Bale can fill Ronaldo boots at Real: Giggs

READ MORE: Going not-so green

LONDON - Gareth Bale can cope with the pressure of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as the star man at Real Madrid, says his Wales boss Ryan Giggs. Bale has become the main forward at Real since Ronaldo's summer departure to Juventus, scoring in their opening La Liga wins against Getafe and Girona. "When someone like Cristiano leaves there is always going to be a spotlight on who is going to replace him goal-wise and threat-wise," said Giggs. "It's a massive void to fill but Gareth has the experience now of being at the club for a long time. Every year there is pressure on him and he has handled it brilliantly." Giggs said Ronaldo's departure meant there will be more focus on the players who are going to score the goals. "Gareth has shown his qualities in big games and he can handle anything.”–AFP

G8 United reach Azadi Football QF

ISLAMABAD - G8 United Football Club reached quarterfinals of the Jashan-i-Azadi Football Tournament 2018, after beating Huma Club 6-4 on penalty kicks here at T&T ground on Thursday. Amer gave Huma FC lead in the 30th minute. They could have easily doubled their advantage, had Amer not missed an open chance. The first half ended with Huma FC leading 1-0. In the second half, G8 United got a golden opportunity to equalise, but they failed. Iftikhar then converted the much-needed goal for G* United in the 65th minute to make the things all square. Both teams tried to score in the normal time, but failed to break the deadlock and the referee awarded five penalty kicks to both teams. G8 converted all five while Huma FC could score on 3. G8 United will now meet Ghauri Club in quarterfinals.–Staff Reporter

Zalmi Madrasa League final today

ISLAMABAD - The final of Pakistan's first ever cricket Madrasa League will be held today (Friday) at Arbab Niaz Stadium, Peshawar. Legend Younis Khan along with Zalmi Foundation chairman Javed Afridi will grace the final. Before the final, the semifinals will be played as Al Haq Smashers will take Al Wahda Hitters while Al Nujoom Risers will face Al Fateh Record Setters. In the first match of the day, Al Maqasid defeated Al Hilal by 21 runs. Batting first, Al Maqasid scored 85-7 and in reply, Al Hilal could score only 64. In the second match, Al Khair defeated Al Noor by 4 wickets. In the third match, Jamat-e-Islami Falcons slammed 148-2 and in reply, Al Qurra could score meager 88 runs, as Falcons won by 60 runs. In the fourth match, AlFateh defeated Al Itihad by 82 runs.–Staff Reporter

Aslam, Caroline win 42km marathon races

ISLAMABAD – Aslam Khan from Ghizar and Caroline Drew from UK won the 42km marathon male and female races respectively held here at the picturesque valley of Naltar, Gilgit on Thursday. In 42km race, Aslam clinched top position in 3:43:59 seconds, whereas Ishaq Khan was runner-up and Ubaid-ur-Rehman won the third spot. In female category, foreigners dominated the race and won the first three positions. Caroline Drew from UK was first in 4:44:10, Canadian Heather Lee finished second and Hungarian Edit Kiss third. In the 21km race, Shahid Ali won the first position; whereas Adnan Khan and Nazar Shah won the second and third positions respectively. In the same category for females, Nadia Rahim outpaced her rivals, while Kokab Sarwar and Sobia Ali took second and third spots. The event was organised by PAF in collaboration with international marathon Travel Company, Z Adventures, and Serena Hotels. The 42km race took place at an elevation of 11,300 ft above sea-level, featured by 150 athletes including 35 international runners from 24 countries, while half-marathon of 21km was also arranged for amateur category. Air Vice Marshal Sarfraz Khan, Air Officer Commanding Northern Air Command was the chief guest at the closing ceremony and distributed trophies and prizes among the participants.–Staff Reporter