EB beat Tolly to 2nd spot
Ghavri quits as Bengal coach
Bhaichung unlikely for Afro-Asian Games
Pune Races/ Pleasures bags Gold Trophy
Calcutta Races/ Six events in Wednesday card

Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
East Bengal 1

Suley Musah marked his return to the Maidan with a goal which turned out to be the only one in today’s Super Division match between East Bengal and Tollygunge Agragami.

The 23rd minute strike helped East Bengal take second spot with 20 points after the completion of the first phase. Mohun Bagan finished way ahead with 27 and Tollygunge (19) were third. Bhratri Sangha (18) and Calcutta Port Trust (15) had booked the remaining Super Five slots earlier.

The goal and a few chances apart, there was not much to take home for the die-hard East Bengal fans who gave the coach and players a piece of their mind after the match. Things could have turned worse, had Tollygunge been able to convert any of the chances they got in the dying minutes. Even for Tollygunge, things were unsavoury on the coach’s front as Amal Dutta stuck to his guns and stayed away from the match. He feels insecure at the East Bengal ground, he had said yesterday. It wasn’t received well by club officials who said a meeting will be called to discuss the issue.

Coming back to football, the all-important goal came when Soumitra Chakraborty floated a measured cross from the left which found Musah near the far post. The burly medio-cum-defender shielded his marker and buried a strong header into the net.

The home team could have increased the margin, but Tushar Rakshit in the 30th minute and Musah in the 65th, failed to beat the ‘keeper Sandip Nandy from close range.

Tollygunge couldn’t do much in the first half but came back in the second with Sashthi Duley leading the way. The energetic medio tested the East Bengal rearguard with his speedy runs, body faints and dangerous passes.

One of his free-kicks found Akeem Abolanle between goalkeeper Hemanta Dora and stopper-back Jackson Egygpong but the Nigerian couldn’t take a shot. Another free-kick, in the 85th minute, saw Dora barely getting his fingertips to the ball and a rasping drive by Sandip Das off the rebound narrowly missed the mark.


EAST BENGAL: Hemanta Dora; Falguni Dutta, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal, Ratan Singh; Chandan Das, Suley Musah, Soumitra Chakraborty (Jiten Rai, 35), Tushar Rakshit (Swaroop Chatterjee, 56); Omolaja Olalekan (Dipendu Biswas, 77), Bijen Singh.

TOLLYGUNGE AGRAGAMI: Sandip Nandy; Reazul Mustafa, Debkumar Sashmal, Partha Sarathi De, Biswanath Mondal, 45), Amitava Chanda; Mehtab Hossain (Prahlad Rawat, 76), Sandip Das, Khemtang Paite, Sashthi Duley; Moses Owira (Nazimul Haq, 45), Akeem Abolanle.

Referee: Biswajit Bera.

Barreto out with two bookings

Mohun Bagan will look to seal their first Super Division title in four years with the Super Five championship leg beginning tomorrow. Bhratri Sangha are their rivals. Mohun Bagan can afford to drop four points in four matches and still win the title, as all they need is to maintain a three-point difference with the second-placed team. East Bengal, their closest rivals, are seven points adrift.

However, Mohun Bagan have a problem. Jose Ramirez Barreto, the fulcrum of their strength, is out with two bookings. This means Basudeb Mondal, R.P. Singh and Abdulateef Seriki will get a chance to prove their mettle even without the Brazilian. Rishi Kapoor, Hussain Mustafi and Sumit Sengupta are unavailable with injuries but Rennedy Singh may return.

Bhratri, on the other hand, have entered a crucial part of their campaign. They have to finish fourth — if Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Tollygunge keep the first three spots — to qualify for the National League second division. They are severely handicapped with double bookings to strikers Christian Okolonko and Abdul Khalique. However, they can draw courage from the fact that they scored first before losing 1-2 to Mohun Bagan in their previous meeting.


Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
Bengal’s first outstation coach, Karsan Ghavri, has quit the job to spend times with his ailing mother in Mumbai. He has already tendered his resignation, though the CAB wants to speak to him once more.

