Bosnia break Chile, finally
Japan face toughest test today
Third-place match scrapped
Jeev finishes 13th
Laltu Chatterjee is sole leader
Mumbai Racing/ Placid may win Rajpipla Trophy
Race Review/ ‘Smaller’ owners no more shy

 
 
BOSNIA BREAK CHILE, FINALLY 
 
 
BY ATREYO MUKHOPADHYAY
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22: 
BOSNIA 1 CHILE 0

Those braving the early-evening chill at the Salt Lake Stadium were in for a surprise as hot-favourites Chile lost 0-1 to unknown Bosnia in the Sahara Cup semi-final today.

It is too early to say whether the sparse crowd witnessed the birth of a footballing nation but the Bosnians produced a splendid show, so akin to the kind of football made famous by the country they were part of till 1995.

Displaying the kind of touch which earned Yugoslavia the sobriquet ‘Brazil of Europe’, their offshoots repeatedly waltzed and swayed past the Chilean defence in the early part of the match which was indication enough of the shape of things to come.

Chile weathered the early onslaught and stabilsed things somewhat midway into the first half but paid the penalty for relying too much on high balls. The tall Bosnian defenders and a towering Adnan Guso, manning the goal, were too good to defuse the ‘air-raids’. Strangely, Chile didn’t change their ploy and failed to create even one genuine chance.

Bosnia started the second half with fresh vigour and despite a couple of good saves by the maverick Marcelo Ramirez, a goal looked imminent. It came in the 75th minute from Dzelaudin Muharemovic, following another move characterised by quick passing and moving up enough men in the attacking third. Their rivals never realised where and when they came from.

Following Mirsad Beslija’s pass down the right, Almedin Hota sent in a low cross inside the box and the Chile defence was beaten by a dummy sold by Milan Ozren. Unnoticed, Muharemovic had moved inside the box and took a first-time left-footer with the outside of the boot which found shelter in the far corner of the net.

It shook up Chile and they did get a chance to hit back but substitute Marco Olea failed to get the tip of his boot to a lob from Rafael Olarra. It was their best chance of what turned out to be not their day.

Fielding Cristian Alvarez and Andres Oroz in place of the suspended Marco Villaseca and Cristian Uribe, Chile’s midfield crumbled in the face of a remarkable onslaught. Bosnia, dishing out an exquisite brand of one-touch football, invaded the rival half with as many as eight men and ripped open the Chile defence by playing plenty of passes at very high speed.

Weaving a web of such passes and shrewdly interchanging positions, Bosnia created the first real chance in the 11th minute when Ozren slipped one inside the box for Hota from the right. Mirsad Beslija had just to get a fair amount of boot on Hota’s prompt back-heel but Chile breathed a huge sigh of relief as the medio in hurry failed to make contact.

Chile managed to put things in order midway into the first half and reached the rival box a few times but their amazing co-ordination displayed in the quarter final was missing. The final pass never found the men in the right place.

Hector Tapia was heavily guarded but did fool his marker once with a classy right-footed stroke which found an unmarked Sebastian Gonzalez just inside the box. Gonzalez, somehow, tried to beat the monumental Guso in the air only to see the goalkeeper collect his shot with utmost ease.

Guso did make good use of his height but his gathering was not flawless and he was lucky to see a corner, he missed in the first half, drop in no-man’s land. He let one more slip out of his grip in the 61st minute but Fernando Martel was late to react after Tapia had tried to curl it past the ’keeper with a right-footed in-swinger.

Those were the odd chances Chile forced but Bosnia appeared the better side, displaying disciplined defensive organisation, an extremely mobile mid-field, innovative in attack and, more importantly, the urge to go out and prove a point. They will have a big one to prove if they meet Yugoslavia in the final.

TEAMS

BOSNIA: Adnan Guso; Sasa Papac, Munever Rizuic, Dalibur Nedic; Zehrudin Kanazovic, Milan Ozren (Sewad Zeric, 77), Admir Adzem, Sead Seferovic, Mirsad Beslija (Nihad Sadibasic, 81); Almedin Hota, Dzelaudin Muharemovic.

