Japan amateurs humble Uzbek pros
AIFF remains indifferent as chaos reigns supreme
Need for some quick tips
8-wkt victory for Barisha Sporting
Fazal-Tomashevic in semi-finals
250 to take part
Top seed falls
Calcutta Racing/ City racing from Saturday
Mumbai Racing/ Over The Ocean set to win again
Mumbai Racing/ ‘Star’ triumphs

Calcutta, Jan. 10: 

The Japanese university students displayed sound technical maturity ripping apart an extremely porous Uzbekistan defence to emerge runaway winners in the opening match of the Sahara Cup today.

About 12,000 thronged the Salt Lake Stadium stands and the Japanese youngsters warmed their hearts with some pin-point passing, clever switching of positions and to cap it all, lifted their game several notches in the second half to ruin hopes of any comeback by the Uzbek professionals.

Tall striker Keisuke Ota, having an off-day otherwise, opened scoring in first-half injury time before midfielder Satochi Horinouchi sealed the match towards the end of second session.

The second — coming off an indirect free kick from inside the box — drew flak from the Uzbeks who claimed they should have been awarded the free kick as their goalkeeper was fouled by a Japanese attacker.

The first, however, resulted from some spectacular piece of work by a diminutive Masaki Fukai, clearly the most exciting performer of the day. The short-statured striker, forming an intersting pair along with the towering Ota, tore apart the left side of the Uzbek defence and cut back to unleash a high left-footer which hit the horizontal.

The rebound came to Ota, who used his height well this time to shoot the ball in from an awkward height. He, however, failed to meet any of the crosses meant for him before and after this.

The Uzbeks had managed to keep the Japanese from scoring for almost the entire first half despite being troubled by Fukai’s accleration over the last 10-15 yards, lightning dribbles and sudden change of flanks.

Opting for the rare 4-2-4 format at the outset, Japan made good use of the flanks with the side-backs overlapping and wingers falling back when needed to cover the gaps in the midfield. Uzbek goalkeeper Oleg Kaharov did a good job, plucking out the crosses, and also made a few smart saves in the second half.

Somewhat against the run of play, Uzbekistan created the first good chance of the day. Aleksey Klikunov found the ball just outside the box, on the right, and sent in a delicate pass for Aleksey Zhadonov on the left.

The striker entered the box and cracked a left-footer which was curling away from the ’keeper. However, Toshiyasu Takahara had come forward to narrow the angle and dived to his left to punch it away in exchange for a corner.

There was one more chance for the 1994 Asian Games champions, who are a pale shadow of their former self, which came in the 42nd minute. Following a corner from the left, captain Otabek Prmatov changed feet and let fly a righ-footed volley which took a deflection and went out for another corner.

Japan simply took the steam out of Uzbekistan after the breather and flooded their defence with some extremely fast forays down both flanks. Wings, however, appeared to be their favourite area of operation and there were not too many charges down the middle apart from some incisive runs by Nobumitsu Yamane in the second half.

Left-back Takuya Mikami added bite to the attack in the second half with some speedy overlaps and a stinging left-footer was well blocked by Kaharov. It was one-way traffic throughout the second half but for the goalkeeper, things could have been far more embarrassing for Uzbekistan.


JAPAN: Toshiyasu Takahara; Kobayashi, Tadaaki Hirakawa, Mitsuru Chiyotanda, Takuya Mikami; Satochi Horinouchi, Keiji Yoshimura, Naotake Hanyu (Jun Sakai, 45; Yoshimasa Fujita, 66); Nobumitsu Yamane, Keisuke Ota (Hideki Sekine, 90), Masaki Fukai.

UZBEKISTAN: Oleg Kaharov; Shukhrat Kurbanov, Leonid Koshelev, Asror Alikulov, Evgeniy Zakutilin; Otabek Prmatov, Aleksey Klikunov (Sandjar Askaraliev, 86), Bahadir Annamatov (Alexander Bakalidis, 67), Oybek Usmankhodjaev (Shukhrat Mirkholdirshaev, 67); Aleksey Zhadnov, Yuri Nikitkov.

Referee: S. Saleerajan (Malaysia).


Calcutta, Jan. 10: 
Mindless rescheduling of matches is already wreacking havoc with the Sahara Cup. Added to that has been some surprises like the foreigner-filled Indonesians making the tournament so far the butt of ridicule.

After tales of last-minute pull-outs and rescheduling at the eleventh hour, today surfaced a story of total lack of communication among the All India Football Federation (AIFF) top brass.

