No spice in Chile win
Acosta not happy
Tickets cheaper
Panja, Srinath out
Mridul coach for Md. Sp.
Uttar Pradesh retain crown
NSI crush Eastern Rly

Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
If Chile displayed some entertaining football in their last match, they were far from it today. The Latin Americans put up a nonchalant show while overcoming minnows Bahrain 2-0 in a group IV match of the Sahara Cup at Salt Lake Stadium.

Chile scored once in each half, Hector Tapia putting them ahead in the 29th minute followed by the second from his partner upfront — Fernando Martel — in the 81st.

Chile’s fine touches, the wonderful passes had totally deserted them for the day and instead, the minuscule crowd of about 10,000 were witness to a game involving missed chances and bad temper.

It would be wrong to conclude, however, that the game totally lacked style. There were flashes of brilliance shown by Tapia, Martel and Cristian Uribe.

Bahrain’s game was much improved. Playing with one striker, Yusuf Ammer, they got the first chance of the day in the ninth minute. The ball was well controlled by Ammer, which came to him from a free-kick. He shot it goalwards, goalkeeper Marcelo Ramirez could not control but the defenders cleared it before another Bahrain player could reach it.

Martel today stood out among his compatriots. In the 26th minute, when Bahrain were still on the offensive, a rebound came to him. Goalkeeper Rahman Abdullah was out of his line, making desperate attempts to collect the ball, but Martel had different plans. With a wonderful stroke he flicked the ball towards himself and completely puzzled Abdullah, shot at goal and was on target except that Abdulla Mazooqi was there to effect a goalline save.

The first goal was the result of another defensive lapse, added with a superb centre from Martel from the right. Tapia was in place unmarked, with only the goalkeeper to beat. He made no mistake, jumping high in the air and slotting it in with an accurate header.

The favourites started the second half with a lot more urgency. Moises Villarroel, whose absence in the midfield was felt strongly, was introduced in the 66th minute. He was not risked earlier as he was carrying an injury in his right thigh and was replaced today by Rodrigo Melendez.

Chile wrapped up the match in the 81st minute when the ball floated in by Marco Villaseca was headed in the path of Martel by substitute Rodrigo Nunez. Martel took a blinding right-footer which was deflected by the leg of Ghazi Majed and the goalkeeper was wrong-footed and completely deceived.

From then on, the match took an ugly turn. In the dying minutes, players of both teams got involved in a skirmish which perhaps reflected the Chileans’ frustration at not being able to make mincemeat of their less illustrious rivals.


CHILE: Marcelo Ramirez; Cristian Alvarez (Rodrigo Nunez, 33rd), David Henriquez, Alex Von Schwedler, Rafael Olarra; Marco Villaseca, Rodrigo Melendez, Cristian Uribe (Moises Villarroel, 66th), Fransisco Arrue (Sebastian Gonzalez, 69th); Hector Tapia, Fernando Martel.

BAHRAIN: Rahman Abdullah; Basel Sultan Karim, Ali Aamer, Faizal Aziz Mohammed (Rashid Rahman, 45th), Khalid Abdulla, Yusuf Aamer, Abdullah Mazooqi, Arif Razak, Ghazi Majed, Anwar Yousuf (Yousuf Khamees, 83th), Adel Abbas (Salman Isa, 79th).

Referee: P.K. Bose (India).


Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
Chilean coach Nelson Acosta was not happy with his team’s performance against Japan. Today he expressed similar sentiments, after a 2-0 win over Bahrain. “In the first half, I was not satisfied with things on the right, the left, the middle... everywhere,” he said. “In the second, things got much better. Hopefully we’ll improve in the next match.”

Bahrain’s German coach Wolfgang Sidka, with the team since three weeks before the tournament, was a satisfied man. “The game was open for all 90 minutes. We did many things better than last time (a 0-5 loss to Uzbekistan on Friday),” Sidka said. “The first goal was a mistake from our defence once again but the second was unlucky for us. The ball hit our defender’s leg and was deflected,” he added.

About the rough nature of the game, Sidka said the Chileans were in that frame of mind today and therefore his players were fighting back.

Bahrain have, in both games so far, employed just one striker, weakening attacks with no one to support him. Sidka said that was the strategy, as given the resources, he could not afford anything else. He said he has to do with one forward and one attacking midfielder.

Acosta expressed satisfaction at the ground today which, according to him, was a lot drier than during their match under floodlights against Japan. About referee P. K. Bose from India, whose performance could be in question, Acosta made no comment. Ironically, if the referee had been more alert, Chile star Tapia could have seen a red card for retaliation after he was fouled by an opponent.


Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
Probably as a reaction to the lean attendance for the Sahara Cup matches, ticket prices for the two ties at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday have been reduced.

