Five things to watch: UAE v Australia, US Open, Rio Paralympics, NFL and the return of Asamoah Gyan

Five events for UAE sport fans to keep an eye on this week.

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1. 2018 World Cup qualifier: UAE v Australia

Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday, beIN Sports, 7.30pm

Following their opening 2-1 win in Saitama against Japan on Thursday, the UAE next face Asian champions Australia in Abu Dhabi in the third round of Asian 2018 World Cup qualifying. The UAE are bidding to reach only their second World Cup, their last appearance coming way back in 1990. With Ahmed Khalil, whose two goals against Japan took his World Cup qualifying tally across two rounds to 13, in fine form and Omar Abdulrahman capable of unlocking the tightest of defences, Mahdi Ali’s men will look to have six points on the board in Group B when the final whistle blows on Tuesday.

• UAE v Australia World Cup qualifier: Time, TV, tickets, info to know

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2. US Open

Men’s and women’s draw, until Sunday, beIN Sports, coverage from 7pm

Serena Williams’s quest to secure an Open-era record 23rd grand slam gathers apace, and on Saturday in New York the world No 1 secured berth in the last 16 of the US Open by brushing aside Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-1, surpassing Martina Navratalova’s record of 306 grand slam wins in the process. She faces Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova for a place in the last eight. In the men’s draw, Novak Djokovic is on a collision course with Rafael Nadal for a place in the men’s quarter-finals, although the Serb must first overcome Britain’s Kyle Edmund while the Spainiard Nadal must navigate safe passage past Frenchman Lucas Pouille.

• Djokovic and Nadal on course for 50th career showdown: US Open order of play Day 7

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3. Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Starts Wednesday, coverage on beIN Sports

The Paralympic Games in Rio begin with the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday. The action takes place until September 18, with the UAE having 18 athletes competing, including Abdullah Sultan Al Aryani, who won gold in the mixed R6-50M air rifle prone SH1 competition at London 2012.

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4. NFL

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers, Thursday, (Friday, 4.30am)

The opening game of the new NFL season sees Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos playing host to Carolina Panthers, the side they defeated in February’s showpiece event in Santa Clara. The rest of the opening week’s schedule of fixtures take place on Sunday and Monday.

• To purchase the full season: 2016 NFL season game pass

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5. Arabian Gulf Cup

Round 2, Wednesday and Thursday, Abu Dhabi Sports, various kick-off times

The Arabian Gulf League champions Al Ahli kick-started their season with a 1-0 defeat away to Al Nasr in their Arabian Gulf Cup opener on Friday, with Cosmin Olaroiu’s squad shorn of its UAE contingent on World Cup duty, while new loan signing Asamoah Gyan was away on Africa Cup of Nations duty with Ghana. Gyan signed a season-long loan with the Dubai club last week, and should be available for selection for Ahli’s second Group B match on Wednesday. And what an encounter it promises to be, with the former Al Ain forward potentially making his debut for Ahli against his former employers at the Rashid Stadium. Kick off is slated for 8.30pm. Expect fireworks.

• Arabian Gulf Cup Round 1 round-up: Al Jazira fight back to earn draw against Al Wahda

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Published: September 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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