Talking tactics/ No fluke, Koreans earn it the hard way
Dalmiya: BCCI open to suggestions
Bagan open on July 13
Bangalore Racing/ Pleasure Hunt may win Justice Cup in Bangalore

June 22: 
Victory over the superior can work on the mind in two ways. It may cause a sense of fulfilment or lead to a longing for more. South Korea were driven by the second and their quest for more marked the biggest triumph in Asian football history. They showed tactical maturity and technical accomplishment in overcoming pedigreed teams like Portugal, Italy and Spain. And yet, the most striking feature of their entry to the World Cup semi-finals was their attitude.

To succeed under intense pressure � score a golden goal and convert five spot-kicks in a shootout � a team needs enormous mental strength. The way South Korea fought back, after being outplayed by Spain in the first half, shows their belief that they are inferior to none.

The taste of earlier triumphs had made them hungry and after this, they will think anything is possible. The Koreans had their share of luck as well, which became evident when a genuine Spanish goal was disallowed. But then, doesn�t fortune favour the brave?

Another strength of this Korean team, which sets them apart from Asian powers of the past, is their ability to fight with the Europeans for more than 90 minutes. This bunch of players has shown it can outlast the traditional giants and this became clear in the pace of their operations after the break.

The Spaniards must have realised that dominating the opposition means nothing unless they score. Yet another Spanish dream ended in tears because they didn�t have the killer punch. They were calling the shots in the first half, but turned soft as the match progressed and allowed South Korea the chance to claw back.

Turkey later ensured their initial supremacy didn�t diminish and squeezed out a ticket to the semi-finals after keeping Senegal under a tight leash. Both matches started on a similar note, with the Europeans trying to keep their opponents from playing their natural game. In the end, Turkey succeeded because they maintained the rhythm. Spain didn�t because they let things drift.

The Turkey-Senegal tie was a tactical delight. Turkey knew Senegal could crush them if allowed the space to run and crammed them for room. They had more men near the ball at any given point and were fast to tackle. Their covering was flawless and once they took control of the centre, they pushed the defensive screen a little forward. Turkey should have scored before than they eventually did.

Spain had noticed that the South Koreans try to press early. They chased the Asians into their own half and pinned them there by constantly pushing forward. Spain were tackling inside the rival half, running for everything and didn�t allow South Korea the chance to settle down. South Korea were rattled, but to their credit, didn�t wilt under pressure. Choi Jin-cheul and Hong Myung-bo were inspirational in the defence and provided oxygen to a gasping team.

It seemed as if Spain had started believing the psychological battle had been won after dominating the first half. This led to slight relaxation in vigil near the centre and South Korea got the chance to equalise the balance of power there. They were playing a cautious game but first neutralised and then negated Spain�s numerical advantage around the ball by sacrificing a man to assist the attackers. Slowly, they drove the Spaniards out of their defensive third by getting more men behind the ball. Spain suffered also because they had little variation in their raids.

South Korea triumphed because they were patient and realised that winning possession regularly in the opposition half would be difficult. They were tactically sharp, didn�t chase when it was futile and played within their limitations. The hallmark of their historic progress is the blend of sound strategy and composure under pressure. It is no fluke. They earned it, the hard way.


Calcutta, June 22: 
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a �detailed study� of the contracts offered in Australia, England and South Africa while finalising the draft of the one to be offered to 20 of our players.

�Quite simply, we didn�t wish to miss something that was obvious. At the same time, we didn�t want to (inadvertently) impose an unreasonable clause,� explained BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya.

Speaking to The Telegraph this morning, Dalmiya declined to go into details, but did say �no time-frame� had been set for the players to revert with their observations.

For its part, however, the BCCI should be ready to launch the contract system (and graded payments, in four slabs) from October 1. In other words, coinciding with the West Indies� tour of India.

As reported in these columns Wednesday, the draft has been sent to the players (currently in England) via senior pro Anil Kumble, who has been interacting on their behalf.