CHILE: Marcelo Ramirez; David Henriquez, Alex Von Schwedler, Rafael Olarra, Cristian Alvarez; Moises Villarroel, Rodrigo Melendez, Andres Oroz, Fernando Martel (Marco Olea, 75); Hector Tapia (Farncisco Arrue, 68), Sebastian Gonzalez.

Referee: Rungkly Mangkol (Thailand).

   

 
 
JAPAN FACE TOUGHEST TEST TODAY 
 
 
BY ARUP CHATTERJEE
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22: 
The war is over, but now there is the scent of another battle.

With Bosnia knocking Chile out of the Sahara Cup this evening, Yugoslavia look to be heading for the second showdown of the tournament with the Balkan neighbours. They will, of course, have to first contend with a bunch of Japanese students spoiling for a fight.

The youngsters, here as part of a preparation for the world university meet, have surpassed even their own expectations — and they’ll do everything to see that the party doesn’t end tomorrow. Their game has been an eloquent advertisement of Asia’s most powerful soccer culture. Their problem is that they are now up against one of the oldest and best soccer cultures of the world.

The Yugoslavian team doing duty here is hardly the first team — you can’t get it that easily when 20-25 of your players are ‘exports’ to the top leagues in Europe and beyond — but it has enough firepower to be considered a hot title-contender.

Forget being the second, third or any other team. When you are a nation steeped in a soccer tradition, and ranked as high as No. 9 on the Fifa ranking list, a tag spelling ‘class’ comes as a perk — always.

Big and strong, the Yugoslavians are a skillful lot as well, their short-passing game of high speed and accuracy having earned the nickname of ‘Brazilians of Europe’. And, perhaps more importantly, they come with a knowledge of tactical nuances that only such soccer powers can boast of.

The students from Japan face their most severe test of the tournament tomorrow.

If yesterday’s match, when they decimated Jordan 4-0, is an indication, the Japanese will rely more and more on tactical ploys as the going gets tougher. While their players have shown that they are technically and tactically adept, they will have to contend with a side that will be able to ‘read’ them better and quicker.

The Japanese may, thus, have to show more flexibility in tactics — an ability to slip smoothly into Plan B or Plan C when confronted by a fitting reply from the Yugoslavians.

It will be interesting to see how the Japanese overcome the disadvantage of facing opponents who are bigger and stronger than them. Whatever the outcome, a disciplined display from the Japanese youngsters looks likely.

The Japanese bag of tactics will, no doubt, have to be complemented by enterprise on the pitch. Speed and stamina, and an ability to fight hard throughout the match, have been their forte, and they will have to rely on these again while they look for the chinks in the Yugoslav game.

The Yugoslavians, like most European teams, depend a great deal on organisation in defence, but the Japanese will have to be alert to the lightening counter-attacks that involve hard running at the same time by a number of players who weave a tapestry of passes that will leave most defences in disarray.

The Yougolavs will, however, miss the dangerous runs down the flank by right-back Milivoje Cirkovic, who is out with a crack on the right heel.

Japan too will be missing a key man. Keisuke Ota, the towering striker, will have to sit out after being booked a second time. Sekine, who has been coming on as a substitute so far, may well get to start if the Japanese think-tank want a tall target in the 4-5-1 system they are planning to employ. It will in that case be interesting to find out how they plan to use Masaki Fukai. The diminutive forward, who has been the potent weapon in their ranks, was rested yesterday.

TEAMS

JAPAN (from): Takahara; Kobayashi, Chiyotanda, Horinouchi, Hirakawa, Mikami, Hanyu, Fujita, Yamane, Fukai, Sugiyama, Fujikura, Iwamasa, Sakai, Yoshimura, Sekine, Saito, Suzuki, Sakamoto.

YUGOSLAVIA (from): Zarko Lucic; Ivan Ilic, Vuk Rasovic, Jovan Tanasijevic, Dusan Petkovic, Dragoljub Jeremic, Sasa Ilic, Igor Duljaj, Boris Vaskovic, Dejan Radenovic, Goran Trobok, Milos Kruscic, Milan Belic, Vladan Kostic, Petar Divic, Igor Bogdanovic, Dejan Osmanovic, Vladimir Ivic

   

 
 
THIRD-PLACE MATCH SCRAPPED 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22: 
The AIFF today announced there will be no match for third place in the Sahara Cup. The idea, it said, is to save money as the meet has not exactly been a money-spinner.

