Barreto saves Bagan again
Top seeds reach semi-finals
NFL matches rescheduled
Tolly dismissed for 236
Irina in fray

Calcutta, Jan. 7: 
Mohun Bagan 1
Vasco 1

Every human being has his own expectations and limitations. But one wonders whether a man from the land of football has ever learnt this simple philosophy. Jose Ramirez Barreto�s role as a messiah for Mohun Bagan has already reached a saturation point, yet he makes other mortals believe that no boundary can ever encapsulate his talents.

At Salt Lake Stadium today, Barreto again had to live up to his billing and hide his �mortal� mates� mediocrity to save Mohun Bagan against Vasco Sports Club in a National Football League tie. His feat looked casual, yet so otherworldly.

Down with injuries and not match-fit, Barreto never showed any signs of fatigue as he strode the field for ninety minutes like a man possessed. Coach Subrata Bhattacharya thought of giving him a much-needed break, but he didn�t take the risk of letting his team�s skeleton appear sans the Brazilian. A wise decision it turned out to be.

Vasco took the lead, taking advantage of a sloppy Mohun Bagan defence soon after a barren first half.

In the sixth minute of the second session, Vasco captain Agnelo Colaco took a long throw-in from the right. Marcos Pereira, inarguably the fulcrum of the Vasco midfield, back-headed and the ball fell in the way of Brazilian Rui Wanderley, who coolly headed home as the Bagan goalkeeper and defenders stood watching.

The goal prompted Subrata to change his attacking line and Amar Ganguly and Sumit Sengupta were brought in as substitutes, apart from playmaker Basudeb Mondal. The almost non-existent supply line between Mohun Bagan midfielders and attackers now got a decent look with Barreto making regular forays, though mostly all alone, into the rival defence.

Barreto�s moment of reckoning came in the 69th minute. The home team earned a free-kick on the right and Basudeb sent in a curling cross towards the goalmouth. Barreto, foxing his markers, met with the ball in the air and his header ricocheted off the woodwork.

For co-strikers R.C. Prakash and Ganguly, it would have been the end of an effort. But Barreto closely watched it returning and amid the crowded penalty area, still found space to dive and head home low. Without five regulars, Mohun Bagan never looked a team intent on winning the match. They started like a team without any faith in itself � listless and as if lost in a lagoon.

There was almost nothing to write home about their show, but it did not turn into a mid-day nap for a handful of spectators because of the Brazilian charmer. But the tragedy is, he is so different from others in terms of sense of creativity and positioning, that he was often left alone, ruing the fact that others could not interpret him.

The draw left both teams on nine points after six matches each.


MOHUN BAGAN: Rajat Ghosh Dastidar; Amzad Ansari, Amauri da Silva, Hussain Mustafi, Rishi Kapoor; James Singh, R.P. Singh (Basudeb Mondal, 45), Bungo Singh (Sumit Sengupta, 64), Rennedy Singh (Amar Ganguly, 57); Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash.

VASCO: Rogerio Ramos; Sanjay Parte, Seby Dias, Denzil Coutinho, Agnelo Colaco; Satish Minz, Marcos Pereira (Bhola Dey, 80), Awazbek Khoshimov, C.V. Hemanthan (Abhay Kumar, 58); Rui Wanderley, Agnelo Gomes (Santa Singh, 72).

Referee: S. Suresh (Tamil Nadu).


Calcutta, Jan. 7: 
The top three seeds � Ranjan Prasad, Biplab Das and Dharmaveer Biswakarma reached the boys� under-14 semi-finals of the Maska Chaska age group tennis meet today.

RESULTS (semi-finals): Boys� U-14 � Ranjan Prasad bt Tohid Alam Khan 6-1, 6-1; Biplab Das bt Bibaswan Deb 6-0, 6-1; Dharmaveer Biswakarma bt Shrey Deb 6-1, 6-3; Baibhav Das bt Sk. Asgar 6-1, 6-4.

Boys� & girls� U-10 � Ranveer Srivastava bt Alia Piperno 7-0 (conceded); Md. Imran bt Daniele Jones 7-6, 7-4; Madhurima Chowdhury bt Ajay Halwasia 7-6, 7-5; Ayush Bajoria bt Krishna Dheeraj 7-4.

Chess meet from 14th

The 37th state chess meet will be held at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra from January 14 to 24. About 250 players will play a maximum 11 rounds in Fide Swiss league system and the first 30 will qualify to participate in the selection trial for National �B� chess championship.

State badminton

Around 160 players will take part in the third state ranking badminton meet, to be held at Anusilan Samity court from January 13 to 20. The participants include defending champions Arup Baidya and Barnali Saha and former champions Amandeep Sekri and Amrita Bhattacharya. The meet will be played under new International Badminton Federation rules.


Calcutta, Jan. 7: 
The National Football League match between defending champions East Bengal and Vasco of Goa, due to take place at Salt Lake Stadium on Thursday, has been postponed for a day, in anticipation of a statewide strike on that day.

Announcing this today, IFA joint secretary Ranjit Gupta said two other matches � between Mohun Bagan and JCT, and Tollygunge Agragami and Punjab Police � have also been deferred by a day and will now be held on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Gupta said that the AIFF has approved the rescheduling of matches, and the concerned teams have been informed about them. Meanwhile, IFA has decided to organise a five-a-side football meet at Netaji Indoor Stadium in the last week of April. �We are approaching teams from Brazil, Spain and Thailand for the meet,� Gupta said.


Calcutta, Jan. 7: 
East Bengal were 20 for one in reply to Tollygunge Agragami�s 236 in the two-day CAB senior division league today.

Adil Sheikh top-scored with an unbeaten 64 for Tollygunge while East Bengal�s Subir Dey took six for 99.

BRIEF SCORES: Tollygunge 236 (Adil Sheikh 64 n.o., Minaksha Mandol 42; Subir Dey 6/99, Shib Sagar Singh 4/56). East Bengal 20/1. Match to continue.


Calcutta, Jan. 7: 
Irina Brar will lead a strong field in the West Bengal Ladies amateur golf championship, beginning at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club tomorrow. The four-day event has a total of 65 entries till today.

Participants include well-known names like Parnita Grewal, Anjali Chopra, Vandana Agarwal and Sonam Merchant from Mumbai. The only junior golfer in the fray is city girl Manasi Halwasiya � others from the country have school commitments.


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