Three points are a must for Al Ain if they hope to reach last 16



ABU DHABI // Al Ain, the only UAE side to have registered a victory in the group stages of this season's Asian Champions League, travel to Pakhtakor tonight knowing three points in Uzbekistan are essential if they are to have any chance of progressing to the last 16. The Emirati side are bottom of Group C with four points, but could go second with a win in Tashkent this evening.

When Pakhtakor visited the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in February, Artur Gevorkyan, the Turkmenistan midfielder, scored the only goal of the game to condemn Al Ain to defeat. Since then, however, stalemate in Iran against Sepahan followed by a 2-1 home win against Saudi Arabia heavyweights Al Shabab has reinvigorated Toninho Cerezo's side.Despite a disappointing 3-2 defeat in Riyadh - where they led for a while in the second half - Toninho says his side will face Pakhtakor full of confidence, but warned they must remain focused.

"Football is a team game and if we concentrate we have the players to win," said the Brazilian coach. "We are in the strongest group of the Asian Champions League because all of the teams have won points from their opponents. But that means that even if we are close to winning, we must not switch off as these teams can quickly punish you. Some of the games in our group have been decided by a free kick or penalty, so we must keep our focus."

Al Ain will need to find the net without Jose Sand, the Pro League's top scorer, but Toninho played down his striker's absence. "Jose is an outstanding player, but we need to play as a team and can't afford to rely on any one player," he said. Al Ain welcome Jorge Valdivia and Emerson back to the squad after missing recent matches through injury. gmeenaghan@thenational.ae

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Law 41.9.4 of men’s T20I playing conditions

The fielding side shall be ready to start each over within 60 seconds of the previous over being completed.
An electronic clock will be displayed at the ground that counts down seconds from 60 to zero.
The clock is not required or, if already started, can be cancelled if:
• A new batter comes to the wicket between overs.
• An official drinks interval has been called.
• The umpires have approved the on field treatment of an injury to a batter or fielder.
• The time lost is for any circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.
• The third umpire starts the clock either when the ball has become dead at the end of the previous over, or a review has been completed.
• The team gets two warnings if they are not ready to start overs after the clock reaches zero.
• On the third and any subsequent occasion in an innings, the bowler’s end umpire awards five runs.

Race 3

Produced: Salman Khan Films and Tips Films
Director: Remo D’Souza
Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah, Saqib Salem
Rating: 2.5 stars

A Round of Applause

Director: Berkun Oya
Starring: Aslihan Gürbüz, Fatih Artman, Cihat Suvarioglu
Rating: 4/5

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League final:

Who: Real Madrid v Liverpool
Where: NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
When: Saturday, May 26, 10.45pm (UAE)
TV: Match on BeIN Sports

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5


Abtal

Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      Abtal