Japan bang in four
Bosnia upbeat vs Chile
Chileans lodge protest
Nikhil, Rajiv dropped
270-run win for East Bengal
Mumbai Races/ Allaire strikes

Calcutta, Jan. 21: 

In a superb exhibition of tactical and technical excellence, Japan stunned Jordan 4-0 at the Salt Lake Stadium today to book a berth in the semi-finals of the Sahara Cup. It pits them in a showdown with Yugoslavia at the same venue on Tuesday.

After a cautious start, the team of university students rocked their more experienced opponents when Fijita slammed in a long-ranger in the 29th minute. Ota, Yoshimura and Sekine added three more in a second half that also saw the sending off of a Jordanian.

It was a game of many hues.

The opening moves were like those of chess game — cautious yet probing. Both teams began with an overdose of square passes and a desire to retain possession, even as the long ball set the forwards free every now and then.

It was definitely a different Japan. Curbing their natural free-flowing style, so evident during the three group IV matches, they began by adopting the waiting game to great effect. Crowding the midfield and soaking up pressure there, they spelt danger every time the speedy Hanyu was sent chasing a ball from the deep, or the towering Ota was fed at the Jordan goalmouth.

Japan’s tactics meant Jordan looked the dominant team on the pitch during these early probes, and it was no real surprise that the first real chance of the day (they were few and far between in the opening half) came their way. But a sliding Bardan Al-Shaqran failed to get a foot to the ball as it went across the Japan goalmouth.

Japan got their first scoring chance from a foul that earned Rafat Ali Jaber a yellow card in the 27th minute. Yamane’s curling free-kick fooled the Jordan defence but both Horinouchi and Chiyotanda, following at the far end, failed to make contact.

The first goal came a couple of minutes later. Fijita chested down a ball some 35 yards from the Jordan box and his prompt volley went in off the ’keeper’s hand.

The game changed course dramatically from there — Japan coming out to dominate even as Jordan cracked and then crumbled. But for a faulty backpass by Hirakawa which gave Rafat a chance, and then an ill-directed Badran header early in the second half, the Jordanians couldn’t even get a sniff of the goal.

If the first half was disappointing, the second proved disastrous for Jordan.

The second goal came nine minutes after the breather, an unmarked Ota heading in a curling corner from Mikami. A couple of minutes later, Mikami used his acceleration to telling effect — speeding past a surprised Faisal Suleiman and then hooking the ball back from the line for Yoshimura to slam in with a crisp left-footer. For opportunism, accurate feeding and athleticism, both goals will fetch very high marks. Ota will, however, have to sit out the semi-finals after picking up another yellow card today.

On a day when nothing seemed to be going right for them, Jordan were reduced to 10 in the 64th minute with striker Hassouneh Sheikh Qasem getting marching orders.

Ironically, referee Binod Singh had booked Qasem for an infringement Rafat committed. Qasem then paid the price for carrying his protest too far.

Substitute Sekine tapped in Japan’s fourth goal a couple of minutes later, Mikami again doing the feeding with a cross from the left. If Masaki Fukai, the Japanese livewire in previous games, was missing, it didn’t show.


VJAPAN: Toshiyasu Takahara (Sugiyama 70th); Tadaaki Hirakawa, Mitsuru Chiyotanda (Iwamasa, 82nd), Kobayashi, Takuya Mikami; Satochi Horinouchi, Fijita (Hideki Sekine 61st), Keiji Yoshimura, Nobumitsu Yamane; Keisuke Ota, Naotake Hanyu.

JORDAN: Ahmad Al-Khazaleh; Faisal Suleiman (Ghanem Hamarsheh 46th), Haitham Sermin (Rateb Al-Awadat 85th), Adnan Al-Shuaibat, Muhanned Mahadeen; Jamal Abu Abed, Haitham Al-Shboul, Rafat Ali Jaber, Hatem Aqel, Hassouneh Sheikh Qasem, Badran Al-Shaqran (Muyed Mansour, 62).

Referee: Binod Kumar Singh.


Calcutta, Jan. 21: 
The plethora of problems plaguing the Sahara Cup is no reflection of the quality of soccer being played in the city.

True, the tournament hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, but not everybody involved have treated it as unprofessionally as the AIFF has. There are teams which took this event with utmost seriousness, with an eye on the future, and two such face off in tomorrow’s first semi-final.