While AIFF president released a “proposed revised schedule” this afternoon, saying decisions on Indonesia and Cameroon will be announced tomorrow, its secretary Alberto Colaco announced in Kochi that the former has been disqualified for including foreigners in the team, according to a report from PTI. The team had come here with seven foreigners in its ranks on Monday.

Clarifications were hard to come by, as the AIFF president chose to remain incommunicado, not for the first time.

The ouster of Indonesia puts India’s fixtures under a cloud as the hosts were supposed to launch their campaign against them in Kochi tomorrow.

There was no clarification on the Cameroon issue today, as promised yesterday. A fresh release said that an official complaint has ben lodged with the Fifa for their last-minute withdrawal. The ‘proposed revised schedule’, handed over to newsmen barely an hour before, clearly says that Cameroon’s withdrwal is not confirmed and a final announcement will be made tomorrow.

More changes in Chile schedule

Meanwhile, the confusion over Chile’s first match intensified, as the AIFF deferred the match by two more days. Awaiting baggage from Johannesburg, the South Americans’ first match (against Bahrain) was first postponed to tomorrow. The ‘proposed revised draw’ pitted the Chileans against Japan on Friday and according to a late faxed message, that match has been pushed back to Saturday.

All this has not gone down well with the Bahrain team, who complete group 4 with Chile, Japan and Uzbekistan.

“We were supposed to play Chile today. It was deferred by a few hours before being pushed back by a day and we agreed. Nobody has told us when exactly are we actually going to play now. It’s incredible,” Bahrain’s German coach Wolfgang Sidka told The Telegraph during the Japan-Uzbekistan match.

So what if we can’t teach the Germans a few lessons in soccer, we can at least show them how not to organise it.

The following is the lastest schedule for Calcutta matches:

Jan. 12: Uzbekistan vs Bahrain

Jan. 13: Chile vs Japan.

Jan. 15: Chile vs Bahrain

Jan. 17: Chile vs Uzbekistan; Bahrain vs Japan.


Calcutta, Jan. 10: 
It’s been years since Indian soccer had a real moment of glory. As for the last few days, the image hasn’t improved one bit.

This time, of course, the damage has been caused (ironically) by the custodian of the game in the country — the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

The body, in any case, struggles to host international tournaments — one has even forgotten when the last Nehru Cup, launched amid much fanfare in 1982, was held.

Worse, when it does (for example the Sahara Cup which, all along, was promoted as the Millennium Cup), there is no end to the embarrassment.

The Indonesians arrive with an International selection rather than their national outfit. Then, a bunch of university students turn up in Japanese colours.

That’s not all.

Though the Chileans landed in India late on Monday itself, their baggage is still somewhere between Santiago and Calcutta.

And, so, after one re-schedulement (time-wise) and two (day-specific) postponements, Chile’s opening game will now be on Saturday.

Tomorrow, though, AIFF chief Priya Ranjan Das Munshi may pen his signature to yet another press release pertaining to one more postponement.

In fact, the AIFF would do well to take some lessons, from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, in conducting international tournaments.

The AIFF top brass could also have a session or two with the city-based Jagmohan Dalmiya, whose organisational skills have been the envy of many.

Hopefully, then, the list of embarrassments won’t cover the length of the Hooghly.

Given the current experience, it should come as no surprise if Sahara, to begin with, thinks twice before associating itself with any future AIFF venture.


Calcutta, Jan. 10: 
Barisha Sporting today beat Calcutta Customs by eight wickets on the first of their two-day CAB senior division league match.

Prabir Acharya’s fine spell of six for 26 wrecked Customs, and then Som Kapur’s and Subhas Dixit’s unbeaten 48 and 43, respectively did the trick for Barisha.

East Bengal, with the help of 119 from Srikant Kalyani and 95 from Syed Saba Karim went on to 400 for five before declaring versus Shibpur Institute.


Wari AC 439/9 in 85 ovs (Arijit Bosy 135, Soikat Mukherjee 79; Santosh Roy 4/133, Alok Das 3/91). Match versus Burnpur Cricket Club

Customs 101 (Prabir Acharya 6/26). Barisha Sporting 104/2 (Som Kapur 48 n.o., Subhas Dixit 43 n.o.). Barisha won by 8 wkts.

Mohammedan Sporting 385/5 dec. Off 71 ovs (Md Ariz 110, Khurshid Ahmed Khan 140 n.o., Sandeep Rawat 57). Aikya sammelani 44/1 off 11 overs.

Young Bengal 347/8 (Indrajit Ghatak 105 n.o., Santanu Banerjee 50, S Mitra 41). Match versus City AC.

