Bafetimbi Gomis to lead Al Hilal fightback in our must-watch SPL matches

The enticing prospect of late drama, at both ends of the table, should strengthen or ebb away throughout an intriguing match-week of the 2019/20 Saudi Professional League.

Leaders Al Hilal’s advantage was pegged back to six points last time out in a consequential 2-1 defeat at AFC Champions League-chasers Al Ahli Jeddah, a result which lifts Al Nassr’s distant dream of retaining their trophy. Promoted Al Adalah, however, have been cut adrift at the bottom and require an unlikely victory this round to stay alive, if results go against them.

Here is a trio of must-watch matches:

AL HILAL V AL FAISALY (TUESDAY, 20:00)

Bafetimbi Gomis (EPA).

Concerns defined Hilal’s loss in Jeddah.

The greatest was witnessing ex-France international Bafetimbi Gomis collapse, because of a pre-existing condition, in the early runnings. “We will continue to fight for @Alhilal_FC to be champion” was the defiant message that came back from the 20-goal striker, who recovered to play on as Nassr-bound Abdulfattah Asiri struck a 74th-minute winner for the hosts.

This goal not only narrowed Hilal’s lead. It also had ramifications in the race for Asia which has gripped next opponents, Faisaly.

Only a top-three finish will guarantee progression, via automatic qualification or the play-offs, to the 2021 ACL. This is an exalted competition Pericles Chamusca’s men are yet to grace, in 66 years of existence.

Significant obstacles remain for the Brazilian’s fifth-placed side. Least of which are games versus fourth-placed Wehda and Al Raed, who sit sixth, after the daunting trip to Hilal.

Chamusca – who ended 2018/19 on loan at Hilal in a quirky move, virtually unheard of outside the Kingdom – held his former temporary employers to a 2-2 draw in January, courtesy of Trinidad and Tobago battler Khaleem Hyland’s 92nd-minute equaliser.

A repeat would,

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VAR to make debut in Asia’s Champions League

FILE – Spanish referee Carlos del Cerro Grande checks the VAR during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final football match Inter Milan v Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the Duesseldorf Arena on August 10, 2020 in Duesseldorf, western Germany. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos / POOL / AFP)

VAR will make its debut in Asia’s Champions League next month, officials said Monday, as the competition gears up to restart following a six-month coronavirus hiatus.

Video assistant referees have been introduced in competitions worldwide from the Premier League to the 2018 World Cup, but their decisions have often sparked controversy.

The technology will be used from the quarterfinal stage of this year’s Champions League, the top Asian club competition, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.

The quarter-finals for West Zone teams take place on September 30 and for East Zone sides on November 25, with a single-leg final on December 5.

The AFC said the decision showed its “commitment to ensure Asian refereeing continues to set new benchmarks”.

VAR was used in Asian football for the first time in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Asian Cup.

The Champions League, featuring 32 teams stretching from Saudi Arabia in the west to Japan in the East, was suspended in March due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions but is scheduled to restart next month.


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WATCH: BTS wowed by Filipino group’s ‘Dynamite’ dance cover

Filipino dance group Mastermind (L) and K-pop stars BTS. Images: Instagram/@mastermindphofficial, Facebook/@bangtan.official

Filipino dance group Mastermind impressed BTS after performing their own dance cover of the Korean stars’ latest hit “Dynamite”.

Mastermind posted a short video of their choreography on TikTok last Saturday, Aug. 22. It featured members Ericson Apelado, Jester Brozas and David Inere grooving to the track’s chorus.

@mastermind_ph

Dynamite – BTS 💜 @chocsxz @jesterbrozas

♬ original sound – Mastermind PH – Mastermind PH

Following their post, the Korean boy group themselves commended the three dancers for their choreography.

“[W]ow!!!” BTS said in the comments section of their video.

Mastermind later uploaded a screenshot of the K-pop group’s reaction on their Instagram page, expressing how shocked they were over BTS’ remark.

“BTS NOTICED OUR DANCE COVER ON TIKTOK!!” the Filipino group stated alongside crying, purple hearts and the Philippine flag emoji.

Mastermind, whose members are from Easter Samar, were previously grand finalists in the fifth season of the talent show “Pilipinas Got Talent” back in 2016.

The Korean boy group released “Dynamite” on Aug. 21 with a bright and disco-themed music video. They also explained that they created the new song to “lift people’s spirits” amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. JB

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