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Qatar World Cup: Saudi Arabia stun Argentina and Tunisia keep Denmark at bay

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MIGUEL MEDINA/ AFP

Saudi Arabia have beaten Argentina 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history. The opening match of Group C at the 2022 World Cup looked to be going as expected after Lionel Messi’s early penalty.Yet, two goals in the first eight minutes of the second half — from Saleh Al-Shehri and Salem Al-Dawsari — stunned the South American champions, who entered the tournament as one of the favourites to lift the trophy.On his fifth and final quest for the only major trophy to elude him, Messi, 35, scored a 10th minute penalty in a dominant first half display where he and Lautaro Martinez also had three goals disallowed for offside.

But Saudi Arabia, the second-lowest ranked team in the tournament after Ghana, threw caution to the wind at the start of the second half, charging at Argentina’s defence in front of a frenzied 88,012 crowd.

First, Saleh Al-Shehri squeezed in a low shot in the 48th minute. Then, to the disbelief of even the Saudi fans, Salem Al-Dawsari curled in a scorching strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 53rd minute to leave Argentina and Messi looking utterly shell-shocked in the Group C opener.

Despite plenty of possession after that, Argentina could not penetrate the Green Falcons, who were competing in their sixth World Cup but had never previously won an opening game.

The entire game was played in an extraordinary atmosphere at the Lusail Stadium, with Argentina’s traditionally massive and raucous following matched by the thousands of Saudis who had come over the border to cheer on their team.

Both teams have Mexico and Poland to come, with Argentina needing an immediate reaction if Messi is to have a realistic chance of matching Diego Maradona’s immortality in his homeland by bringing home the World Cup.

The result revived old question marks over Argentina’s defence and broke their amazing 36-match undefeated run. That stopped them from matching the previous international record of 37 games unbeaten held by Italy.

Denmark were held to a 0-0 draw by Tunisia in their Group D World Cup opener that smouldered and sparked, but never quite caught fire at the Education City Stadium on Tuesday.

Against a backdrop of raucous noise provided by the thousands of Tunisian fans in the stands, Issam Jebali had a goal ruled out for offside in the 23rd minute but it was Denmark who provided most of the attacking football in the first half.

The Danes upped the tempo in the second, with Christian Eriksen firing a rasping left-foot shot that was saved by goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen in the 69th minute, and Andreas Cornelius hit the post with a header from the resulting corner.

Denmark thought they should have had a penalty in stoppage time for handball that was checked at the VAR screen by referee Cesar Arturo Ramos, but he instead gave a free kick to Tunisia for a foul in the build-up.

Tunisia defended resolutely and threatened on the counter as the Danes struggled to break them down, and in the end their fans were delighted with a point that sets them up for their next game against Australia, while Denmark face France.

— Agencies

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T10 League: hosts Abu Dhabi, American pair and Deccan in knockout stage

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Kieron-Pollard-T10

Kieron Pollard smashed 26 runs from seven balls when the team needed 46 runs from 18 balls. Supplied

Staff report

The final four teams for the knockout stages in the T10 Abu Dhabi League have been spotted after the final round-robin match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Friday. Interestingly, the freshest two teams in the league and boasting owners from the United States took the top perches on debut.

Table-toppers New York Strikers and Morrisville Samp Army, led by England T20 vice-captain Moeen Ali, are in the mix for the trophy hunt in the sixth season of the tournament. Moeen was yesterday named captain of Sharjah Warriors for the inaugural season of UAE’s own league, the International League T20, which starts January 13 to February 12.

Team Abu Dhabi and Deccan Gladiators make up the top four. On the final day of the round-robin stage, three matches were played out.

Match Day 9

1) New York captain Kieron Pollard and Azam Khan helped pull off an exciting seven-wicket win over Delhi Bulls with two balls to spare on the ninth day of the tournament in Abu Dhabi. Needing a massive 46 runs from 18 balls in chasing Delhi’s total of 112-6, Pollard (26 from 7 balls) and Azam (37, 22b) sealed a thriller in front of a large holiday crowd. Read more about the match here.

