East Bengal outgun Punjab Police
Chandra gets top billing
Bagan beat EB by 5 wickets
Mumbai Racing/ Classe’ lifts main event

Calcutta, April 7: 

It is indeed difficult to motivate oneself when the prize is out of reach. East Bengal today looked no different — in their 3-1 victory over bottom-placed Punjab Police in a National Football League tie at the Salt Lake Stadium.

The defending champions now have 32 points from 20 outings, while Punjab Police remain where they were.

East Bengal looked so out of touch that they conceded a goal as early as in the third minute. Praveen Kumar’s solo effort silenced the motley crowd. Omolaja Olalekan equalised in the 30th minute, scored another on the other half of the break. Dipendu Biswas completed the tally through a well-taken penalty in the 89th.

It was a hot afternoon of lacklustre football, the teams showing not an iota of intent — a few flashes of brilliance from Saumitra Chakraborty excluded.

East Bengal perhaps started a bit complacent. Their entire defence had moved up following an attacking move when Harish Sharma sent a long clearance forward. Praveen made an immaculate chest trap and charged in with the ball — he had just the goalkeeper to beat. As Sangram Mukherjee came out of his line trying to effect a save, Praveen wrong-footed him and slotted the ball in with a cool right-footer.

East Bengal grew a bit restless after that — creating chances but not converting. Omolaja hit two wide of the post, the woodwork denied him once. The goal that came next was one worth writing about. Jose Carlos da Silva, showing proficient ball control, chested down a pass at the edge of the box. He then laid it down for Omolaja behind him who netted with a stinging right-footer.

In the 52nd minute, East Bengal went ahead after a defensive lapse by Punjab Police. A Suley Musah through was deflected right into Omolaja’s path by Rajesh Kumar. The forward made it 2-1 with another to the point right-footer.

Rajesh made another blunder, this time in the dying minutes. Dipendu, a 74th minute substitute for Chandan Das, and Omolaja effected the best move of the match, a crisp display of one-touch football. Rajesh, perhaps a bit stunned by the deft touches, handled the ball inside the box. The result — a penalty, was successfully taken by Dipendu.


EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Surya Bikash Chakraborty, Ranjan Dey, Jackson Egygpong, Suley Musah, Ratan Singh (Shankarlal Chakraborty, 34); Chandan Das (Dipendu Biswas, 74), Soumitra Chakraborty, Bijen Singh, Omolaja Olalekan, Jose Carlos da Silva.

PUNJAB POLICE: Satish Kumar; Balwinder Singh (Gurbinder Singh, 46), Rajesh Kumar, Sumit Bali, Naresh Kumar; Kuldip Singh, Harnek Singh, Harish Sharma (Gurpreet Singh Jr, 61), Gurinder Pal Singh; Praveen Kumar, Manjit Singh (Sher Singh, 42).

Referee: Shaji Kurien (Kerala)


Calcutta, April 7: 
International snooker returns to the city after decades, and from tomorrow to Friday, aquatics may well take the backseat at the Calcutta Swimming Club hosting the Asian under-21 championship.

The fourth edition of the meet has attracted 24 players from 13 countries. The Indian contingent of four is the biggest.

The meet is a league-cum-knockout with eight groups of three each to begin with. The shootout starts from the pre-quarters where two from each group complete the field.

Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and China will be major contenders. Top seed Manan Chandra leads the Indian challenge. The Delhi youngster — runner-up in Bangkok last year — is followed by Ruttanon Kematat of Thailand.

Bangalore’s Pankaj Advani, who lost to Chandra in the semis in Bangkok, is third seed. Local boys Sourav Kothari and Mudit Poddar are other Indians in fray.

The eight seeds head each of the round-robin league groups and a fresh set of seedings will be announced later, based on how the players score in the preliminary stage. Kothari has been drawn with the second seed in group B and Poddar is in group H with eighth-seeded Malaysian Mun Kit Thean.

The meet offers a total prize purse of $ 2,550 with the winner set to be richer by $ 1000.


1. Manan Chandra (Ind); 2. Ruttanon Kematat (Tha); 3. Pankaj Advani (India). 4. Keem Ho Moh (Mal); 5. Tommy Boon Chin Ang (Singapore). 6. Pramual Janthat (Tha); 7. Junhui Ding (Chi); 8. Mun Kit Thean (Mal).