The South American flavour of Chile will meet the Balkan ball players from Bosnia and, if their earlier matches are anything to go by, it will be an intriguing duel. Going by what have been seen so far, Chile start favourites, but the unknown element about Bosnia has made them a bit cautious.

Chile, rusty to start with, have shown flashes of brilliance, while Bosnia caused a minor tremor by beating Uruguay in the quarter finals. The teams will miss two regulars each — suspended with double bookings. Midfielders Marco Villaseca and Cristian Uribe are the Chilean casualties, while Bosnia will miss the services of defender Omer Joldic and medio Asmir Ikanovic.

Bosnia are here with just six players from their pre-World Cup team, but their captain is confident of swapping shirts with the Yugoslavs after the final. In their first-ever meeting since the split, Yugoslavia and Bosnia shared two goals in a group I clash in Goa eight days ago.

For a war-ravaged state which got independence in 1995 and Fifa recognition a year later, Bosnia aren’t too poorly off. They have an impressive pool of players who turn out for clubs like Bayern Munich and Rayo Vallecano. These players, however, have not been released by the clubs but that, said captain Dzelaudin Muharemovic, is no handicap.

“We think Uruguay, who play a similar style of soccer, were better than Chile and we should come out strong opponents again,” said the striker. “The players available are good enough for the job.”

Chile, on the other hand, are miffed with the suspensions and also about the lack of rest between the knockout games. “We have just a day between the quarter final and semi-final, while Bosnia had a three-day break,” complained a team official.

Chile played a pleasing blend of professional and flashy football in yesterday’s quarter final against Iceland and are likely to retain the same formation — keeping Sebastian Gonzalez and Hector Tapia upfront with Fernando Martel operating from just behind. Martel has a leg injury but is expected to start.

Their problem is finding replacements for Villaseca and Uribe, both of whom have excelled in the midfield. According to coach Nelson Acosta, there aren’t too many to choose from.

Bosnia have said that they are taking this tournament as a serious step towards establishing a strong football culture. They claim they have succeeded in this pursuit to a major extent. A further positive step will do their cause no harm, which create a few problems for Acosta — already under pressure back home for a dismal pre-World Cup run so far.

Even then, if they produce what they did yesterday, it will be another treat for the sparse crowd. According to the coach, they played upto 70 per cent of what they are capable of. Bosnia, surely, will try to keep them below that, for, anything more than that may just be too hot to handle.


Calcutta, Jan. 21: 
Chile will play tomorrow’s Sahara Cup semi-final against Bosnia with a protest against the AIFF. According to their team officials, Japan, too, have agreed to stand by them, claim Chile officials.

It all started yesterday, when two Chileans were suspended for a match after picking up two yellow cards in course of the tournament. Chileans argued it was not in accordance with the 1998 World Cup rules, where first-round cards were not carried ahead into the knock-out stage.

The rules of the tournament clearly say that a player will have to sit out a match after being booked twice, irrespective of what stage the competition is in.

The Chielans suspended are Marco Vilaseca and Cristian Uribe. Bosnia, Chile’s opponents tomorrow, will also miss two players for similar reasons — Azmer Ikanovic and Omer Joldic.

The Chileans argue they were told on the January 9 managers’ meeting that first-round bookings will be ignored after the teams qualify for the quarter finals.


Calcutta, Jan. 21: 
Bengal’s Nikhil Haldipur and Bihar’s Rajiv Kumar have been replaced by Orissa’s P. Jaychandra and Bihar’s M.S. Dhoni in the East Zone squad for Duleep Trophy matches against South Zone and West Zone.

The tie against South begins in Agartala Friday. The next match against West will be played in Rajkot from February 1. East Zone have five points after two matches. They took first-innings lead against Central but lost to North.

THE SQUAD — Shiv Sundar Das (captain), R.R. Parida, P. Jaychandra, Sanjay Raul, Debashish Mohanty (all Orissa), Utpal Chatterjee, Rohan Gavaskar, Deep Dasgupta (Bengal), Zakaria Zuffri, Sukhvinder Singh, Javed Zaman, Ganesh Kumar (Assam), M.S. Dhoni, Mihir Diwakar (Bihar), Mridul Gupta (Tripura).

