EB bow to Barreto
My best goal yet: Barreto
Indian Blues win, title under review
Junior nationals from tomorrow
Burnpur, Aryan win
Mukesh lifts Masters title
Mumbai Racing/ Snow Dew lifts 1000 Guineas

Calcutta, Dec. 16: 
Bagan 1
East Bengal 0

Football is all about goals, and the one who gets them its most precious possession. Among those who do, some stand alone with their craftsmanship and vision. A combination of both is not very common and Indian football is fortunate to have one such practitioner even at a time when it�s experiencing new lows.

It was a stroke of pure brilliance from Jose Ramirez Barreto which separated Mohun Bagan from East Bengal in today�s National League tie at Salt Lake Stadium. The 1-0 verdict should not have too great an impact in the 12-team, double-leg marathon, considering it was just the second outing for both teams.

What it�s likely to do, taking into account the way the goal was scored, is that Mohun Bagan�s confidence will soar in the knowledge that they can continue to look up to Barreto in times of trouble. Their perennial rivals will have to go home, think what went wrong, work a way out and get back to business as soon as they can.

What continues to baffle soccer afficionados is what this Brazilian is doing in this dark and remote corner of world football! Surely, he will get better places to display his class where the standard is higher.

Time to talk about the match. It was as scrappy as any other clash involving the superpowers of Indian football. There was this tendency to interrupt proceedings with tricks forbidden by the law and referee K. Shankar flashed the yellow card five times to keep things under control.

There was also an expulsion � that of Ranjan Dey who attracted the yellow card twice within 13 minutes after coming in as substitute � which meant East Bengal had to make do with ten men for the last 32 minutes. East Bengal suffered another major blow when key defender Dipak Mondal left the field after getting injured. He is unlikely to return in three weeks. Dey, incidentally, was Mondal�s replacement.

And then, there was divine intervention in the 26th minute. It was an apparently harmless centre from the right, which travelled to Barreto stationed at the edge of the penalty box after a deflection from Abdulateef Seriki. The ball bounced waist-high between Jackson Egygpong and Barreto, and the latter had time for just one touch to accomplish mission. It came in the form of an air-bound, right-footed side volley and like an obedient aide, the ball crashed into the near end of the goal � beating India goalkeeper Sangram Mukherjee to his right.

It didn�t jerk East Bengal into action, who were looking the better side till then and even had an early Suley Musah �goal� disallowed because of an infringement. They continued with their slipshod ways with no constructive movement from the midfield and failed to create even one genuine chance. They did force the odd half-chance towards the end, but those were more out of desperation rather than planned moves.

East Bengal�s approach, when they realised they had to get even, was shockingly primitive. Balls were floated towards the box from the rear in the hope that strikers Bijen Singh and Omolaja Olalekan would get them down and do the needful. Neither is tall enough for such a plan to succeed and it didn�t.

In the early stages of the match, there was a bit of thrust from East Bengal down the right but Isiaka Awoyemi blasted them way over the mark like a spoilt kid. Their enterprise down the flanks, however, died down as the match progressed.

I.M. Vijayan looked almost clueless in his new avatar as midfielder. The most successful Indian striker in recent times was cheeky at his best and the odd one he chipped in was too clever for lesser mortals. He got a golden chance to redeem himself with a free-kick towards the end from what was dreaded as �Vijayan zone� not too long ago. He buried it into the wall.

Even a six-minute stoppage time added on to the proceedings wasn�t enough for East Bengal to get their act right.

Mohun Bagan got two more clear chances in the second half when East Bengal had thrown most of their men forward. Seriki was the one to get the goalkeeper alone on both occasions but forced a smart save once and blew away the other to wilderness.


MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Dulal Biswas, Amauri Da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Lolendra Singh; James Singh, Basudeb Mondal (Sumit Sengupta, 89), Debjit Ghosh, Ajay Singh; Jose Ramirez Barreto, Abdulateef Seriki (Uday Konar, 87).

EAST BENGAL: Sangram Mukherjee; Suley Musah, Jackson Egygpong, Dipak Mondal (Ranjan Dey, 55), Surya Bikash Chakraborty (Ratan Singh, 61); Isiaka Awoyemi, I.M. Vijayan, Anit Ghosh, Dipankar Roy (Dipendu Biswas, 74), Omolaja Olalekan, Bijen Singh.

