Lot 7 egypt free - Senegal wins its 1st African Cup, beats Egypt on penalties
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LONDON: Max Verstappen said he is not feeling any extra pressure as defending Formula One champion as Red Bull launched their car for the 2022 season on Wednesday. The Dutchman clinched his first world title in dramatic and controversial circumstances after he passed Lewis Hamilton in a one-lap shootout at the final Grand Prix of the year in Abu Dhabi. The fallout from the December 12 race continues with FIA race director Michael Masi’s position under intense scrutiny amid an ongoing FIA inquiry into a result Hamilton claimed was “manipulated ” There were even fears Hamilton could quit the sport, but the seven-time world champion was back at Mercedes’ factory this week ahead of the new season. Verstappen and Hamilton are expected to fight it out again for the title, although a series of technical changes to the rules could add more unpredictability after years of Mercedes and Red Bull dominating the front of the grid. “There is no reason to suddenly be different,” said Verstappen on the pressure of defending his title. “With the new regulations you have to get used to the car and that is going to be the biggest adaptation but the rest is pretty straightforward. “It doesn’t feel differently starting the year as the champion. Personally I feel good and what is important is you prepare yourself in the best way physically ” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was at the center of an acrimonious end to last season as he and Mercedes chief Toto Wolff clashed over a number of controversial incidents between Hamilton and Verstappen. But having finally ended Mercedes’ grip on the drivers’ title, Horner wants a period of Red Bull dominance. “It will go down in history as one of the all-time great seasons. I cannot remember a year in Formula One that was so close between the top two drivers from the first race to the very last,” said Horner. “Our challenge now is to build on that. We have number one on the car and we want to keep it on the car and defend that title with Max, which with a brand new set of regulations is going to be incredibly difficult. “Max was phenomenal. He had an outstanding season, he dominated the laps led, he won 10 grands prix and took the world championship so his confidence is going to be sky high and he will be looking to build on those performances in 2022 ” Mercedes are due to unveil their car for 2022 on February 18 while the new season gets underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.
MILTON KEYNES, England: The Red Bull Formula One team has secured a new title sponsorship worth around $500 million with technology firm Oracle, placing it among the most lucrative commercial deals in sports. The five-year deal is a lift to the team ahead of the season beginning next month when Max Verstappen will be looking to defend his world title in a new Oracle Red Bull Racing car that was also revealed on Wednesday. Financial details were not disclosed but a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press it was worth around $100 million a year. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential terms. “We’re all about speed and the speed of response,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said in an interview with The Associated Press at the team’s central England headquarters. “We’re pushing the Oracle technical guys. But they’re responding in the best possible way. And that’s what makes this partnership very exciting ” With a new cost cap of $145 million for teams introduced for the upcoming season, Oracle’s cloud computing is also seen as a way of stretching the budget further. “We’ve got a brand new set of regulations, a new technical challenge,” Horner said. “We’ve got financial regulations that are driving and forcing efficiency, which is again where this partnership helps us to make sure that we’re as efficient and productive as we possibly can be ” Additional resources and any edge in computing power can help when titles are decided, like in December, on the final lap in the final race of the season when Verstappen was able to controversially overtake Lewis Hamilton and dethrone the Mercedes driver as world champion. “I’ll take a certain American’s perspective,” Oracle executive vice president Ariel Kelman, the chief marketing officer, said in a video call. “F1 is the fastest growing sport that we’re seeing in terms of an excitement here and around the world and for technology companies. “It’s just such a perfect fit because it’s the most high-tech sport, the most dangerous sport. So it just provides an amazing showcase for all the amazing technology ” Beyond the cash that is another signal of the resurgent appeal of F1, Red Bull will be tapping further into the expertise provided by the Austin-based company for cloud computing, engine development and driver development. “It is helping us to move into the cloud and particularly with the advent of powertrains (Red Bull’s power unit manufacturing company developing engines from 2026) as well, just opening the suite of technology that Oracle have available to them to our engineers is almost like going into a candy store and looking at what do they want to utilize,” Horner said. Kelman is a relative newcomer to F1, starting to watch in 2018 and being increasingly gripped as the Netflix docuseries “Drive to Survive” premiered the following year taking fans behind the scenes. “It’s just that level of competitiveness and just the amazing TV product that everyone’s created combined together really sucked me in,” Kelman said.
Verstappen won’t change under spotlight as defending champion
The Louisiana Stakes was Mandaloun’s first run since he was awarded the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park in July, when Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified for impeding Midnight Bourbon after passing the winning post a nose in front.
Controversial, historic: 5 things we learned from Max Verstappen’s stunning Formula One championship win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
A setback prematurely ended the Kentucky Derby runner-up’s three-year-old season, and his trainer Brad Cox believes he is still improving ahead of his trip to Saudi Arabia for the world’s most valuable fixture.
Max Verstappen wins F1 world championship in thrilling, controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
“Mandaloun ran a really big race at Fair Grounds in the Louisiana Stakes. It was his first run in a while, and he appears to have come out of it in great order. He had a good workout on Sunday morning,” Cox said.
American stars eye Saudi Cup glory against last year’s winner Mishriff
Cox said: “I think the track will be fine. He’s a horse who’s capable of being where we need him to be in a race. He’s able to adjust to the pace. If it’s slow he can be up close, if it’s fast he can sit off it ”
Despite finishing behind Mandaloun in the Louisiana Stakes and last year’s Kentucky Derby, when he endured a troubled passage, Midnight Bourbon’s trainer Steve Asmussen has high hopes that his stable star will finally claim his big-race victory.