This means Chile will not play the losers of Japan and Yugoslavia before the final Wednesday.

AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said the finalists will get their prize money Wednesday but the losing finalists will have to wait. A decision is expected tomorrow. The third-placed team was supposed to get $ 50,000 with the team coming fourth bagging half the amount.

This is unlikely to please the Chileans, who have said they will follow the pre-tournament contract and be there at the ground for the third-fourth place play-off.

   

 
 
JEEV FINISHES 13TH 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22: 
India’s Jeev Milkha Singh began the 2001 season of the European PGA Tour in style by finishing tied for the 13th place in the season-opening £ 500,000 Alfred Dunhill Championship, which concluded at the Houghton Golf Club course in Johannesburg Sunday, according to reports reaching here.

The 29-year-old pro aggregated 13-under 275 for the 72 holes after shooting a final round of two-under 70.

The finish was worth £7,433 which puts him right on track to achieve his first objective — to make £65,000 from 12 starts to convert his medical exemption into a full exemption.

Jeev, who is sponsored by India.com and Hero Honda Motors, could not compete the entire 2000 season of the European PGA Tour. He was laid off by a wrist injury in March last year which forced him to miss almost seven months of active golf.

The tournament turned out to be a fight between two 20-year-olds, with Australian Adam Scott coming up trumps by making a birdie on the final hole to ward off the challenge of England’s Justin Rose. Both shot three-under 69 on the final day, but Scott, who is trained by Tiger Woods’ coach Butch Harmon, finished with 21-under aggregate for the winner’s cheque of £ 79,000.

On the final day, Jeev started with a birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then added two more within four holes with back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth.

SCORES (after 72 holes): 267 — Adam Scott (Aus) 67,66,65,69; 268 — Justin Rose (Eng) 66,67,66,69: 269 — Nick Faldo (Eng) 68,65,68,68; Dean Robertson (Sco) 62,70,67,70; 270 — Anthony Wall (Eng) 69,64,70,67; 271 — Malcolm Mackanzie (Eng) 68,68,67,68; 272 — Retief Goosen (RSA) 73,68,67,64, Brian Davis (Eng) 69,70,69,64; 273 — Sven Struver (Ger) 71,70,69,63; 274 — Michael Kirk (RSA) 68,66,69,71, Greg Owen (Eng) 66,70,69,69, Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 69,64,70,71; 275 — Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 70,66,69,70, Steve Webster (Eng) 66,70,72,67, Bradley Dredge (Wal) 67,68,68,72.

   

 
 
LALTU CHATTERJEE IS SOLE LEADER 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22: 
Laltu Chatterjee is the sole leader after the ninth round of the 36th state chess championship. While Laltu has eight points, the second-placed group — Roktim Bandopadhyay, Tamal Chakraborty, Ayan Lahiri and Debabrata Das — are a point behind him.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal Chess Association will felicitate International Master Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Asian under-12 girls’ champion Saheli Nath at the prize distribution function on Wednesday.

Sub-jr national netball

Uttar Pradesh boys beat Orissa 27-26 in a see-saw battle today to set up a title-clash with Madhya Pradesh in the sixth sub-junior national netball championships at Howrah. MP beat Rajasthan in the other match. In the girls’ section, Delhi will meet Orissa in the final.

RESULTS, boys’ semis: MP bt Rajasthan 26-23; UP bt Orissa 27-26. Girls’ semis: Delhi bt AP 25-21; Orissa bt UP 26-24.

CAB league

Sanjiv Goel hammed 113 as Mohun Bagan made 307 for seven in a CAB league match against Taltala, who had replied with 13 for two.

BRIEF SCORES: Mohun Bagan 307 for 7 (Sanjiv Goel 113). Taltala 13 for 2. Match to continue.

