East Bengal, Tolly end with dull draw
Security cloud over England tour
Mohun Bagan in semi-finals
India Under-16 enter final

Calcutta, Oct. 15: 
There was very little, apart from personal pride, at stake for both teams. The Super Division standings having already been decided it was only natural that East Bengal and Tollygunge Agragami would not exert themselves to the hilt.

The handful that turned out at Salt Lake Stadium were witness to some mediocre, at times directionless, soccer. The 1-1 draw only did justice to the insipid display that was dished out. East Bengal seemed listless in the first half and even being in 0-1 arrears, players failed to get motivated. The midfield lacked cohesion and the forwards were aimless in their approach.

Suley Musah�s frequent overlaps were missing because of constant monitoring of his own territory and that further complicated matters.

The Tollygunge forwardline, on the other hand, was agile with Sashthi Duley, Moses Owira, Akim Abulanle and Adeola Adeyeri always keeping the rival defenders on their toes with some quick interchange of positions and deft footwork.

Tollygunge took the lead in the 22nd minute when Amitava Chanda�s centre from the left found Akim on top of the box. The Nigerain�s volley found the target over a hopelessly out-of-position East Bengal goalkeeper Shibram Dey. East Bengal hardly made any concerted move to equalise in the first half and it was only after the introduction of Tushar Rakshit midway through the second session that they enjoyed some territorial advantage.

The start of the second session, however, saw them equalise. Bijen Singh ran down the flank, cut in and flicked the ball for Chandan Das to head it towards the goalmouth. The ball kissed the post before finding the net. Tushar�s arrival brought some mobility upfront. The forwards were being fed with increasing regularity. Bijen and substitute Kaustav Ghosh constantly kept the Tollygunge defenders busy with the latter squandering a couple of gilt-edged opportunities. Once, Kaustav�s shot from inside the penalty box hit the post and then he failed to get past a diving Tollygunge goalkeeper.


TOLLYGUNGE AGRAGAMI: Amit Singha Roy, Riazul Mustafa (Srikrishna Ghosh, 77), Satish Bharti, Parthasarathi Dey (Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, 14), Amitava Chanda, Mehtab Hussain, Sandip Das, Adeola Adeyeri, Shasthi Duley, Moses Owira, Akim Abulanle.

EAST BENGAL: Shibram Dey (Sangram Mukherjee, 40), Surya Bikash Chakraborty, Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Shankarlal Chakraborty, Ranjan Dey, Chandan Das, Isiaka Awoyemi, Soumitra Chakraborty (Tushar Rakshit, 65), Dipendu Biswas (Kaustav Ghosh, 56), Bijen Singh.

Referee: Subrata Sarkar.


London, Oct. 15: 
England captain Nasser Hussain wants his team�s tour of India to be called off, according to well-informed sources. Technically the tour is still on but looks unlikely following what the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.

ECB chairman Lord MacLaurin today clearly said the Board is examining other options. �ECB director of cricket John Carr is looking at the opportunities where else we could go.�

England are scheduled to reach India on November 14 for three Tests and five one-dayers. Their last tour of India was in early 1993.

The England captain and Board are concerned about the safety of their players following terror strikes in the US, which led to the US-led air strikes on Afghanistan.

The Chennai-born Hussain �would rather it did not go ahead�, a source said. Richard Bevan, a Professional Cricketers� Association spokesman, said it is �extremely unlikely� that the team will travel to India in the light of the current situation.

[Contacted in Calcutta this evening, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya declined to offer a comment. �Till we formally hear from the ECB, it wouldn�t be appropriate for me to say anything,� Dalmiya told The Telegraph. He added: �In any case, I�ll soon be leaving for the ICC meeting in Kuala Lumpur and, surely, there will be an occasion to exchange notes with top ECB officials.]

Much depends on consultations between the British High Commission in Delhi, the Foreign Office in London and talks between senior Board executives.

Before flying off to Kuala Lumpur for the ICC meeting, MacLaurin said: �Our players� safety is absolutely paramount. Nasser�s view and mine are the same. He doesn�t want to go to India if there is any threat to the players.

�We�ve just got to be sensible about it and take it a day at a time. We will be guided by the government. Nasser is worried about it and so are we. This is a very unfortunate situation,� MacLaurin added.

Bevan, who claimed to have consulted a number of England players, said: � The Foreign Office has said Europeans should keep a low profile in India. I think unless there is a guarantee, the tour is unlikely.�

ECB media relations officer Andrea Wiggins said: �We are in contact with the Foreign Office and getting day-to-day advice. We will follow their advice.�

According to diplomatic sources, one compromise might be to move the first two Tests from Mohali and Ahmedabad further from the Indo-Pak border. Bangalore, venue of the third Test, is considered a relatively safe venue.


Guwahati, Oct. 15: 
Mohun Bagan moved towards annexing another title this season when they defeated Assam Police by a single goal at the Nehru Stadium here this evening to move into the semi-finals of the Bordoloi Trophy.

The winner was shot home by substitute James Singh in the dying seconds of the game in which Bagan tried out many of its reserve players before the tougher matches ahead. The Calcutta giants now meet FC Kochin in the second semi-final on October 17.

Assam Police, who had lost their league match against Tata Football Academy 1-8, put in a better performance but their best was not good enough. They earned six yellow cards against Bagan�s two.

Tomorrow, Rajpracha Sports Club take on TFA.


Calcutta, Oct. 15: 
India Under-16 beat Rest of India 3-1 to enter the final of the under-19 National Football League today. They meet East Bengal in the final tomorrow.

Marlanki Sutang put India sub-juniors ahead in the second half. Lekhani Sutang restored parity for Rest of India but Durga Boro snatched the lead again for the sub-juniors. Marlanki then scored another goal to seal the semis at the SAI sports complex.

A downpour yesterday had led the match to be abandoned.

Aranya to lead

Aranya Dev Sarkar will lead Bengal in the Cooch Behar Trophy ties against Tripura and Assam at Eden Gardens and Jorhat from October 18 and 25, respectively.

THE SQUAD: Aranya Dev Sarkar (captain), Ajay Garai, Sayan Dey, Kamal Hassan Mondal, Subhojit Pal (wk), Manabendra Yadav, Anirban Chatterjee, Saujan Biswas, Avik Chowdhury, Sudip Palit, Samrat Guha, Sourav Sarkar, Chanchal Sarkar, Rakesh Krishnan (subject to passing fitness test). Coach: Barun Burman. Manager: Surajit Naskar.

Standbys: Avishek Chakraborty, Soumya Roy Chowdhury.


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