Palmeiras rally to enter final
East Bengal confident, Bagan under pressure
Fisticuffs follow Brazilians’ win
Badminton meet from Tuesday
Ahmed new Md. Sp. secy
Nagaland Police upset
Dalmiya to meet selectors
Pune Racing/ Moment of Truth may strike
Mysore Racing/ Elusive Hero bags Gold Trophy

Calcutta, Oct. 5: 
Palmeiras 2
Muktijoddha 1

Palmeiras of Brazil are in the final of the IFA Shield. At the Howrah Municipal Stadium this afternoon, Muktijoddha of Bangladesh went ahead by a 13th minute goal, failed to keep the lead, and conceded defeat in the second half, before launching themselves in a bout of rather unprovoked fisticuffs with the Brazilians, not earning too many friends in the process.

The start was promising for the Bangladesh team, with the left flank being used well and the foreign inputs in Emeka Achilefu and Uzbek Nazarov Yorkin helping in the attacks. In defence, Abdullah Saliu was standing solid, though a trifle rough.

Those were the initial moments of the Palmeiras probes, and they were taken in a bit, maybe, by the attacking spirit of the Bangladeshis. That was when they went into the red, too, with Tushar relaying high a flag-kick from the right to the goalmouth. Emeka was in the box and quickly headed in.

Exchanges were somewhat equal in the first half, but it seemed Palmeiras were settling down to business. Hilton Mauro Moreira ‘Tom’ was as active in finding those loopholes, and Reinaldo de Souza was a great helping hand.

In the 43rd minute Gustavo Esteves floated one to the goalmouth and an overlapping Marcao headed in the equaliser with ease. The Bangladeshi goalkeeper, Aminul Haque, usually a composed self, did not find time to react.

The second half too started on a bright note for Muktijoddha. They were using long balls and often denying the Brazilians from getting into their deft passing play. But there were defensive lapses on either side (one in the earlier session that let in the Muktijoddha goal) and the ever opportunist in Tom was taking advantage.

Four minutes into the second session, Tom snapped a ball off a mispass in the rival defence zone and took aim. The angle was acute, and the goalkeeper had also come ahead to reduce the space, but Tom’s shot was a trifle hurried and Haque dived to send the ball back into play.

Tom was getting dangerous. Two minutes later, he was again at the goalmouth, smoothly chesting down a pass for Reinaldo but the latter failed to get into the groove.

Muktijoddha were trying to use their left flank through an overlapping Motiur Rehman and through Ariful Kabir Farhad, but mispasses saw the ball often go the Brazilian way.

As time passed, the Brazilian pressure increased and it was probably more due to the Bangladeshis falling into their defence zone than any special effort by the Brazilians.

In the 61st minute, Andre Fabiao Viapiana ‘Chu’ trapped one near the half line. With a posse of challengers at his heels, he managed to get out and avoid four defenders before entering the box. That was when he lost touch with his goal and shot out. The great solo effort was wasted.

The match was getting scrappy, and physical. Bookings were the order of the day and added to that was the poor supervision by referee Subrata Sarkar. The official, recently nominated to the Fifa panel, was rarely near the action and when he did get near, looked too lenient.

Muktijoddha defender Saliu, for example, thought nothing about getting physical with any attacker, but received just a booking.

Following more Brazilian misses and with the match drawing towards extra time and penalties (something the Bangladeshis were probably pushing towards), Marcio Celio Claudio took one up, and from the top of the box forwarded charge to substitute Fabinho Francisco dos Santos. The two played a fine ‘wall’ before Celio moved into the box and placed to the far corner of the netting a left-footer.


PALMEIRAS: Fernando Miranda, Robson Santos Barbosa, Douglas Martin dos Santos, Marcao, Gustavo Esteves, Dinho, Marcio, Celio Claudio, Andre Fabiao Viapiana ‘Chu’, Hilton Mauro Moreira ‘Tom’ (Francis Jose da Silva, 67), Reinaldo de Souza (Fabinho Francisco dos Santos, 55).