“We will speak to him tomorrow. He wants two-three months’ leave, which is not possible at this juncture. If he can’t continue we will look for somebody else,” CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya said today.

The former India allrounder, however, said from Mumbai he has informed CAB about his non-availability. “I can’t be there for the entire season and this is not the ideal way of coaching a team. I sent my resignation about a week back,” he said.

Ghavri, who took charge in July, said he is the only male member in the family and had to take care of his 72-year-old mother who has to regularly go for check-ups.

“According to the situation, I have to come here frequently which clashes with my mode of working as coach. There is no other alternative,” said the southpaw.

He returned to Mumbai in early August when his mother fell ill but went to Chennai where Bengal reached the final of the Buchi Babu Trophy. He left for Mumbai soon after that and decided to discontinue his service. The Bengal team, currently in Hyderabad for the Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup, is without a coach.

Ghavri, however, insisted that there was no other difficulty, neither with his contract with CAB, nor with his methods of coaching. “They need somebody for the entire season, something I can’t do at the moment,” he maintained.

Ghavri said he would consider coming to Bengal later, situation permitting, and spoke highly of Sourashish Lahiri, Sanjib Sanyal and Amitava Chakraborty.

Asgar’s team wins Pro-Am in Chennai

Asgar Ali’s team won the Pro-Am title in the TNGF Open at Chennai today. According to information received here, Asgar’s team of A. Pratap, R. Santoshan and Balaganeshan tallied 120 stableford points.

Gaurav Ghei’s team of R. Jai Shankar, G. Singh and N. Vishwanath tallied 118 points. Vinod Kumar’s team of G. Mukesh, Sunil Agrawal and A. L. Kasi came third.


Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
Just when it seemed Bhaichung Bhutia is cementing his place with Bury FC, the Indian skipper has been hit by misfortune. A knock on the right knee in a second division league match against Queen’s Park Rovers on August 18 sidelined him for the next two games.

The striker returned for the August 27 game against Swindon Town but continued to feel the pain, which forced him to undergo surgery yesterday (as reported briefly in Sunday’s City edition).

It prolongs his absence in the English second division league and also makes him uncertain for the Afro-Asian Games to be held in Delhi from November 3-11. He avoided committing himself on this but indicated it will be difficult.

“I’ll be out for 4-5 weeks but am yet to speak to the club officials about being released in November, but it looks difficult,” Bhutia told The Telegraph over telephone yesterday. Latest information from the club also suggested they are yet to take a decision.

The Sikkimese marksman informed he would ask club officials for a short leave to come to India during this lay-off.

Bhutia had earlier said the surgery wouldn’t be required but a check-up on Friday forced him to change his mind. “Yes, I thought I would be able to pull it through but the pain wasn’t going.” The surgery was done by the club’s orthopaedic surgeon and lasted 45 minutes.

It was the second surgery in Bhutia’s playing career following a right cartilage operation in Delhi in 1997.

Bhutia, yet to score in the league this season, has been praised by coach Andy Preece.

The club, however, has lost four of the five games so far and won one. They have scored just three goals and conceded ten. Their next match is against Wrexham Tuesday.


Pune, Sept. 9: 
Trained by Bezan Chenoy and ridden by P. Kamlesh, Pleasures bagged the Southern Command Gold Trophy at the Pune races held on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Red Success Plate 1,200m: (1-8-3) Natural Grace (Gallagher) 1; Quick Decision 2; Teaser 3. Not run: Champion Reef (2). Won by: 1; 2-1/2; (1-12.6). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 25; 14; Quinella: 81; Tanala: 247. Fav: Natural Grace (1). (Note: There was a stewards’ inquiry into the running of the race).

2. Extnor Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (1-2-5) Asprilla (Rupesh) 1; Right Arrow 2; Capri Classic 3. Not run: Rustling Leaves (9). Won by: 1-3/4; 2-3/4; (1-27.9). Tote: Win Rs 45; Place: 24; 14; 44; Quinella: 64; Tanala: 1,426. Fav: Right Arrow (2). (Note: The winner survived objection lodged by the rider of second placed horse).

