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Tadhamon and Salmiya’s Book Semis

The football teams from Salmiya and Tadhamon advanced to the Kuwait Amir’s Football Cup semifinals by defeating Kuwait SC and Kazma SC, respectively, on Friday. Salmiya saw a thrilling quarterfinal matchup against Kazma at Ali Sabah Al-Salem Stadium, but Salmiya prevailed 4-3 on penalties shootout. Salmiya successfully converted four penalty kicks compared to Kazma’s three, securing their place in the tournament’s semi-finals. In the second game, Tadhamon emerged victorious in a penalty shootout, 5–4. In the second half of the semifinal, Qadsiya SC and Arabi SC will square off. — KUNA

First match wins for Al-Qadsiya

MUSCAT: On Saturday, Kuwait’s Al-Qadsiya defeated Saudi rival Al-Ibtisam 3-0 to mark their volleyball debut in the second West Asia Club Championship. The competition is underway at the Sohar Sports Complex and is scheduled to run through February 12. Al-Qadsiya, Al-Ibtisam, Arrayan from Qatar, and Al-Seeb from Oman make up the first group. The second group is composed of Al-Kuwait from Kuwait and Al-Arabi from Qatar, who met yesterday, Shabab Al-Hussain from Jordan, Al-Ahli from Bahrain, and the host, Sohar. — KUNA

Dortmund, plagued by injuries, held

BERLIN: A victim of injury Borussia Dortmund lost important ground in their quest to play in the Champions League the next season when they were held to a scoreless draw against Heidenheim on Friday. Heidenheim, who had been promoted, played deep and forced Dortmund into errors, making it difficult for the visitors to regain the rhythm that had seen them win three straight games to begin 2024. Despite dominating possession and having eight first team players out due to illness and injury, Dortmund was unable to overcome a resolute and spirited home squad, aside from Donyell Malen’s first-half goal that was overturned by VAR. Edin Terzic, the manager of Dortmund, stated, “We didn’t play well,” following his team’s first scoreless draw since October 2019. “After our performance today, we deserved no more than a point.” “No excuses — we still had a good team on the pitch, but showed too little,” Terzic remarked of his undermanned team. Niclas Fuellkrug, a striker for Dortmund, stated, “It was obviously not enough.” -AFP

Top four denied by Fiorentina

Rome: Fiorentina’s 3-2 loss to Lecce in stoppage time on Friday prevented them from securing a spot in the Champions League for Serie A. Just when Fiorentina were certain to win, Roberto Piccoli and Patrick Dorgu scored goals in added time, ending Lecce’s six-game losing skid. Lucas Beltran’s fifth league goal of the season was gifted to Fiorentina by a brilliant goal from Rolando Mandragora and Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone four minutes after the break. When Falcone attempted to play out from the back under pressure, he was caught off guard. The ball was sent directly to Beltran, who was ecstatic to score from close range. However, in the ninetieth minute, Piccoli scored with a header, and shortly after, Dorgu’s first-ever goal set off raucous celebrations among the home supporters. -AFP

Sporting Bilbao defeats Mallorca

BILBAO: Athletic Bilbao defeated Mallorca 4-0 on Friday to maintain pressure on the top four teams in La Liga. The fifth-place Basques are now two points behind third-place Atletico Madrid and fourth-place Barcelona, who both have games this weekend. After just 16 minutes, Athletic took a commanding lead thanks to a goal from defender Yuri Berchiche, who broke the deadlock with an unusual hooked effort and later volleyed home his second. Iker Muniain and Gorka Guruzeta both scored goals in the second half to enable the hosts secure a commanding victory. Berchiche told Movistar, “I’m very happy for the goals but above all for the win.” “We must continue to score because our opponents are doing the same.” The sole drawback for Ernesto Valverde’s team was the concern over Inaki and Nico Williams’ injuries.-AFP


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