|Attiyah, Coma closer to victories |
|DOHA QATARI ace Nasser bin Saleh al Attiyah and his Spanish codriver Lucas Cruz Senra stormed through the third penultimate special stage in Toyota Hilux to be in sight of an outright victory in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, on Friday.
Spanish rider Marc Coma also came closer to his second victory in a row in the World Cup of Cross Country Rallies after the 357.99-km SS in the southern Qatar desert. Attiyah comfortably set the fastest time in the car category to extend his overall lead to a massive 46 minutes and 09 seconds on a day where Portugal's Paulo Goncalves won the motorcycle section and Poland's Lukasz Laskawiec emerged on top in the quads for the second successive day. Attiyah's closest challenger, Saudi Arabia's Yazeed al Rajhi in Mini All4 Racing, had a tough time before going out of the rally. He set out at a brisk pace and recovered some time. But he suffered a puncture and then lost the way before he overturned the vehicle after third check-point, leaving the Qatari with an opportunity to cruise through the final 208-63-km special stage around Sealine and win the crown on Saturday Delay by Portugal's Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) mean that Coma is also a firm favourite to win the bike events. "It was a very technical and difficult stage but it was enjoyable and the result has put me in a very good position now," said Attiyah.
|Qatar upsets Jordan moves to second place in pool B |
|DOHA JABOR Ali Mutawa and Mousa Zayed returned to the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex after a day's rest to upset Jordan in the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group IV and raise prospects of taking Qatar into the promotion play-off battle.
With the 2-1 victory over high-ranked Jordan, Qatar is at the second spot in the Pool B standings behind debutant Cambodia, who is undefeated in three matches in the week so far.
Qatar's coach Amine Bustani was extremely elated with his team's performance in against Jordan. "It was a difficult match. We won the first singles but lost the other singles. So it came down to the doubles rubber and we managed to clinch it in three sets.
"The boys came up with right shots at the right time and that was the key to our victory in the all-important doubles. Against Singapore, we'll have to raise our level and it is kind of situation that you win to stay or go home.
Singapore is also a good team and it's going to be another interesting match," said Bustani.
Former Qatari national player and member of the Davis Cup squad, Sultan Khalfan, said: "It is very important victory for us. Now we're in the contention for the second place of the group behind Cambodia....
|Barca, Real lock horns in Clasico title showdown |
|MADRID BITTER rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid meet on Saturday in the sixth 'Clasico' of the season to fight for three crucial points that will shape the destiny of this season's La Liga title.
With five games remaining, Real Madrid go to the Nou Camp four points clear of their great rivals knowing that a win or draw will almost certainly break Barca's dominance and hand Jose Mourinho's side their first title in four seasons.
Real were 10 points clear of the Catalans just over a month ago but have drawn three of the last seven games while Barca have won their last 11 league matches. Real's run, that has opened the door for Barcelona, began with a 1-1 draw at home to Malaga followed by further draws against Villarreal and Valencia.
The goals of Lionel Messi have been crucial in Barca's recent run — the Argentine has scored an incredible 18 goals in those 11 wins. Cristiano Ronaldo has also netted 41 league goals for Madrid making it a head-tohead shoot out between the two best players in the world for the 'Pichichi' prize awarded to the league's top scorer.