Sporting Union 192 in 56.4 ovs (Probir Mukherjee 48, Prasanta Sinha 36; Murtaza Lodhgar 7/48). Kalighat 96/1 in 24 ovs (Humza Ferozie 62 batting).

Tapan Memorial 389/5 dec. Off 77 ovs (Somir Ghosh 173 n.o., Ranabir Nath 101, Joydeep Mukherjee 44 n.o.; Utpal Chatterjee 3/108). Kumartuli Inst. 12/0 off 4 ovs.

East Bengal 400/5 dec. in 76 ovs (Syed Saba Karim 95, Srikant kalyani 119, Alokendu Lahiri 49, Goutam Shome 41 n.o.). Shibpur Institute 12/2 off 3.2 overs.

Rajasthan 259. YMCA College 172 (Sk Abbas Ali 61, Samar Basu 36; Gourav Sharma 4/16, Anupam Pal 3/34). Rajasthan won by 87 runs.


Jorhat, Jan. 10: 
Syed Fazaluddin of India and Dmitri Tomashevic of Uzbekistan moved into the doubles semi-finals of the ITF men’s Futures meet today. The duo got the better of India’s Rohan Bopanna and Vijay Kannan 7-6, 6-4.

India’s Sourav Panja and Srinath Prahlad lost 6-7, 3-6 to Britons Oliver Freelove and James Nelson, while S. Wibowo and B. Wiryawan of Indonesia defeated J. Auckland (Britain) and Donovan September 6-1, 6-2.

Rik de Voest (South Africa) and Hendri-Susilo Pramono (Indonesia) were given a walkover by Slovaks Viktor Bruthans and Juraj Hasko, as the former was down with a fever.

It was a day of upsets in singles play, with four seeded players crashing out.

Third seed September went down 1-6, 1-6 to Andreas Fashing of Austria, while No. 5 Freelove lost to Denis Gremelmayr of Germany 6-2, 2-6, 1-6. Fabio Maggi of Italy defeated No. 4 Bruthans 6-0, 6-1.

The last casualty of the day, No. 8 Luke Milligan of Britain, conceded defeat because of a stomach pain to Nelson while leading 6-3, 2-3.

Tomashevic moved into the quarter finals, edging past compatriot Anton Kokurin 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Also moving into the quarters were No. 6 Vincen Allegre of France with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Pramono of Indonesia, Dutchman Fred Hemmes with a 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 victory over Fabrice Betencourt of France and Ivan Cerovic of Croatia, who beat Russian Sergei Krotiouk 6-1, 6-2.


Calcutta, Jan. 10: 
A total of 250 players will take part in the 36th state chess championship to be held at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra from Sunday to January 24.

A release by the West Bengal Chess Association says that the total prize purse for this 11-round meet is Rs 15,000.


Calcutta, Jan. 10: 
Boys’ under-16 top seed L.S. Anantha Bhaskar of Tamil Nadu was shown the door today by eighth seed Rupesh Roy of Bengal in the quarter finals of the AITA-ranking ITA Open juinor tennis championship at SAI Eastern Centre. Roy won 6-0, 6-3.


Boys’ under-16 singles quarter finals: P Vivek Reddy (AP) bt Bharat K Mohan (TN) 6-0, 6-3. Samrat Ghosh (Ben) bt Parikshit Nandy (UP) 6-1, 6-1. Sabyasachi Bose (Ben) bt Nirvick Mohinta (Ben) 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

Girls’ U-16 singles: Priyanka Pareks (Ben) bt Tanya Ahuja (Ben) 6-0, 6-0. S. Punab Reddy (AP) bt D Tejaswini (AP) 6-3, 6-2. Shilpa Dalmia (Del) bt Sanjana Kapur (Del) 6-3, 6-2. Kamalpreet Bhullar (Pun) bt Pooja Mitra (Ben) 6-0, 6-1.


Calcutta, Jan. 10: 
The city racing is set to resume from Saturday. The sport took a beating following syces` refusal to take horses out for the morning exercises. They had also threatened to disrupt today`s live racing compelling the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) stewards to cancel the day`s programme. Syces, however, continued to feed and roll horses in the stables.

The impasse was resolved following police intervention. A tripartite meeting involving Jayonta Das, OC Hastings, syces leaders and trainers helped sort out the matter. Incidentally, Police Commissioner`s Cup takes the top-spot in Saturday`s race card.

Police sources said that the focus was being shifted from stabbing of Alvarada to non issues, thus the intervention in order to maintain peace in the area. Sources, however, made it clear the inquiry pertaining to Alvarada`s stabbing is still not complete and those required for further intrrogations will have to be present at the police station when summoned. Alvarada, a Derby runner, was stabbed on the Derby-eve resulting the filly` withdrawal from the big race.