Referee: K. Shankar (Tamil Nadu).


Calcutta, Dec. 16: 
Mohun Bagan�s saviour on many occasions since arriving in India two years ago, Jose Ramirez Barreto rated today�s goal against East Bengal as his best yet.

He also said today�s victory in the National League clash was the right reply to those who were sceptical about his team�s ability.

�Our defence is not as bad as is made out to be. Today�s result proves it. The goal was special since it was my first in a win over East Bengal. It was also the most satisfying,� the magical Brazilian said.

The Bagan coach refused to see this match as an indicator of which way the title might go since it�s still so early in the marathon league. �It�s a morale-booster no doubt,� Subrata Bhattacharya felt.

His East Bengal counterpart Manoranjan Bhattacharya said his team didn�t deserve to lose. �We had better ball possession and I don�t know why the goal by Suley Musah was disallowed.�

Although the coach felt wronged there was no sign of discontent among the East Bengal players when the Ghanaian was pulled up for a foul when he hit the mark in the sixth minute.

There was more bad news in the East Bengal camp with Dipak Mondal being ruled out for at least three weeks.

Their mainstay in defence suffered a right ligament injury and had his leg plastered in the dressing room itself. The team doctor said Mondal has been advised not to fold that leg for some time.

Meanwhile, East Bengal�s goalkeepers� coach Bhaskar Ganguly refused to blame Sangram Mukherjee for the goal. �He was perhaps unsighted and it�s never easy when it�s a volley or header,� explained the former stalwart.

�The problem with such efforts is there is little time to react, unlike a shot taken from the ground. You have to guess and hope the ball comes the way you dive,� he said.


Calcutta, Dec. 16: 
In a supreme battle of nerves, Indian Blues pipped Formidables to the team event title for Ruia Gold Cup in the 43rd winter national bridge championship today. In the four-segment match, Indian Blues got the better of Formidables by only a couple of IMPs.

However, at the end of the match, Formidables made an appeal for revision of score of a board, though the appeals committee is yet to take a decision.

Ashok Ruia�s Indian Blues had established a lead of 24 IMPs at the half-way stage but Formidables, led by Kiran Nadar, bounced back in the third segment of the final at the Netaji Indoor stadium. Playing an excellent third session, Formidables (represented by Kiran Nadar, Subhas Gupta, B.Prabhakar, K.R.Venkataraman, B. Satyanarayana and Sumit Choksy) gained 36 IMPs, opening up a lead of 12 IMPs.

But following a neck-to-neck battle, Indian Blues had the last laugh. Apart from Ruia himself, J.M.Shah, K.V.Krishnaswamy, Debashish Roy, Prakash Paranjpe and Vivek Bhand played for Indian Blues.

Meanwhile, the second elimination of open pairs for the Holkar Trophy finished late on Saturday evening. Arvind Vaidya and Raju Bhiwandkar topped group AB with a score of 630.36 points followed by S.Roy and S.Chatterjea with a score of 544.05 points. In group CD, Ashok Goel and Kamal Mukherjea were leading with 535 points followed by Finton Lewis and Arun Bapat with 524.

In group EF, Kalpana Misra and Anil Padhye lead with 593 points.


Calcutta, Dec. 16: 
The junior national equestrian championship returns to the city after 12 years and the Tollygunge Club is all geared up to host the meet beginning Tuesday.

The best among the country�s junior riders will be seen in action during the six-day meet.

Winners at this meet will qualify for the national team to take part in the junior international championship.

Clubbed with the junior nationals are the Eastern India meet and the junior nationals and show jumping for novice grade horses. These events will feature riders who have represented India in the Olympics, the Asian Games and other international equestrian events.

A total of 200 horses and 500 riders � including 100 children �will be in action over the six days.


Calcutta, Dec. 16: 
Aryan and Burnpur United registered wins in the CAB senior division league today. While Aryan beat Town Club by 113 runs, Burnpur beat Young Bengal by 70 runs.


Burnpur United 240. Young Bengal 170 (Priyankur Mukherjee 47, Malay Sarkhel 6/40, Shibnarayan Mishra 3/27). Burnpur won by 70 runs.

Aryan 361/6. Town 248 (Pritam Ghosh 86, Rajesh Hela 68, Pranab Nandy 3/22, Soumitra Majumdar 3/65). Aryan won by 113 runs.

