Durand Cup gets underway today
Play washed out
Pune Races/ Columbus may bag main event
Pune Races/Endorsement wins

New Delhi, Oct. 27: 
The Allwyn Durand Cup, which kicks off tomorrow with two matches in the pre-quarter phase, promises to be a football fiesta.

Billed as a battle for supremacy between Calcutta and Goa clubs, the 113th edition of the tournament brings together holders Salgaocar, runners-up East Bengal, 15-time champions Mohun Bagan and Goa champions Zee Churchill Brothers. All these teams are seeded to the quarter finals.

Competition for the ‘top four’ is expected to come from Bangladeshi side Muktijoddha and Mumbai league champions Mahindras, who are under Shabbir Ali this season.

East Bengal, the last Calcutta team to win the title in 1995, featured in both the ’98 and ’99 finals — dominating Mahindras and Salgaocar, respectively — only to lose out.

East Bengal have the most compact back-four in the country, spearheaded by right-back Sur Kumar Singh — the find of the season. Deepak Mondal, Jackson Agyapong and Ratan Singh complete the solid quartet.

Dipendu Biswas’ resurrection and Bijen Singh’s good form give East Bengal further strength. The winners of the Calcutta League, IFA Shield and McDowell Cup are obviously the team to beat.

A personal landmark beckons Nayeem. If he can guide East Bengal to the title, he’ll become the first man to coach a team to four Durand crowns. His previous successes were in 1990, 1991 and 1995.

East Bengal are placed in group 2 of the quarter final league with Zee Churchill, five-time champions JCT and Muktijoddha.

Churchill have a well-knit unit with four foreigners — Stephen Abarowei, central defender Osamanu Husseini, goalkeeper Edward Ansah and a new Brazilian import. JCT, boasting four players who toured England this summer, are a tenacious lot. But the fact that they lost to both Calcutta giants in the IFA Shield will be at the back of their minds.

Mohun Bagan, who lost to Salgaocar in the Durand semi-final and the Super Cup last season, will be hungry for revenge when they clash in group 1 of the quarter-final league. The other teams in this group are Mahindra United and a qualifier from the pre-quarter final league phase which begins tomorrow.

Local fans are eager to have their first look at Mohun Bagan’s prolific Brazilian Jose Barreto.

The six teams in the pre-quarter finals have been divided into two groups. Only one of these will advance to the quarter-final league.

Saturday’s matches: TFA vs Army XI; SBT vs Bhutan XI.    

Calcutta, Oct. 27: 
No play was possible as rain played spoilsport on Day I of the Cooch Behar Trophy tie between Bengal and Orissa at the Eden today. The umpires inspected the pitch and outfield before lunch and decided to suspend play. Bengal retained the under-14 squad for the Orissa match.    

Pune, Oct. 27: 
Columbus and La Unique are the main contenders for the Prince Pradeep Trophy in Pune on Saturday, the penultimate meet of the season. However, the former, an Arti Doctor-trainee, holds the home-turf advantage and may triumph in the hands of M. Narredu.


1.45 pm: Inquisition 1. La Tour D’Argent 2. Ancestry 3.
2.15 pm: Sanaga 1. Silver Sea 2. Alflora 3.
2.45 pm: Twist Afleet 1. Sunny Sez 2. Asprilla 3.
3.15 pm: Armanda 1. Days Of Thunder 2. Royal Origine 3.
3.45 pm: Survee’s Pet 1. Traumerei 2. Venus 3.
4.15 pm: Lady Mayoress 1. Way Beyond 2. Papillon 3.
4.45 pm: Columbus 1. La Unique 2. Gay Minstrel 3.
5.15 pm: Royal Standard 1. Ric-Rac 2. Pussy Cat 3.
5.45 pm: Flaming Torch 1. Steve Tyler 2. Jonty’s Pal 3.

Day’s Best: Sanaga

Double: Twist Afleet & Survee’s Pet.

Pune, Oct. 27: 
Ridden by M. Gallagher, the Sunderji-trainee Endorsement won the Deepali Plate in Pune on Friday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Cartier Million Plate 1,600m: (4-3-2) Simply Noble (Prakash) 1; Mariella 2; Realism 3. Won by: 9-1/2; 2-1/4; (1-39.2). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 11; 16; Quinella: 18; Tanala: 50. Fav: Simply Noble (4).

2. Deepali Plate 1,400m: (3-5-1) Endorsement (Gallagher) 1; Consortium 2; Alice Charms 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 1; (1-27.4). Tote: Win Rs 12; Place: 11; 24; Quinella: 29; Tanala: 60. Fav: Endorsement (3).

3. Golden Horn Plate 1,600m: (7-11-3) Queensland (Kharadi) 1; That’s Momentum 2; Loyal Rebel 3. Won by: 8; 2-1/2; (1-42). Tote: Win Rs 58; Place: 20; 22; 17; Quinella: 214; Tanala: 1,487. Fav: Loyal Rebel (3).

4. Subianca Plate, Div-II 1,000m: (2-3-1) Clive Commission (Jodha) 1; Zaka 2; Polish Nobility 3. Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (1-0.6). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 16; 15; 16; Quinella: 75; Tanala: 264. Fav: Clive Commission (2).

5. Subianca Plate, Div-I 1,000m: (1-6-9) Common Spirit (Prakash) 1; Omerta 2; Just Contingency 3. Won by: 1/2; SH; (1-1.4). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 14; 40; 13; Quinella: 162; Tan-ala: 603. Fav: Common Spirit (1).

6. Moondaisy Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (9-4-1) Secretly (M. Narredu) 1; Charging Bullet 2; Kesariya Balam 3. Not run: Rock Sword (2). Won by: 1-1/2; 1-3/4; (1-14). Tote: Win Rs 53; Place: 23; 15; 32; Quinella: 110; Tanala: 2,286. Fav: Charging Bullet (4).

7. Moondaisy Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (11-12-2) Budapest (Sameer) 1; Little Princess 2; Double Barrel 3. Won by: 3; 3/4; (1-13.6). Tote: Win Rs 724; Place: 102; 44; 87; Quinella: 4,860; Tanala: 74,020 (C.o). Fav: Smart Hunter (3).

8. Peacock Throne Plate 1,200m: (14-15-1) Winning Girl (M. Narredu) 1; Tasha Beat 2; Dream Lover 3. Won by: Hd; 1-1/2; (1-12.7). Tote: Win Rs 67; Place: 29; 32; 17; Quinella: 388; Tanala: 2,511. Fav: Dream Lover (1).

9. Agni Plate 1,000m: (15-8-2) Infamous (Rajendra) 1; Yukazon 2; Crystal Girl 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1-1/2; (1-0.4). Tote: Win Rs 41; Place: 14; 32; 30; Quinella: 177; Tanala: 4,852. Fav: Feel The Force (10).

Jackpot: Rs 1,52,820 (Carried over).

Treble: (i) Rs 89; (ii) Rs 369; (iii) Rs 54,940 (Carried over to the second treble on Sunday).

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