Argentina, Chile stalemate in LA friendly

The intense rivalry was evident throughout. (AP)
Updated 06 September 2019

Argentina, Chile stalemate in LA friendly

  • The game was the latest instalment of an increasingly bitter rivalry

LOS ANGELES: Argentina and Chile ground out a 0-0 draw here Thursday in a niggly friendly international between the two South American rivals.
Argentina, missing the suspended Lionel Messi and several other European-based stars including Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria, enjoyed the better chances but were unable to find a goal in front of a sparsely populated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Chile, with Alexis Sanchez leading their attack, were similarly uninspired in front of goal.
Thursday’s game was the latest instalment of an increasingly bitter rivalry between the two sides who met in both the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals, won by Chile on each occasion.
The two sides also faced off in this year’s Copa, with Argentina winning a third-place play-off.
The intense rivalry was evident throughout, with US referee Jair Marrufo showing no fewer than 10 yellow cards in an often ill-tempered contest.
Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz was lucky to stay on the pitch after picking up an early booking and then committing a brutal stamp on Tottenham Hotspur’s Giovani Lo Celso in the first half.
Marrufo had brandished his yellow card three times within the first 15 minutes, cautioning Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Leandro Paredes in the sixth minute for a rugged tackle on Sanchez.
Aranguiz got Chile’s retaliation in moments later, flattening Rodrigo De Paul to earn a yellow card before later flying in on Lo Celso.
Argentina came closest to breaking the deadlock on 23 minutes, Lo Celso releasing Lautaro Martinez on the edge of the area who teed up Paulo Dybala for a shot that was superbly saved by Chile’s Manchester City reserve goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Chile’s best chance of the half came five minutes from half-time, with Aranguiz forcing a save from Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin.
River Plate defender Lucas Martinez Quarta almost gave Argentina the lead in the second half, glancing De Paul’s cross just wide.
Chile then missed a golden chance to go in front when Eduardo Vargas cut back to find Cesar Pinares only for the midfielder’s shot to clip the top of the bar.
The game deteriorated thereafter with both teams making a flurry of substitutions and the play often interrupted by fouls.
Quarta missed the chance to give Argentina a late winner, causing problems with his aerial power.
Once again though the center-half was left frustrated, his header from hitting the bar.


Kaymer arrives in Oman to tackle ‘the toughest opening hole on tour’

Updated 25 February 2020

Kaymer arrives in Oman to tackle ‘the toughest opening hole on tour’

  • A top class field, featuring two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer, will battle it out for the $1.75m prize
  • Measuring 454 yards, the first hole averaged 4.3 strokes across all four rounds during the 2019 event

MUSCAT, Oman: Al Mouj Golf, regarded by many as having one of the toughest opening holes on the European Tour circuit, is putting the finishing touches to the course in preparation for the 2020 Oman Open, held from 27 February — 1 March 2020.
The Oman Open returns to Al Mouj Muscat for the third time and will see a strong field teeing it up in Oman’s lifestyle and leisure destination. A world class field will be battling it out for the USD$1.75 million prize, with two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer, two-time European Tour winner Eddie Pepperell, Ryder Cup winning captain Thomas Bjorn and rising stars Robert McIntire and Adri Arnaus among some of the star names set to tee it up in Oman. A tough start is guaranteed at Al Mouj Golf, with the daunting opening hole, Par 4, often considered one of the most demanding opening holes on the circuit. Measuring 454 yards, the first hole averaged 4.3 strokes across all four rounds during the 2019 event.
Set along a two kilometer stretch of the Indian Ocean and with the Hajjar mountains providing an impressive backdrop, the Greg Norman designed links style course is consistently rated as one of the best in the Middle East, with Norman himself rating it as one of his finest creations. Despite the stunning surroundings, Al Mouj Golf is certainly capable of baring its teeth. As Oman’s first links style course, it provides one of the most challenging tests for golfers in the region, and when the wind gets up can be regarded as the toughest course of the European Tour’s ‘Desert Swing’.
Winners of the 2019 IAGTO Sustainability Award for Community value, Al Mouj Golf prides itself on its biodiversity and sustainable practices and with wildflowers and natural dunes accenting the lush green grass, it certainly inspires a unique golfing experience in the Middle East. Greg Norman commented “The huge bonus for me was that I was able to create a vast natural habitat which quickly became a haven for birdlife and various flora and fauna.”
Nasser bin Masoud Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj Muscat, said “We are delighted to be welcoming the European Tour back to Oman and Al Mouj Golf for the third Oman Open. The feedback from players has been overwhelmingly positive since the initial event in 2018, which is testament to the quality of the layout and the surrounding environment. Al Mouj Muscat is a fantastic leisure and lifestyle destination for tourists, and we look forward to showcasing this once again”.
European Tour players have enjoyed their previous visits to the Oman Open, with the course receiving glowing reviews, further strengthening its position as one of the best courses in the region. Eddie Pepperell said ‘‘Al Mouj Golf is a must play if you’re ever in Oman. I’d say it’s the best course I’ve played in the Middle East.”, while Chris Wood commented “It’s a bit of a mix between a links and a desert course. The design is really good and there are so many players saying the same things. It’s in perfect condition and the practice facilities are awesome too.”
Tom Phillips, Head of Middle East, European Tour said: “It’s wonderful to witness how much this tournament has grown over the years; starting out as a European Challenge Tour event in 2013 before being deservedly promoted to the Challenge Tour Grand Final in 2015 and then becoming a full European Tour event in 2018.
“We’re extremely proud to visit the stunning Al Mouj Golf for the third Oman Open and delighted that the success of the tournament has contributed to the foundation of the Oman Golf Association, which marks another milestone for the development of golf in the Sultanate.”
Al Mouj Muscat offers an abundance of activities to enjoy in addition to the golf, with scuba diving and snorkelling trips, dolphin watching trips, water sports and fishing trips all available, as well as a range of restaurants and shops you will find at The Walk.
For more information on Al Mouj Muscat, please visit: www.almouj.com