Sunday, 24 May 2015

I-League: Pune FC complete double over Shillong Lajong FC with a 1-0 win!

Pune FC recorded a stunning 1-0 win and completed a double over Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League Round-21 encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday afternoon.

An early goal from defender Zohmingliana Ralte (5th minute) handed Pune FC their second consecutive and eight overall win of the campaign. Moreover, the victory was also Pune FC's third over Lajong this season having previously beaten them in the Federation Cup (December) and the I-League (January).

The three points earned took Pune FC's tally to 29 points from 19 games as they stay in the fifth place behind East Bengal Club (29 pts).

Going into the game, Assistant Coach Gift Raikhan made one change to the squad with Ishfaq Ahmed replacing Edgar Marcelino in the starting lineup.

Pune FC had the perfect start to the game taking the lead in the 5th minute. Arata's in-swinging delivery on a corner kick from the left flank put Lajong custodian Kunzang Bhutia under pressure. With the keeper failing to clear the ball Ralte capitalised to head home from close range after the ball came off the woodwork for his first goal of the season.

Having taken the lead, Pune FC continued to push ahead and created a couple more close chances in the following ten minutes. In the seventh minute, Ishfaq Ahmed set up striker Darko Nikac on the left. The Montenegro-international cut inside, created space and let fly from distance but his effort was saved by Bhutia.

While at the other end, hosts Lajong had a few half chances, Pune FC went close once again in the 16th minute. This time striker Thongkhosiem Haokip created space and tried to lay off for playmaker Ryuji Sueoka rushing into the box but the pass had too much power. Five minutes later, it was Ishfaq who went close. The Kashmiri midfielder ran solo on the left flank before cutting in and taking a crack on goal. The effort sailed just over the horizontal.

Thereafter, Lajong began to dominate proceedings. The hosts kept control of the possession for long durations as Pune FC were restricted to a handful of counter attacks. The likes of Cornell Glen, Seiminlen Doungel and Durga Boro went extremely close on multiple occasions. However, some good defending from Luciano Sabrosa and Zohmingliana Ralte along with the some excellent reflexes from keeper Amrinder Singh kept Lajong at bay. The resolute defending helped Pune FC maintain their narrow 1-0 lead going into the breather.

The second half began with both sides battling out hard in the midfield. Half chances fell for both Pune FC and Lajong but some poor finishing meant the scoreline stayed unchanged. Ten minutes into the second half, Pune FC suffered a blow when defender Ralte had to be taken off after suffering an injury. He was replaced by youngster Salam Ranjan Singh to partner Luciano in the defence.

Minutes later, Pune FC went close once again. After soaking pressure, Pune FC regained possession and moved ahead on a quick counter attack. Playmaker Ryuji Sueoka did well to find Ishfaq clear on the left who controlled and sent in a cross which went straight to the keeper. At the other end, Pune FC had a close shave surviving back-to-back attempts. First, in the 59th minute, Khelemba Meetei connected Nim Tamang's cross in from the right. However, his effort from close range went inches wide of the framework. Two minutes later, it was Seminlen who went agonisingly close but his shot on Cornell Glen's cross into the box came off the crossbar keeping Pune FC's narrow lead intact.

As Pune FC held off constant attacks from the Lajong frontline, they had a great chance of doubling their lead in the 83rd minute. A quick breakaway move saw Sueoka run down the midfield and find Arata Izumi on the right who controlled and sent in a perfectly timed ball for Ishfaq clear on the left. The midfielder managed to get a good touch but went just wide of the woodwork as he tried to chip the keeper. Meanwhile, Lajong FC had a couple more chances in the final five minutes, but the Pune FC defense managed to hold on for a hard earned win.

VIDEO - XtraTime: East Bengal Club 2-0 Royal Wahingdoh FC - Post match Coaches reactions!

Here XtraTime footage of the post match reactions of the coaches of East Bengal Club - Eelco Schattorie and Royal Wahingdoh FC - Santosh Kashyap after the red and gold's 2-0 win in the I-League at the Barasat Municipal Stadium this afternoon.

Mizoram crowned Champions of Sub-Junior U-15 Girls National Championship with 3-0 over Haryana!