RCTC`s official circles welcomed the changed stand of syces. ``I`m glad that better sense has prevailed. But co-operation with the police authority in their investigation into the serious matter is a moral obligation of all,`` said Vineet Verma, CEO and secretary RCTC.


Mumbai, Jan. 10: 
A winner of two races from as many starts, the Dallas Todywalla-trained Over The Ocean is set for her third straight victory, at even terms, in the Dashmesh And Hargobind Stud Million in Mumbai on Thursday. Richard Hughes partners the Razeen-Magical Moments filly.


2 pm: That’s Momentum 1. La Tour D’Argent 2. Tamarinda 3.
2.30 pm: Double Impact 1. La Unique 2. Zephyr Bay 3.
3 pm: Laktara 1. Piece Of Art 2. Total Commitment 3.
3.30 pm: Mein Kampf 1. Bound By Honour 2. Fushia 3.
4 pm: Over The Ocean 1. Wild Eagle 2. Antequera 3.
4.30 pm: Running Royal 1. Knoxville 2. Momentous Mover 3.
5 pm: Ocean Breeze 1. Lunar Mist 2. Stars In Her Eyes 3.
5.30 pm: Oh So Quick 1. Feel The Force 2. Star Music 3.

Day’s Best: Running Royal

Double: Mein Kampf & Oh So Quick

Mumbai, Jan. 10: 
The Cooji Katrak-trained San Marino Star scored a ‘neck’ victory over Twist Afleet in the 2,000m Gamble For Love Trophy in Mumbai on Wednesday. N. G. McCullagh partnered the winner.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Sion F. Nessim Plate 1,000m: (6-11-7) Heroic (Kaustubh) 1; Sabara 2; Charging Bullet 3. Won by: 6-1/2; SH; (1-2.9). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 24; 35; Quinella: 92; Tanala: 769. Fav: Heroic (6). (Note: There was a stewards’ inquiry in this race).

2. Gamble For Love Trophy 2,000m: (2-4-1) San Marino Star (McCullagh) 1; Twist Afleet 2; Sunny Sez 3. Won by: Nk; 1-1/4; (2-10.1). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 13; 21; Quinella: 54; Tanala: 479. Fav: San Marino Star (2).

3. Treasure Hunt Plate 1,200m: (3-5-2) Beau Wonder (Hughes) 1; Overtures 2; Sanquirico 3. Won by: Nk; 6-1/2; (1-16.3). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 10; 12; 89; Quinella: 21; Tanala: 803. Fav: Beau Wonder (3).

4. Resolute Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (2-4-5) Minneapolis (Bhati) 1; Begonia 2; Countach 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 1/2; (1-15.8). Tote: Win Rs 75; Place: 23; 30; 35; Quinella: 562; Tanala: 5,907. Fav: Special Crown (6).

5. Resolute Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (1-8-3) Azurica (Prakash) 1; Tagamet 2; Teaser 3. Won by: 3/4; Nk; (1-15.9). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 18; 16; 24; Quinella: 66; Tanala: 821. Fav: Tagamet (8).

6. Durista Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (6-9-13) Win A Million (Gallagher) 1; Rustling Leaves 2; Blushing Brave 3. Won by: SH; SH; (1-31.4). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 14; 41; 106; Quinella: 478; Tanala: 25,447. Fav: Rashomon (2).

7. Implacable Plate 1,600m: (4-10-1) Bound Unbound (Belose) 1; Soviet Run 2; Venus 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 2-1/4; (1-41.4). Tote: Win Rs 167; Place: 46; 15; 21; Quinella: 134; Tanala: 1,828. Fav: Soviet Run (10).

8. Durista Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (2-6-3) True Thriller (Gallagher) 1; Touch Of Elegance 2; Seventh Fleet 3. Won by: 1-3/4; 1; (1-28.5). Tote: Win Rs 14; Place: 13; 27; 23; Quinella: 64; Tanala: 259. Fav: True Thriller (2).

9. Loyal Lady Plate 1,400m: (1-4-13) Amazing Dream (Prakash) 1; Survee’s Pet 2; Aylesfield 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 2-1/2; (1-27.9). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 13; 20; 24; Quinella: 57; Tanala: 321. Fav: Amazing Dream (1).

Jackpot: Rs 8,341; (C) Rs 1,854.

Treble: (i) Rs 204; (ii) Rs 2,636; (iii) Rs 507.

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