MUKTIJODDHA: Aminul Haque, Hassan Al Mamun, Aby Faysal Ahmed, Abdullah Saliu, Rajani Kanta Barman, Motiur Rahman Munna, Nazarov Yorkin, Rakib Hossain, Ariful Kabir Farhad (Mijanur Rahman, 89), Emeka Achilefu, Bijon Barua, Tushar (Pradip Barua, 46).

Referee: Subrata Sarkar


Calcutta, Oct. 5: 
The annual high of the Maidan is at hand. Tomorrow, in the second semi-final of the IFA Shield, Mohun Bagan take on East Bengal, and the tension grows.

As it seems, from the form book, Mohun Bagan are surely under pressure. They will be missing two key players — Abdulateef Seriki and James Singh — sitting out with bookings, and if you add to that the fact that East Bengal have really come back into this championship with a vengeance, Subrata Bhattacharya’s wards could have a tough time tomorrow afternoon at the Salt Lake Stadium.

Bhattacharya is trying to put forward a brave front, implying there is enough in Brazilian Jose Ramirez Barreto to induce insomnia in the rival camp, but also accepting that he is the one everybody will throttle. R.C. Prakash will probably come back in, and this problem with new import Colly Barnes persists.

Barnes, it is being rumoured, has come over from Abahani Krira Ckhakra of Bangladesh hiding an injury that is severely affecting his play. He was made to run the Mohun Bagan ground yesterday, and while Bhattacharya said he was not sure of Barnes’ footballing abilities, Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra has talked the coach into trying him out tomorrow too. If Barnes’ physical problem is confirmed, his contract will be terminated.

“Mohun Bagan’s record in Calcutta has never been too good,” maintained Bhattacharya, not letting this comment mean he is not expecting much tomorrow.

“Obviously Barreto will be marked. He is, always. But then, does he not shake them off to score, always?” Bhattacharya asked.

The Barreto factor does hang heavy on the East Bengal lines, but coach Manoranjan Bhattacharya decided to keep to his usual low-key self. His team started the season poorly, but “after I got all my players, we settled down,” said the coach. That is evident in the four goals against Tollygunge Agragami, five against Mohammedan Sporting and six against FC Kochin.

“There is no relationship between those matches and tomorrow’s match,” Manoranjan said. “This is always a high-tension match, and anything can happen tomorrow.” He was hoping that East Bengal wouldn’t be the first ones to blink.

There is enough talent at hand. Suley Musah will be around to boost the defence as well as the attacks, Jo Paul Ancheri has been among the goals, and Bijen Singh (if I.M. Vijayan is not able to play, having yet to recover from injury) will be a tough customer for the generally porous Bagan defence. Dipendu Biswas could warm the bench.

Manoranjan will not be able to field Ratan Singh and Amit Das, both out with injuries, but Hemanta Dora may be in goal, and there will be a little more mobility in the defence with Falguni Dutta in attention.

Overall, there is this uneasiness in the Mohun Bagan camp, and a bit of over-confidence in the East Bengal camp that both are trying hard to hide.


Calcutta, Oct. 5: 
The Palmeiras-Muktijoddha IFA Shield semi-final at the Howrah Municipal Stadium today ended in chaos. The Brazilians moved into the final with a 2-1 victory, but probably their post-match euphoria landed too heavily on the downcast Bangladeshis, and a bout of fisticuffs ensued.

The police had to step in to stop the fracas.

The Howrah Stadium is a back-of-beyond site, never suitable for any match of any level of importance. The IFA, in its infinite wisdom, decided to use this exceedingly insecure venue for such an important match. The stands were overflowing.

The match was suddenly brought forward to 2.15 pm when many valid ticket-holders knew it was 2.45. There were many ticket-holders left standing outside the gates. Valid pass-holders, even some mediapersons, were not allowed entry. The very atmosphere was of utter chaos, quite like many of the IFA’s activities. The policemen added fuel to the chaos.