The Mizoram Under-15 Girls were crowned Champions of the Sub-Junior Under-15 Girls National Championship on Sunday, May 24 as their sterling performance led them to a 3-0 win over Haryana in the finals held at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, Odisha.

The Mizoram contingent recorded a monumental feat as they went undefeated throughout the course of their campaign.

Elizabeth gave Mizoram an early lead in the 30th minute. And a shower of attacks by Mizoram after leading 1-0 at halftime, paid dividends in the 62nd minute when B. Vanlalhriattiri doubled their lead. Elizabeth scored once again in the 66th minute to put the tie to bed and assert Mizoram's dominance in the Finals, which finally led them to the coveted trophy.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

119th IFA Shield: United SC trash FA of Odisha Academy 7-0!

The United SC Under-19 boys cruised to an emphatic 7-0 win in their Group A encounter of the ongoing 119th IFA Shield against the Football Association of Odisha Academy at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday afternoon.

Goals from Azaruddin Mallick (2), Sanjib Bhattacharya (2), Sheikh Azaruddin, Provat Lakra and skipper Jagannath Orao sealed a semifinal berth for the young purple brigade as the runners-up from Group A behind East Bengal U-19.

In a must win game for either side, United SC dominated the proceedings right from the beginning. United SC surged ahead in the very first minute courtesy of a brilliant strike from Azaruddin Mallick and later the lead was increased to 3-0 before half-time through Azaruddin Mallick and Sanjib Bhattacharya.

In the second period United SC looked even brighter with some great passing football, that put the Odisha Academy entirely on the backfoot. Partha Sen's boys were managed to increase their advantage even further to 7-0 through a goal each from Sanjib Bhattacharya, Sheikh Azaruddin, Provat Lakra and Jagannath Orao through a penalty. The scoreline could have been more humiliating for the visiting FAO Academy if the numerous chances were converted by the boys in purple.

The Purple Brigade U-19s will now face the winner of Group B in the semifinal on Tuesday, May 26 at the Barasat Municipal Stadium, which is most likely to be Pune FC Under-19.

I-League: Salgaocar FC trash Bharat FC 5-1 to take relegation battle to the wire!

Darryl Duffy and Douhou Pierre both scored a brace as Salgaocar FC demolished Bharat FC 5-1 in their penultimate game of the I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Sunday.

Salgaocar led 2-0 in the first session with Bikash Jairu also among the goals. Bharat FC's only goal was scored by Kris Bright through a 63rd minute penalty.

The win means Salgaocar FC now have 21 points and will need only a draw against Dempo SC in their concluding league clash to avoid relegation.

Salgaocar FC got a dream start when they opened their account in the third minute itself. The spectators had hardly taken their seats and Bharat FC were hardly settled when Salgaocar struck through Darryl Duffy. A long ball from Zakeer Mundampara was trapped cleanly by Duffy and before Omar Jarun could close him down, the Scottish striker had put the ball beyond the reach of the goalkeeper.

Salgaocar's lead was doubled in the eighth minute, this time through another defensive lapse by Bharat FC. It was Douhou Pierre who carved the opening when he found Bikash Jairu on the left and the young midfielder responded with a brilliant half volley that crashed into the top corner of the net.

Bharat FC were already two down inside the first ten minutes and it looked like it would be a tough task to claw their way back. Steven Dias tested Salgaocar goalkeeper Karanjit Singh with a long ranger and Omar was thwarted just in the nick of time by Salgaocar defender Augustine Fernandes. At the other end, Salgaocar could have made it 3-0 but Bikash took too long to take a shot on goal before he was blocked.

Bharat FC's best chance of the half to pull something back fell at the feet of Kris Bright but Bharat’s foreign striker disappointed with his faulty trap.

In the second session, Duffy made it 3-0 in the 50th minute when he raced to meet a long ball from Zakeer, evaded a challenge from Gouramangi Singh and then chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper. Douhou then got on the scoresheet. In the 59th minute, Douhou stepped up his pace to beat his marker and then finish off with a low grounder that put the match beyond the visitors reach.

Bharat FC pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute when they were awarded a penalty as one of their defender handled the ball inside the box. Kris Bright stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. There was, however, more to come from Salgaocar as Douhou scored his second goal and the team's fifth with a powerful shot that rocked the goalpost and sailed into the net.

(Report & Photo courtesy I-League Media)