesses and homes.

More recently, ISIS has vowed to go after the Christians, claiming responsibility for a series of attacks against churches packed with worshippers starting December 2016.

The discrimination many Christians complain about and the shift towards religious conservatism by many Egyptian Muslims over the last 50 years have forced hundreds of thousands of Christians to migrate, starting new lives in growing communities in places as far afield as Australia, Canada and the United States.

Here is a look at major attacks against Egypt's Coptic Christians in recent years:

November 2: Masked gunmen riding pickup trucks opened fire on three buses carrying pilgrims to the remote desert monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor south of Cairo, killing 7 and wounding about 20. IS claimed responsibility for the attack.

May 26, 2017: Masked militants riding in three all-terrain cars open fire on a bus carrying pilgrims on their way to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor, killing 29 and wounding 22. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

April 2017: Twin attacks by suicide bombers hit churches in the coastal city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta. At least 43 people are killed and scores of worshippers injured in the Palm Sunday attack, which narrowly missed a ceremony presided over by Pope Tawadros II, spiritual leader of Egypt Orthodox Copts, in Alexandria's St. Mark's Cathedral. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.

February 2017: Hundreds of Egyptian Christians flee their homes in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula, fearing attacks by ISIS. The group's North Sinai affiliate had killed at least seven Coptic Christians in the restive peninsula in less than a month.

December 2016: A bombing at a chapel adjacent to Egypt's main Coptic Christian cathedral in Cairo kills 30 people and wounds dozens during Sunday Mass in one of the deadliest attacks carried out against the religious minority in recent memory. ISIS claimed responsibility.

July 2016: Pope Tawadros II says that since 2013 there were 37 sectarian attacks on Christians in Egypt, nearly one incident a month. A Muslim mob stabs to death a 27-year-old Coptic Christian man, Fam Khalaf, in the central city of Minya over a personal feud.

May 2016: A Muslim mob ransacks and torches seven Christian homes in Minya after rumours spread that a Christian man had an affair with a Muslim woman. The elderly mother of the Christian man was stripped naked and dragged through a street by the mob.

New Year's Eve 2011: A bomb explodes in a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria as worshippers leave after a midnight mass, killing more than 20 people.

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday's schedule in Madrid

Men's quarter-finals

Novak Djokivic (1) v Marin Cilic (9) from 2pm UAE time

Roger Federer (4) v Dominic Thiem (5) from 7pm

Stefanos Tsitsipas (8) v Alexander Zverev (3) from 9.30pm

Stan Wawrinka v Rafael Nadal (2) from 11.30pm

Women's semi-finals

Belinda Bencic v Simona Halep (3) from 4.30pm

Sloane Stephens (8) v Kiki Bertens (7) from 10pm

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index in full

1 Jeff Bezos $140 billion
2 Bill Gates $98.3 billion
3 Bernard Arnault $83.1 billion
4 Warren Buffett $83 billion
5 Amancio Ortega $67.9 billion
6 Mark Zuckerberg $67.3 billion
7 Larry Page $56.8 billion
8 Larry Ellison $56.1 billion
9 Sergey Brin $55.2 billion
10 Carlos Slim $55.2 billion

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Armies of Sand

By Kenneth Pollack (Oxford University Press)
 

Scoreline

Swansea 2

Grimes 20' (pen), Celina, 29'

Man City 3

Silva 69', Nordfeldt 78' (og), Aguero 88'

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

RESULT

Copa del Rey, semi-final second leg

Real Madrid 0
Barcelona 3 (Suarez (50', 73' pen), Varane (69' OG)

The biog

Name: Capt Shadia Khasif

Position: Head of the Criminal Registration Department at Hatta police

Family: Five sons and three daughters

The first female investigator in Hatta.

Role Model: Father

She believes that there is a solution to every problem

 


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