What was even more obtuse was the fact that there was a parading of players and match officials during the half-time break. In walked Union minister of state for telecommunications, Tapan Sikdar, accompanied by others and a detailed introduction followed.

The match got scrappy in the second half, but could anyway have ended on a fine note if the Brazilians had not started celebrating near the fence. They threw their jerseys to the fans and danced with their flags. Probably this landed a bit too heavily on the Bangladeshis and one among them hit out at the Brazilians. Utter chaos followed with the players at each others’ throats, punches being thrown at will.

The police intervened and brought the situation under control, but the teams were fuming by then. Bangladeshi team leader S.M. Jahangir Alam was nursing a cut forehead which he obviously got as he waded into the fisticuffs. “I have been hit by their manager and he abused me too,” claimed Alam. That was a trifle trite, because the provocation was from the Bangladeshis first.

“Their” manager, Marcelo Dedeschi Teixeira, said it was the other way around. Coach Humberto Ferreira, through the interpreter, tried to play it down, but many in the side were openly against Bangladeshis’ odd behaviour.

The supporters, too, refused to buy the Bangladeshi side of the story and missiles were thrown. The Muktijoddha team had to wait for a long time as the stands were cleared by the police before they were escorted out to the bus.

Muktijoddha manager A.H. Chowdhury later said they had lodged a complaint with IFA.

About today’s match, Ferreira said he was not too happy with how his wards played. “Technique was low and it was too physical,” he said. The refereeing came under more scrutiny, but “we are adapting to these conditions now.”


Calcutta, Oct. 5: 
The ninth inter-school invitation badminton tournament will be held at the Krida Kunj complex of Mahadevi Birla Girls’ Higher Secondary School from October 9-12.

Competition will be held in team and individual events. Former Davis Cup player and non-playing captain Jaideep Mukerjea will give away the prizes.

Inter-school karate

Don Bosco (Park Circus), Apeejay School and St Thomas (Howrah) took the first three spots, respectively, in the ninth inter-school/college Gojukai karate and 15th Bengal Gojukai karate championships. The meets were organised by Calcutta Karate Club Gojukai Karate-Do, West Bengal.


Calcutta, Oct. 5: 
Sultan Ahmed has been appointed the new general secretary of Mohammedan Sporting, club president Kalimuddin Shams said today.

Shams said the old executive committee of the club had been dissolved on the basis of the powers vested on him as chairman of the trustee board. Ahmed, a Trinamul Congress leader, replaced Suleiman Khurshid. Moinuddin Shams took over as assistant general secretary in place of Omar Khan.

Hafiz Alam Sairani was appointed senior vice-president. Mohammed Motiwala, Saloo Chowdhury, S.M. Maroof, Ghulam Jamil, Mushtaq Ahmed Siddiqi and Nasir Ahmed Khan were named new vice-presidents.


Guwahati, Oct. 5: 
Guwahati Town Club beat fancied Nagaland Police 2-0 in the Bordoloi Trophy at the Nehru Stadium here today.

Durga Chhetri scored both the goals for the Club in the first half.

In the match played at Sualkuchi, former champions Assam Police squeezed past Assam Rifles 5-4 in a tie-breaker after being locked 2-2 in regulation time.


Calcutta, Oct. 5: 
BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya will meet the national senior and junior selectors in New Delhi Thursday.

The special meeting has been convened to review the performance of the national teams. It will also discuss how India can do well in the under-19 World Cup next year and the senior World Cup in 2003.

Problems solved: Laloo

Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) chief Laloo Prasad Yadav, who made a virtual revolt against the newly-elected BCCI president over the issue of affiliation of his unit, today said their differences were sorted out, adds PTI from Patna.