Gargi wins title

Gargi Nag beat Joyeeta Pushilal 10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 11-7 in the cadet girls final of the Calcutta table tennis meet today.

OTHER FINALS: Nursery boys — Soumyajit Ghosh bt Priyabrata Das 11-9, 11-9; Nursery girls — Medha Moitra bt Sofia Naz 12-10, 11-9.


Calcutta, April 7: 
Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal by five wickets in an A.N. Ghosh Trophy tie at Eden Gardens today.


East Bengal 218/8 (Avijit Ganguly 40, Nikhil Haldipur 36, Wrichik Majumdar 30, Shib Sagar Singh 30; Utpal Chatterjee 3/28). Mohun Bagan 219/5 (Subhomoy Das 60, Utpal 43, Laxmi Ratan Shukla 36 n.o.). Mohun Bagan won by 5 wkts.

Wari 191 in 45 overs (Aurijit Basu 60, Pradipta Majumdar 43). Kalighat 196/7 in 43.5 overs (Md Ziauddin 83, Sanjib Sanyal 50; Ranadeb Bose 3/41). Kalighat won by 3 wkts.

West Zone arrive

The Nayan Mongia-led West Zone squad arrived in the city late tonight for the Duleep Trophy tie against East beginning Tuesday.

West are currently leading the table with 21 points while East have 14. East need an outright victory to topple West at the top of the standings.

BHA league

Calcutta Parsee Club and Belgachia United drew goalless in a first division group A match of the BHA League today.


Mumbai, April 7: 
Ridden by Pesi Shroff and trained by Imtiaz Sait, Premier Classe won the Gool S. Poonawalla Million in Mumbai on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Choreography Plate 1,800m: (4-1-3) The Complete Man (Ruzaan) 1; Accademia 2; Secret Obsession 3. Won by: 3-1/2; 3-1/2; (1-54.8). Tote: Win Rs 68; Place: 23; 13; Quinella: 42; Tanala: 556. Fav: Accademia (1).

2. Canny Scot Trophy 2,400m: (2-1-4) Avantage (M. Narredu) 1; Saytarra 2; Allianz 3. Won by: Dist; 4; (2-33.8). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 14; 21; Quinella: 61; Tanala: 114. Fav: Avantage (2).

3. Western India Race Horse Owners’ Trophy 1,200m: (1-4-3) Rambus (Kamlesh) 1; Consortium 2; Champagne Gold 3. Won by: 5-1/2; 3/4; (1-11.6). Tote: Win Rs 11; Pla-ce: 10; 31; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 103. Fav: Rambus (1).

4. Arecibo Plate 1,200m: (5-7-4) Crown Affair (Merchant) 1; Moment of Pleasure 2; Star Status 3. Not run: Lake Beauty (8). Won by: 1/2; 2-1/4; (1-12.9). Tote: Win Rs 93; Place: 20; 11; 15; Quinella: 85; Tanala: 559. Fav: Moment of Pleasure (7).

5. Gool S. Poonawalla Million 1,200m: (5-6-4) Premier Classe (Shroff) 1; Rom-antic Heights 2; Noble Eagle 3. Won by: 2; 1-1/4; (1-11.9). Tote: Win Rs 37; Place: 19; 20; Quinella: 33; Tanala: 409. Fav: Romantic Heights (6).

6. Satinello Trophy 1,600m: (3-6-1) Sky Raider (Shroff) 1; Forgotten Dreams 2; Absolute Dominance 3. Won by: 1/2; 1/2; (1-40.7). Tote: Win Rs 27; Place: 13; 15; 27; Quinella: 42; Tanala: 357. Fav: Sky Raider (3).

7. Rising Brave Plate 2,000m: (1-6-3) Park Lane (N. Jodha) 1; A-La-Ridge 2; Loving You 3. Won by: Hd; Nk; (2-8.6). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 15; 16; 16; Quinella: 53; Tanala: 293. Fav: A-La-Ridge (6).

Jackpot: Rs 3,242; (C) Rs 279.

Treble: (i) Rs 219; (ii) Rs 474.

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