The tickets priced at Rs 25 will now be available for Rs 15 and the ones at Rs 50 for Rs 30. The official version, however, says that the prices have been reduced following those in Kochi.

An AIFF official also announced today that the tickets for the quarter finals will be available from the same branches of the SBI from Thursday. Those for the semi-finals can be bought from Friday.


Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
Wild card entrants Saurav Panja and Prahlad Srinath bowed out of the doubles event at the ITF Futures tournament, which began at the Calcutta South Club today. The Indians squandered a one-set advantage to lose to the Uzbek pair of Anton Kokurin and Abdul-Hamid Makhamov 6-2, 6-7 (3/7), 6-7 (5/7).

RESULTS (seedings in parentheses): Singles (first round): Rik de Voest (SA, 5) bt Anand Radhakrishnan (India) 6-1, 6-2; Donovan September (SA, 8) bt Dimitri Mazur (India) 6-1, 2-6, 6-3. Doubles (first round): Anton Kokurin & Abdul-Hamid Makhamov (both Uzbek) bt Saurav Panja & Prahlad Srinath (both India) 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5); Rohan Bopanna & Vijay Kannan (both India) bt Mustafa Ghouse & Vishal Uppal (both India) 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4; Viktor Bruthans (Slo) & Josef Nesticky (Czech) bt Oliver Freelove & James Nelson (both Britain) 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 6-3; Sulistyo Wibowo & Bonit Wiryawan (both Indonesia) bt Manoj Madhavan & Rishi Sridhar (both India) 6-3, 6-2.

Age-group meet

Top seed Rupesh Roy beat Riju Dutta to reach the quarter finals of the boys’ under-16 event of the Enrico Piperno Tennis Center-organised age-group meet, which began at the Ordnance Club today. Under-14 top seed Arup Mullick made the last eight too, with a win over Mohammed Aqiab.    

Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
Mridul Banerjee, who had coached the Mohammedan Sporting football team for seven months in 1998, is back at the helm there. Banerjee, who had quit after the club’s disappointing outing in the 1998 Bordoloi Trophy in Guwahati, said he was “very excited” about the assignment.

“There is a new enthusiasm in the club, and a desire to really do well,” said Banerjee, whose first assigment will be in the National League second tier, expected to begin in the second week of February. Practice has already begun.


Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
Uttar Pradesh have retained the Vijay Merchant Trophy. With the three-day final against Delhi petering out to a draw at the Eden Gardens today, UP emerged ‘winners’ by virtue of the first innings lead.

Delhi, shot out for 155 on the first day, were 245 for five in their second innings today when stumps were drawn for the last time in the match. Kuldeep Rawat, who had grabbed four wickets as UP totalled 237 yesterday, remained unbeaten on 100 today.

He added 150 for the fourth wicket with Himanshu Mehta, who scored 76. Vishal Francis picked up two wickets.

The landmarks notwithstanding, it was a meaningless joust for the better part of the final day — and there is food for thought there for the BCCI. Surely, the final could be made a four-day affair.

BRIEF SCORES: Delhi 155 & 245 for 5 (Kuldeep Rawat 100, Himanshu Mehta 76; Vishal Francis 2/55). Uttar Pradesh 237. Match drawn.


Calcutta, Jan. 15: 
Netaji Subhas Institute crushed Eastern Railway by six wickets in a CAB senior division league match at the Railway ground in Behala today. Having shot out their opponents for 197 yesterday, Netaji Subhas cruised to the target.

At the Tala Park, Ajoy Das picked up four wickets as Aryan Club dismissed Belgachia United for 179 on the opening day. Aryan had replied with 67 for one.


Eastern Railway 197 (75 overs) (Sanjay Bhattacharya 65, Diptendu Mahato 51, Souvik Mukherjee 35; Nayan Sur 5/25, Debashis Mukherjee 5/73). Netaji Subhas Institute 201 for 4 (65.1 overs) (Aadipta Mukherjee 80, Biswanath Bose 51). Netaji Subhas won by 6 wkts.

Belgachia United 179 (61.4 overs) (Subhadeep Mukherjee 40, Javed Ali 30; Ajoy Das 4/28, Jogendra Yadav 3/50). Aryan Club 67 for 1 (16 overs) (Dipak Singh 29 batting). Match to continue.

Volleyball meet

Top men’s and women’s teams of the state will take part in the knockout volleyball tournament being organised by the Beleghata Balak Brinda Club from Thursday.

While Milan Samity, Calcutta Port Trust, Tollygunge Subhas Sangha, West Bengal Police, Eastern Railway, Naihati AC and Chhatra Samity — the top eight of the WBVA knockout meet — vie for the men’s crown, Eastern Railway, Khurut Dharmatala, Barasat’s Academy of Sports and Kalyan Parishad form the women’s field.

There will also be an event for coaching camps. The finals come on Sunday.


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