“It is unfortunate that due to a communication gap there was some misunderstanding between us. I am happy everything has been sorted out,” Yadav said after a conversation with Dalmiya.


Pune, Oct. 5: 
A close third in his last start in a 1,200m sprint, Moment of Truth is expected to go well over an 1,800m trip and may bag the J. E. Hughes Trophy, the main event at the Pune races on Saturday. Rajinder partners the M. P. Jodha-trained four-year-old by Tocave Botta out of Miss Chamgagne.


2.45 pm: Fantasy 1. Top Gun 2. Momentous Mover 3.

3.15 pm: Radical Force 1. Aureus 2. Firecrest 3.

3.45 pm: Charismatic 1. Picasso 2. Millennium King 3.

4.15 pm: Battle Star 1. Chiliandrina 2. Acacia Blossom 3.

4.45 pm: Moment of Truth 1. Sanaga 2. National Velvet 3.

5.15 pm: Fidillo 1. Land Lady 2. Exhilarating 3.

5.45 pm: Phrawah 1. Osprey 2. Chamonix 3.

Day’s Best: Fidillo

Double: Radical Force & Battle Star


Mysore, oct. 5: 
Elusive Hero, from maestro Rashid Byramji’s yard, scored an easy victory in the 1,800m The Hindu Gold Trophy at the Mysore races on Friday. Aslam Kader partnered the Elusive Pimpernel- Minnekonda three-year-old.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Gaganachukki Plate 1,400m: (4-1-3) Turf Rythm (S. Narredu) 1; Leading Conquest 2; Great Brother 3. Won by: 4; 1-1/4; (1-29.6). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 10; 14; 112; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 591. Fav: Turf Rythm (4).

2. Bharachukki Plate 1,200m: (1-7-6) Czar (Prakash) 1; Bacardi Star 2; Fingers Crossed 3. Not run: Afaza (4) & Omni Presence (9). Won by: 6-1/4; 3-1/2; (1-14.2). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 15; 12; 23; Quinella: 30; Tanala: 142. Fav: Czar (1).

3. The Hindu Gold Trophy 1,800m: (4-3-1) Elusive Hero (Kader) 1; Whatmore 2; Air Strike 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 3-1/2; (1-51.9). Tote: Win Rs 26; Place: 12; 12; Quinella: 14; Tanala: 50. Fav: Whatmore (3).

4. P. Shanker Memorial Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (2-9-5) Tina’s Tune (Amit) 1; Cliff Side 2; Free World 3. Won by: 4-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-13.4). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 14; 29; 14; Quinella: 189; Tanala: 1,056. Fav: Free World (5).

5. Meerut Plate 1,100m: (6-10-2) Star Falcon (Prakash) 1; Dream Coat 2; Any Time Money 3. Won by: 8; Hd; (1-6.9). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 13; 18; 27; Quinella: 48; Tanala: 308. Fav: Star Falcon (6).

6. Western Outdoor Gold Cup 1,200m: (9-7-10) Screen Play (Harish) 1; Triple King 2; Alassio 3. Won by: Nk; 3-3/4; (1-12.9). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 51; 139; Quienlla: 212; Tanala: 15,754. Fav: Screen Play (9).

7. Oxford Blue Plate 1,600m: (4-1-10) Donna Mia (Mrs Storai) 1; The Royals 2; Three To Count 3. Won by /2; 1-3/4; (1-39.3). Tote: Win Rs 53; Place: 18; 15; 14; Quinella: 89; Tanala: 432. Fav: Three To Count (10).

8. P. Shanker Memorial Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (5-2-6) Gracious Rohit (Surjeet) 1; Scandal Sheet 2; Erudition 3. Won by: SH; Nk; (1-13.9). Tote: Win Rs 118; Place: 37; 23; 15; Quinella: 319; Tanala: 3,357. Fav: Forest Pegasus (1).

Jackpot: Rs 8,035; (C) Rs 126.

Treble: (i) Rs 99; (ii) Rs 975.


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