3. Extnor Plate, Div-I 1,400m; (3-8-1) Special Selection (Shaikh) 1; Jodhpur Lad 2; Round Trip 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 4-1/4; (1-26.5). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 18; 18; 30; Quinella: 86; Tanala: 882. Fav: Special Selection (3).

4. El Bravo Plate 1,800m: (9-8-4) Castle Grey (Rajinder) 1; Thunderlite 2; Eminent Leader 3. Won by: 3/4; SH; (1-53). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 18; 19; 20; Quinella: 55; Tanala: 290. Fav: Castle Grey (9).

5. Justice S. R. Tendolkar Trophy 1,100m: (3-4-7) Fleurissimo (Rajendra) 1; Maratha Princess 2; Dendrobium 3. Won by: 1; 2-1/2; (1-6.7). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 10; 18; 45; Quinella: 30; Tanala: 358. Fav: Fleurissimo (3).

6. Southern Command Gold Trophy 1,600m: (8-3-7) Pleasures (Kamlesh) 1; Arrakis 2; Top Mover 3. Won by: 1/2; 1-3/4; (1-37.6 record). Tote: Win Rs 59; Place: 19; 19; 32; Quinella: 187; Tanala: 4,197. Fav: The Proletarian (5).

7. Glasnost Plate 1,100m; (3-1-6) Valencia (Rajendra) 1; Sakshi 2; Opener 3. Won by: 1/2; 2-3/4; (1-7.9). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 15; 16; 20; Quinella: 39; Tanala: 163. Fav: Valencia (3).

8. Darcy Dancer Plate 2,000m: (10-5-2) Loving You (Aadesh) 1; Powell Power 2; The Gladiator 3. Not run: Aurelia (3). Won by: 2-3/4; 9-1/2; (2-8). Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 17; 17; 37; Quienlla: 99; Tanala: 1,677. Fav: Powell Power (5).

Jackpot: Rs 778; (C) Rs 130.

Treble: (i) Rs 309; (ii) Rs 430.


Calcutta, Sept. 9: 
There are six events in Wednesday’s race-card. First race starts at 1.40 pm.


1. Orange William Cup 1,200m (Terms, 4-y-o & over) 1.40 pm: Alys-sum 60; Clarice Cliff 58; Merano 58.

2. Heiress Handicap 1,000m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 2.20 pm: Secret Adversary 60.5; Finders Keepers 56; Calculus 54.5; Remember Me 53.5; Aberdan 51.5.

3. Bright Hanovar Handicap 1,100m (Cl IV; Cl V eligible; 3-y-o only, Rt. 00-50) 2.50 pm: Actuate 60; Impressive Prince 60; Acklins 53; Maltayar 51.5; Grecian Prince 48.

4. Pussy Galore Handicap 1,800m (Cl IV; Cl V eligible Rt. 00-50) 3.20 pm: Ascoril 60; Scavenger’s Son 54.5; Rscue Act 51.5; Nearco Prince 50.5.

5. Mamma’s Mink Cup 1,400m (Cl II, Rt. 66-94) 3.55 pm: Highland Flame 61; Gallant Romeo 54; Gra-Lemor 54; Own Legacy 54; Soviet Port 53.5; Arctic Fancy 53; Sanctified Star 53; Added Asset 51.5; Staffordshire 51; Fairy Prince 50.5; Ashbury 50; Ispahan 50; Midas Touch 50; Pearl Dragon 47.

6. Noble Fairy Handicap 1,000m (Cl III, 5-y-o & over Rt. 44-72) 4.30 pm: Winning Hand 61; Crimson King 58.5; Auctioneer 58; Tajik 54; Addab 53.5; Classic Pursuit 52.5; Mr. Bombshell 52.5; Red Cordon 50; Simply Dashing 48.

Jackpot: 2; 3; 4; 5 & 6.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 4; 5 & 6.


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