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LONDON: Antonio Conte has opened the door to a possible Tottenham return for Christian Eriksen after saying it would be a “good opportunity” to work with the Denmark international again. Eriksen last week joined fellow Premier League side Brentford on a short-term deal after completing a remarkable recovery following a cardiac arrest during last year’s Euro 2020. The playmaker was a pivotal member of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side that finished as runners-up in the Premier League in 2016/17 and reached the Champions League final in 2019. He left the club in 2020 after being signed by Conte at Inter Milan and the pair won the Serie A title together last season before Eriksen’s cardiac arrest ended his time in Italy prematurely. Italian league rules meant he was unable to play with the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) he had fitted. Spurs head coach Conte, who revealed he met Eriksen by coincidence at a hotel they were both staying in at the weekend, said there were no talks about bringing the 29-year-old back to the north London club during the January transfer window but things could be different at the end of the season. “Honestly I was surprised about the situation because in my mind, I thought Christian needed more time before coming back to play in England,” said the Italian. “For sure, Eriksen is part of Tottenham’s story. To come back here would be a good opportunity for him, for me, for the club. “But now he’s signed for Brentford, only six months, and we’ll see what happens ” Conte said he was “lucky” to meet Eriksen on Sunday. “I’m the first person to be happy to see him again on the pitch because we spent a really good time at Inter Milan together,” he said. “We won the league, we spent two important seasons together. I wish him all the best for the future. And you don’t know what will happen. It would be good for me to have him again, to work together ”
There was more Egyptian heartbreak as Al-Ahly met Palmeiras in the semifinal of the FIFA Club World Cup on Tuesday and lost 2-0. Here are five things that Arab News learned from the clash between the champions of Africa and South America.
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Taking on the South American champions was always going to be a tough ask, and so it proved. Palmeiras were well-organized and dominant in the opening half hour, pressed Al-Ahly hard and did not allow their opponents any meaningful chances. Six minutes before the break Raphael Veiga gave the Brazilian powerhouse a deserved lead. In the second half, Al-Ahly had more possession but were still unable to create the kind of clear chances necessary, and when Dudu added a second early in the second half then the Africans had a mountain to climb.
There was no coming back from that. There were some positives in that Al-Ahly responded well after conceding the goals and showed plenty of endeavour and spirit but just could not get back into the game. In the end, it fizzled out and Palmeiras ran out deserved winners to go into the final. They also got some measure of revenge for losing to the Egyptians last year.
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The world watched on Sunday as Egypt lost the African Cup of Nations final against Senegal in a penalty shootout, always a heartbreaking way to exit a tournament. And then less than 48 hours later, Cairo giants Al-Ahly were defeated in another big game on the world stage. Neither national team nor club can have many complaints, but losing two big games in such quick succession must be a bitter pill to swallow.
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Spare a thought especially for Ayman Ashraf. The defender quickly came to Abu Dhabi from Cameroon on Monday to join up with his club team and can’t have been in the best of moods after the penalty heartbreak. With nine minutes remaining against the Brazilians he was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Rony. It was already going to be hugely difficult for Al-Ahly to get back in the game but at that moment it was all over. It was a silly and dangerous challenge, though Ashraf’s apparent frustration was understandable given the events of this week and it summed up a difficult few days for Egyptian football.
Al-Ahly boss Pitso Mosimane complained about the format and scheduling of the tournament but these were no sour grapes after defeat; the South African made his feelings clear in the build-up. Why, he asked, did the African champions have to play a second-round game when the South American and European title-holders did not? “Africa will always be compromised when it comes to this,” he said. “We have to play Palmeiras who are rested. We have to play again. Why we have to play Palmeiras in the semifinals; why don’t they also play earlier also? What’s the criteria? Those are the realities that are happening. The scale is not proper (balanced) when it comes to Africa and Europe. But it’s a fact ” He’s right, it is a fact and the tournament suffers because of the preferential treatment that some teams get.
Had there been no video assistant in Abu Dhabi then the outcome could have been different. With 18 minutes remaining, Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton spilled a shot to present Mohamed Sherif with a simple tap-in. Suddenly the game was looking very interesting as there was enough time for the Egyptians to get a second and put real pressure on the opposition for the first time.
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A quick review, however, showed that the striker was just offside and that was that. Nine minutes later, Ashraf was initially given a yellow card for his wild challenge on Rony but that was changed to a red after a quick look at the footage, meaning that the already slim hopes of a comeback were extinguished. In both cases, the right decision was reached after the review but there is a VAR-free alternative reality where Al-Ahly had 18 minutes to score just one goal with 11 men on the pitch rather than needing to score two with ten.
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While it would be better to face one of Chelsea or Al-Hilal in the final with a chance to be world champions, a meeting in the third and fourth place play-off is still an attractive fixture. On the one hand, there could be a game to come against the European champions who are packed with global stars, and it is rare for an African team to take on such an opponent in a competitive fixture.
On the other hand, there could be an equally mouth-watering clash against Al-Hilal. It could be argued that Al-Ahly are the biggest Arab club in Africa and the Saudis are the biggest Arab club in Asia and it would be fascinating to see them meet on the international stage. This is the FIFA Club World Cup but could also become an official tournament to decide the club champion of the Arab world. It would have been great to have this in the final, but to have it at all is a rare treat.