UAE hope to usher in new beginnings



DUBAI // You can sense the relief on some of the faces of the senior players from the national side now that a dismal 2009 is behind them. The past year brought nothing but heartbreak for the side as first they surrendered their Gulf Cup crown before finishing bottom of the group in the final round of Asian qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, earning just a solitary point from eight games.

With those memories now behind them, the players are looking towards the New Year and a fresh decade to herald in an era of success and glad tidings for UAE football. They can start the ball rolling tonight by booking their place in next year's 2011 Asian Cup if they can manage at least a draw against Malaysia at Al Shabab stadium. "We did not have a great year, so thankfully it's over," said goalkeeper Majed Nasser. "Hopefully the new year will be a lot better and we will be able to revive the image of UAE football by raising the level of our ambitions and achieving them.

"So I am confident 2010 will be the start of a golden new chapter in UAE football, which will restore the confidence of the players and reconcile the team with their fans. Our first objective will be to beat Malaysia and qualify for the Asian Cup, but our real target is to top the group by defeating Uzbekistan in Tashkent [in March]. "That will set tone for the year ahead, with the Gulf Cup, Asian Games and Olympic qualifiers to follow."

With their recent success under Srecko Katanec, who took over as coach in June last year, a good start to 2010 seems a done deal. Beating Malaysia, a team they trounced 5-0 in Kuala Lumpur in the first leg, should not be a major challenge at home and Katanec, who is heading into his first competitive game after losing just once in six friendly matches, was optimistic about a positive result. "We have prepared well and I think we are ready," he said. "We have a good atmosphere in the team and we want to win the game. Let's see who is the better team on the day. I am hoping we will be the one.

"We have only played friendly matches until now, so this will be a little different. We can make five or six substitutions in a friendly game, but in an official match, I can make only three changes. "But from what I have seen up until now in these six friendly matches, I can tell you that we can compete, we can fight and we can run." As Katanec elaborated on the positives, he was reminded about one factor that has been the bane of the national side in recent years: the lack of strikers and paucity of goals. The UAE have not scored in their last three games and have fired blanks in seven of the 12 games since beating Malaysia in January last year.

"Ok, we have this problem, but we did not lose any goals [in the last three games] either," said the 46-year-old Katanec. "So it depends on what side you look at. We have had a lot of the players injured, especially strikers. And if we start to discuss about all the local teams who have foreign strikers, I will be repeating the same thing. "I would like to see local strikers score a lot of goals in the league. Then it is easy for me to put in Faisal Khalil or some other striker. But at the moment I don't see this and I must put together the best team.

"We are playing this game with the players I have and I am really satisfied with their work and the atmosphere in the team. I have no problems about the players I have with me. They have always done their best." arizvi@thenational.ae UAE v Malaysia, 7pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 1 & Dubai Sports 1

MATCH INFO

Manchester City 6 Huddersfield Town 1
Man City: Agüero (25', 35', 75'), Jesus (31'), Silva (48'), Kongolo (84' og)
Huddersfield: Stankovic (43')

Cricket World Cup League 2 Fixtures

Saturday March 5, UAE v Oman, ICC Academy (all matches start at 9.30am)

Sunday March 6, Oman v Namibia, ICC Academy

Tuesday March 8, UAE v Namibia, ICC Academy

Wednesday March 9, UAE v Oman, ICC Academy

Friday March 11, Oman v Namibia, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Saturday March 12, UAE v Namibia, Sharjah Cricket Stadium

UAE squad

Ahmed Raza (captain), Chirag Suri, Muhammad Waseem, CP Rizwan, Vriitya Aravind, Asif Khan, Basil Hameed, Rohan Mustafa, Kashif Daud, Zahoor Khan, Junaid Siddique, Karthik Meiyappan, Akif Raja, Rahul Bhatia

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

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

WORLD RECORD FEES FOR GOALKEEPERS

1) Kepa Arrizabalaga, Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea (£72m)

2) Alisson, Roma to Liverpool (£67m)

3) Ederson, Benfica to Manchester City (£35m)

4) Gianluigi Buffon, Parma to Juventus (£33m)

5) Angelo Peruzzi, Inter Milan to Lazio (£15.7m


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