Bengal win six golds

Bengal archers won 19 medals, including six golds, in the sub-junior and junior national meet, held in Patiala last month, according to a WBAA release. Nabanita Ghatak and Gopal Sabar struck gold in sub-junior girls (Fita round) and junior boys (Indian round) sections, respectively

.    

 
 
MUMBAI RACING/ PLACID MAY WIN RAJPIPLA TROPHY 
 
 
BY HONKY DORY
 
Mumbai, Jan. 22: 
Although running after a long lay-off, the Cooji Katrak-trained mare Placid is fancied to win the 1,600m Rajpipla Trophy, in the hands of Pesi Shroff, at the Mumbai races on Tuesday.

SELECTIONS

1.30 pm: Flamebird 1. Running Royal 2. Furiously 3.
2 pm: Placid 1. Pleasures 2.
2.30 pm: Fleurissimo 1. Aureus 2. Purple Patch 3.
3 pm: Dhama Dham 1. Seventh Fleet 2. Val Rouge 3.
3.30 pm: Ever So Loyal 1. Essess-pemess 2. Code Of Courage 3.
4 pm: Wings Of Fire 1. Osprey 2. Cozumel 3.
4.30 pm: Winnington 1. Lunar Mist 2. Northern Supreme 3.
5 pm: Rustling Leaves 1. Henki 2. Uprising 3.
5.30 pm: Runaway Queen 1. Rigged For Revenge 2. Astaire 3.

Day’s Best: Flamebird

Double: Placid & Ever So Loyal
   

 
 
RACE REVIEW/ ‘SMALLER’ OWNERS NO MORE SHY 
 
 
BY STAR RACER
 
Calcutta, Jan. 22: 
Fields are getting crowded, though the season has crossed the half-way stage. The January 20 fixture saw four of the seven events packed with a dozen or more hopefuls. Surprisingly, in three of such races, colours of the two influential owners of the centre — gold-brown-belt and gold-red-belt — had only a token interest. The events were targetted by minor horse-owners. With this section of owners taking more interest in the local fare, it does make one to believe that the city racing is beginning to gain some of the lost ground.

The low key interest of the ‘gold-brigade’ in these races fetched high premium for the likes of Jaiswals, Karkis and Khans. In any case they are never known to be short of courage needed to confront such heavyweights.

Tarak Nath Jaiswal’s ward, Consul’s Secret, had lost a close race in his last week’s start when quietly fancied to win a 1,100m race. The eight-year-old, neverhteless, repaid losses and at decent odds of 2-1 in the 1,400m King’s Counsel Handicap. He won comfortably in the hands of Mark Reuben who rode a waiting race to perfection.

The seven-horse field of the 1,200m HSBC Cup, the feature, did not get lost in the crowded race cards. However, it had its own story to tell as favourites with big reputation were made to bite the dust by Starry Flag, the most neglected and oldest horse in the field.

The highest rated horse of last season had won his last start in an equally facile manner. The six-year-old repeated his winning effort in an identical manner — ridden off the pace — in the hands of Manohar Singh. The victory of the Flag is bound to boost the waning interest his owner M. Ariff who has always maintained a small but meanigful string.

Annalee was one of the two hot-favourites to oblige. The other one being Andrada. In Annalee’s case, the Gold Discovery-Precocity filly ran into traffic problems nearing in the last furlong but the four-in-a-row winner displayed great courage coming out of it and yet score comfortably. It is another matter that jockey Cristopher Alford was congratulated for heroics of the filly. Gold Buck ran to the handicapper’s cause, though the Mumbai-migrant looked like pulling it off when Cristopher was in all sorts of trouble. The low rating alloted by the RCTC handicapper to the five-year-old has raked off a controversy.

Andrada displayed her speed and walked away with the Ramkirpal Plate for Cristopher. Aherlow, who chased the winner most of the way may soon find herself in winner’s enclosure.

In the Azhar Cup, a totally neglected American triumphed to the delight of student of handicaps. The Dipak Karki-trained six-year-old had an easy measure of Cool Quest and Master Bold the two horses in the betting.

Javed Khan’s Staffordshire outsprinted a heavily fancied Added Asset in the Right Ahead Handicap. The run of the favourite is best ignored.

   
 

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