West, South draw

The tie between West Zone and South Zone ended in a draw, reports UNI from Surat. West, who made 376 in the first innings, were 330 for six in the second when play was called off. South declared their first innings at 595 for four.

BRIEF SCORES: West Zone 376 & 330/4 (Jacob Martin 47, Nayan Mongia 60, Vinod Kambli 66, Abhijit Kale 52). South Zone 595/4 decl. Match drawn.


Calcutta, Jan. 21: 
East Bengal beat Aikya Sammilani by 270 runs in the CAB senior division league today. Dharmendra Singh and Shiv Sagar Singh took four wickets each.


East Bengal 431/7. Aikya Sammilani 161 (Dharmendra Singh 4/55, Shiv Sagar Singh 4/34). East Bengal won by 270 runs.

YMCA 208. Paikpara 209/5 (Anindya Das 71). Paikpara won by 5 wkts.

George Telegraph 376. Barisha 277/5 (Shome Kapoor 102 n.o., Ujjal Das 50 n.o.). Match drawn.

Aryan 288. Customs 190 (Ajoy Das 5/50). Aryan won by 98 runs.

Rangers 315. Rajasthan 318/7 (Nilashish Ghosh 170 n.o.). Rajasthan won by 3 wkts.

Port Trust 328/7. Mohunlal 171 (Soumen Singh 4/48, Mohammed Sarfaraz Ahmed 4/54). Port Trust won by 157 runs.


Mumbai, Jan. 21: 
D. Byramji-trained Allaire won the Kingfisher Indian Oaks in Mumbai on Sunday.


(With inter-state dividends)
1. Lady Madonna Plate, Div-II: Scandalous 1; Meadow Royale 2; Mach Two 3. Won by: 3; 3-1/4; (1-1.5). Win Rs 22; (P) 13; 38; 58; (Q) 126; (T) 3,341.
2. Lt. Col. Govind Singh VRC. Trophy: Ciel Fleuri 1; Battle Star 2; Judge Jules 3. Won by: Nk; 4; (1-26.9). Win Rs 14; (P) 11; 19; 24; (Q) 44; (T) 276.
3. Lady Madonna Plate, Div-I: Airkraft 1; Blazing Flame 2; Piabo 3. Won by: 2-3/4; 1-1/4; (1-1.6). Win Rs 69; (P) 20; 11; 40; (Q) 50; (T) 1,517.
4. Worthwhile Plate: Full Reason 1; Demedici 2; Aerodynamic 3. Won by: Hd; Nk; (1-41.7). Win Rs 51; (P)19; 15; 14; (Q) 75; (T) 383.
5. Pratap Stud Million: Abbeydoran 1; Terrestrial 2; Calpurnia 3. Won by: 2-3/4; Nk; (1-0.5). Win Rs 66; (P) 17; 13; 14; (Q) 55; (T) 418.
6. P. D. Avasia Trophy: Soviet Ride 1; Safarando 2; Alderney 3. Won by: 2-1/4; 3; (1-13). Win Rs 59; (P) 19; 26; 378; (Q) 160; (T) 77,030 (C.o).
7. Kingfisher Indian Oaks 2,400m: (1-14-13-2) Allaire (Kader) 1; Star Shine (Rajendra) 2; Six Speed (Shroff) 3; Endorsement (Gallagher) 4. Won by: 5-1/2; 4-3/4; 1/2; (2-33). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 14; 24; 18; Quinella: 72; Tanala: 313. Fav: Allaire (1).
8. Same Again Plate: Altazano 1; Tap On Power 2; Fabulous Fortune 3. Won by: SH; 2-1/4; (2-7.4). Win Rs 63; (P) 23; 13; 31; (Q) 68; (T) 1,278.
9. F. K. Vakil Stakes: Gironde 1; Persian Lord 2; Sariano 3. Won by: 7; Hd; (1-13.3). Win Rs 21; (P) 16; 15; 111; (Q) 31; (T) 1,232.
10. Tulipa Plate: Lion Of Judah 1; Pink Floyd 2; Millennium King 3. Not run: No. 5. Won by: 2-1/2; Nk; (1-40.6). Win Rs 253; (P) 90; 65; 21; (Q) 3,282; (T) 67,810 (Carried over).
Jackpot: Rs 42,433; (C) Rs 640.
Treble: (i) Rs 903; (ii) Rs 1,008; (iii) Rs 7,245.

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