Thursday, 31 July 2014

2014 Asian Games: India Under-23 gets 2-2 friendly draw, Sunil Chhetri scores India's goals!

A defiant India Under-23s rode on Captain Sunil Chhetri's second half brace to draw level in a rip roaring practice match against FK Banik Most in Most, Czech Republic on Thursday, July 31.

After a barren first half, India surged ahead almost immediately after the restart with Sunil dribbling past two defenders before rounding off goalkeeper Sila to score. But the hosts leveled two minutes later with their super sub Smok making the most of some shambolic defending at the back.

FK Most took the lead through their captain Conka but some late drama and a spirited fightback by India where they missed some six clear cut chances saw Sunil pulling one back after some great play in the middle and a slick dummy by No 9 Robin Singh.

The India U-23 Team presently preparing for the forthcoming Incheon Asian Games are on an exposure Tour to Czech Republic. The men in blue play third division team TJ Domazlice on Sunday, August 3.

The match started at a good pace with both the teams playing attacking football. It was as early as the third minute when the hosts won a corner which was in the end harmless sailing across the face of goal.

India looked to profit from some good combination play in the middle of the park with newly paired Lalrindika Ralte and Pronay Halder gelling well and Captain Sunil coming down to help work out some good moves.

The match was a seesaw battle as the hosts first tried to get the game by the scruff of the collar with a flurry of attacks but Amrinder was a rock under the bar pulling off a string of wonderful saves.

As the clock neared halftime the affair shifted balance as the visitors pressed the accelerator. The best chance of the half fell to Mandar who after being put through beautifully by Sunil dragged his effort wide from a one on one situation.

It was India who looked the more threatening to take the lead as the half closed with Francis Fernandes and Robin Singh combing menacingly well down the left channel. Robin even had a half chance which he couldn't make the best of. In the middle, Lalrindika was pulling the strings to perfection.

The second half started at a brisk pace like the first with the only exception of goals. Sunil scored within two minutes of the restart dribbling past two defenders and rounding off the keeper to drill home a fine solo effort.

But joy for the men in blue was very short lived as the hosts pegged one back two minutes later with their substitute No 10 striker making the most of some porous defending by the hosts. Spurred by the immediate response the Czech team pushed for another and were rewarded three minutes into the hour mark. Captain Conka made amends for his rashness in the first half with a neat finish from close.

But India refused to give up. Sunil, Lalrindika missed good chances as the hosts sat back and protected their lead. With the match in the dying minutes, their resolute was finally breached as Sunil scored his second. A wonderful move down the middle resulted in Robin dummying expertly for the India captain who prodded home with relative ease from six yards.

INDIA Under-23: Amrinder Singh - Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhinghan (58' Shankar Sampingraj), Joyner Lourenco, Narayan Das - Pronay Halder, Lalrindika Ralte, Francisco Fernandes - Sunil Chhetri, Mandar Rao Desai, Robin Singh

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

VIDEO - XtraTime: Arumainayagam nostalgic on being named Mohun Bagan Ratna!

Mohun Bagan Ratna will be awarded to the clubs former football Arumainayagam. XtraTime spoke to him about his playing days, the club and getting the Mohun Bagan Ratna.

The AFC extends Vietnamese players’ suspension at confederation level!

The Chairman of the AFC Disciplinary Committee has today extended the suspension of nine Vietnamese players from XM Vissai Ninh Binh FC to take effect at confederation level in accordance with sanctions issued by the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF) Disciplinary Committee. This action was undertaken following a request from the VFF pursuant to Article 136 of the AFC Disciplinary Code.

On May 20, 2014, the VFF Disciplinary Committee temporarily suspended nine players from taking part in any kind of football-related activity while the Ninh Binh Office of Investigation (Police) commenced criminal proceedings for violations of the Vietnam Penal Code relating to gambling on football matches. The prosecution is ongoing.

The suspended players, all Vietnamese nationals, are:

Nguyen Manh Dung;
Tran Manh Dung;
Chu Ngoc Anh ;
Le Quang Hung;
Nguyen Xuan Phu;
Phan Anh Tuan;
Nguyen Van Hung;
Le Van Duyet; and
Nguyen Gia Tu.

Each extension decision shall expire on November 20, 2014 or the issuing of a final decision by the VFF Disciplinary Committee, whichever is sooner. The decisions have been duly notified to the VFF today.

VIDEOs: Footage from East Bengal's Pre-Season Training!

Here comes KEBTV footage of East Bengal Club's pre-season training at the red-and-gold's Kolkata Maidan ground under head coach Armando Colaco.

VIDEOs: FC Bayern Munich's first Day in the United States!

Here the News international reports about FC Bayern Munich's first day in New York with footage from the press conference and the first training session on US soil.