2) Team Abu Dhabi spinners Adil Rashid and Fabian Allen restricted Bangla Tigers to 74 for 5 and helped their team register an emphatic eight wicket win.
Chris Lynn cracking an unbeaten 33 off just 17 balls with four boundaries and six, well backed by James Vince’s 29 off 17 balls with four boundaries and a six, to steer Team Abu Dhabi to the target in just seven overs. (Match report)

3) Morrisville Samp Army marched into the play-off stage through a well-fought win by 19 runs over Deccan Gladiators. Samp Army posted 126 for 2 in 10 overs through opener Johnson Charles’ unbeaten 58 and David Miller’s unbeaten 35. Chasing the target, Deccan Gladiators could muster only 107 for 5 in 10 overs. Tom Kohler-Cadmore’s unbeaten knock of 41 runs went in vain. Report

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Food

Jaffer Bhai’s goes ‘glocal’ with its newest branch in DIFC

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Jaffer Bhai’s, the Biryani King of Bombay, inaugurated their newest outlet in Dubai on Tuesday, November 29, ahead of UAE’s 51st National Day celebrations.
The over-the-counter Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) concept in the South Market food court at the Gate Avenue of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Is the four-decades-old legacy group’s third establishment in the UAE after their oldest and flagship restaurant in Karama, and a second one in Al Barsha. “This is also by far our most significant step forward considering the concept of the kitchen and the pan-Asian, pan-European/American clientele it will serve, So this is our first truly global restaurant with a very localised outlook making us a glocal outfit,” said Moin Jaffer Mansuri, the second-generation owner of the chain that first began operations in 1973 in Mumbai before coming to the shores of Dubai in UAE in the nineties. “We have consistently been voted one of Dubai’s best restaurants for biryani but there’s more to us than our dum-cooked rice and meat legacy and our specialist team at DIFC outlet can’t wait to showcase it by catering to everyone, including the resident upmarket executive foodies with a more refined palate and everyone else that loves a hearty workday lunch.”

According to Mansuri, Jaffer Bhai’s DIFC will be mostly targeting customers looking to grab a quick bite on the go, in between work and meetings. “And so, the kitchen here will be serving daily specials including biryanis, kebabs and choicest of desserts. But one thing that we are also introducing here is our own version of the world’s best kathi rolls, something we expect our patrons to absolutely fall in love with,” he added. “This is truly a landmark moment for us. It is always a great sign when we can expand and serve new customers in a completely new market.”
Besides the new additions, guests here can expect Jaffer Bhai’s other wildly popular dishes like the 1952 Gosht Biriyani, Murgh-e-Nargis and all of their famous kebabs.
About Jaffer Bhai’s Restaurants
Since the inception of Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar in Mumbai, India in 1986, it has been the spot synonymous with an unparalleled mouth-watering pot of Indian dum biryani. With a passion in his heart and hands, Moin ‘Jaffer Bhai’ Mansuri, today leads a team of select chefs to serve what has been consistently rated by media, influencers and foodies as one of Dubai’s best biryanis. Jaffer Bhai imbibed the philosophy of pursuing perfection in the biriyani making process from start to the end from his father. He believes in identifying the right ingredients for a quality product and adding a distinct Mughlai flavour from India’s financial capital of Mumbai to create a biryani that has so far wowed more than 50 million customers over five decades of being in business.

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Fashion

BeingSHE Universe 2022 pageant announced in Dubai

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The much-awaited BeingShe Universe 2022 grand finale was held at Orange Chameleon – Palm Jumeirah on Saturday. The event attracted local and international media, celebrities, fashion designers, influencers, and respectable names in the fashion industry.

This year’s edition, powered by Mai Dubai, was held under the theme ‘Beauty and Fitness in Perfect Balance’.
“This season we were mainly focused on physical fitness,” said Aparna Bajpai, founder of BeingShe organisation, “where the participants were invited for a four-day boot camp which served as the preliminary competition to determine subtitle winners.”

Participants were trained on body posture, personal development, communication, and public speaking in preparation for the Grand Finale night. More than a dozen countries — from the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, and Nigeria to Tunisia, Ghana, Argentina, Kenya, Algeria, Ukraine, Iran, and Lebanon — were represented this season.

Media personality Wassim Mandil hosted the show. A total of five contestants won subtitles based on their performance during the training sessions. Anna Barisova from Russia won the Woman of Substance, Daphine Najjuma from Uganda was named the Most Fit Personality, Tima Shaaban from Lebanon was the Most Empowered, while Najeh Thider won Best Social Media. Subsequently, award-winning pianist and singer Violetta Dikarieva from Argentina/Ukraine won the most beautiful singer title.

During the show, participants competed in three categories which included bridal couture and evening wear as they showcased designs from international fashion designer Walid Atallah and Evin while wearing exquisite jewellery from Mozafarian Jewellers. For the final round, the top 10 contestants took part in an in-depth Q&A session by the jury.

Shania Rosario from Portugal took home the 2022 BeingShe Universe title while Tima Shaaban from Lebanon was crowned BeingShe Universe 2022 ambassador. Outgoing title winner Pooja Kathuria crowned her successor during the ceremony.

[Supplied Partner Content]

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