Wari 353/4 (Arindam Das 107, Aurijit Basu 81, Avishek Jhunjhunwala 77). Suburban 2/19. Match continues.

Kalighat 343/6 (Safi Ahmed 88, Manoj Roy 57, Murtaza Lodhgar 52 n.o., Arghya Maitra 4/90). Milan Samity 8/1. Match continues.


Calcutta, Dec. 16: 
Mukesh Kumar overcame a triple bogey start to his round at the Servo Masters golf meet in Digboi to win his third title of the season today.

According to information reaching here, Mukesh tallied nine-under 279 for the tournament, which is the 13th leg of the 2001-2002 Hero Honda tour.

Delhi�s Zai Kipgen and Chandigarh�s Harmeet Kahlon finished joint second, five-strokes behind the leader at four-under 284. Pune�s D.S. Raghuvanshi was tied for the fourth position with Delhi�s Rohtas Singh.


Mumbai, Dec. 16: 
Ridden with supreme confidence jockey Prakash Bhonsle partnered the Ganapathy-trained Snow Dew to an easy victory in the Kingfisher Indian 1,000 Guineas at the Mumbai races on Sunday. The Razeen-Snow daughter went to the start as a half-money favourite.


(With inter-state dividends)

1. Chandbibi Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (6-2-8) Tasmac (Chauhan) 1; Star Status 2; Golden Dynasty 3. Won by: Nk; 4; (1-16.1). Tote: Win Rs 67; Place: 16; 10; 88; Quinella: 25; Tanala: 1,117. Fav: Star Status (2).

2. Homi Mody Trophy 2,000m: (1-2-3) Classic Rock (Rajendra) 1; Knighted 2; Dominant Force 3. Won by: 4-3/4; 6; (2-8.1). Tote: Win Rs 15; Quinella: 12. Fav: Classic Rock (1).

3. Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy (VI Bart.) Trophy 1,000m: (5-1-4) Shamaal (Kharadi) 1; Snow Fields 2; Forest Angel 3. Won by: 3/4; 5-1/2; (1-2.3). Tote: Win Rs 58; Place: 15; 12; Quinella: 18; Tanala: 207. Fav: Snow Fields (1).

4. Maharashtra And Gujarat Area Trophy 2,000m: (4-2-5) Chiliandrina (Shroff) 1; Nautilus 2; Resist 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 2-3/4; (2-8.5). Tote: Win Rs 55; Place: 17; 11; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 168. Fav: Nautilus (2).

5. M. N. Nazir Trophy, Div-II 1,200m: (2-12-5) Aprilia (Shroff) 1; Bud Royale 2; Fortune�s Wheel 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 3/4; (1-13.9). Tote: Win Rs 18; Place: 14; 15; 160; Quinella: 67; Tanala: 3,426. Fav: Aprilia (2).

6. Etna Plate 1,800m: (1-5-8) Colonel�s Dream (Nirmal) 1; Bongoni 2; Saphire Princess 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 1; (1-56.7). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 17; 19; 16; Quinella: 104; Tanala: 844. Fav: Sharpman (3).

7. Kingfisher Indian 1000 Guineas 1,600m: (12-11-10-2) Snow Dew (Prakash) 1; Rage (McCullagh) 2; Queenscliff (M. Narredu) 3; Angara (Gallagher) 4. Won by: 4; 2-1/2; 2; (1-39.3). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 12; 17; 33; Quinella: 39; Tan-ala: 300. Fav: Snow Dew (12).

8. M. N. Nazir Trophy, Div-I 1,200m: (8-2-9) Clive Commission (Ranj-ane) 1; Speculative 2; Maratha Princess 3. Won by: Nk; Nk; (1-15). Tote: Win Rs 1,025; Place: 274; 17; 15; Quinella: 2,046; Tanala: 93,393. Fav: Speculative (2).

9. Chandbibi Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (3-5-6) Vivienne (McCullagh) 1; Romantic Indian 2; Prabhuti 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 3/4; (1-15.8). Tote: Win Rs 17; Place: 11; 12; 38; Quinella: 21; Tanala: 186. Fav: Vivienne (3).

Jackpot: Rs 48,704; (C) Rs 9,228.

Treble: (i) Rs 389; (ii) Rs 780; (iii) 2,098.


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