Incidentally, Dalmiya added the BCCI will be �open to suggestions.� As he put it: �We have an excellent equation with our players and don�t wish to push anything down their throat.�

Clearly, today�s scenario is dramatically different from that in mid-1989 when a clutch of top players undertook an unsanctioned tour of North America. Dalmiya, by the way, was then a hardliner.

While Dalmiya didn�t reveal what exactly is in the draft, other sources have termed it as �all-encompassing.�

Among others, the draft has clauses pertaining to behaviour, fitness, availability, endorsements (which shouldn�t clash with the BCCI�s own deals), insurance (to be borne entirely by the BCCI, unlike the arrangement in Australia) and the ones suggested by the International Cricket Council.

Significantly, there is also a clause which calls for any �dispute� between the BCCI and players to be resolved through arbitration and not courts of law.

[At this point in time, for example, the BCCI is engaged in a legal tussle with Messrs Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja.]

One understands there is even a clause specific to the players making themselves available for the team�s �image-building.� This could, apparently, take the form of public appearances while on tour.

Interesting, at the very least.


Calcutta, June 22: 
Defending champions Mohun Bagan open their Super Division campaign on July 13 while East Bengal kick off two days later.

The AIFF has given M. Suresh and S. Venkatesh the necessary clearance to play for East Bengal during the season.

According to information received here, transfers of Jo Paul Ancheri, I.M. Vijayan to JCT (from East Bengal), Jules Alberto Dias, Bijen Singh, and Ratan Singh were also approved.


Bangalore, June 22: 
The Turf Invitation Cup runner-up Pleasure Hunt, from I. Sait�s yard with Pesi Shroff in the saddle may win the Justice Cup here tomorrow.


1.30 pm: Amazing Career 1. Katina 2. Original Sin 3.

2 pm: Agnivarsh 1. English Harbour 2.

2.30 pm: Star Above 1. Karazzano 1. Accumulator 3.

3 pm: Valencia 1. Kimera 2. Crystal Goblet 3.

3.30 pm: Different Ballgame 1. Magic Mantra 2. Angeles 3.

4 pm: Pleasure Hunt 1. Arterial 2. Alchemy 3.

4.30 pm: Rio Tinto 1. Trivia 2. Belief 3.

5 pm: Classic Ballet 1. Sherie Rose 2. Gem 3.

5.30 pm: Raptures 1. Slovania 2. Fugleman 3.

Day�s best: Pleasure Hunt

Double: Star Above & Raptures.

Saturday�s Bangalore results

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Camineto Plate 1,100m: (11-10-2) Bansuri (Rajesh) 1; Strange Beauty 2; The Promethean 3. Won by: 3-3/4; 7-1/2; (1-9.7). Tote: Win Rs 42; Place: 11; 45; 32; Quinella: 450; Shp: 181; Tanala: 22,437. Fav: Princess Cut (9).

2. Udhagamandalam Plate 1,400m: (8-5-1) Diamond Harbour (Warren) 1; Juarra 2; Dark Felt 3. Won by: 3/4; 2-1/4; (1-32.1). Tote: Win Rs 43; Place: 16; 105; 14; Quinella: 1,131; Shp: 480; Tanala: 4,625. Fav: Dark Felt (1).

3. Ramkirpal Plate, Div-II 1,200m: (1-6-3) Dancing Clear (Prakash) 1; Cherry Blue 2; Prince Thunder 3. Won by: 1-1/4; 7-1/2; (1-17.3). Tote: Win Rs 22; Place: 12; 39; 13; Quinella: 196; Shp: 190; Tanala: 505. Fav: Prince Thunder (3).

4. Sweet Memories Plate 1,800m: (8-4-10) Kyosoba (M. Narredu) 1; Foolish Pursuit 2; Caape City 3. Won by: 1/2; 3/4; (1-58.6). Tote: Win Rs 59; Place: 23; 114; 19; Quinella: 1,189; Shp: 289; Tanala: 8,422. Fav: Odeon (7).

5. Stewards Cup 1,200m: (4-5-3) Extreme Contact (Rajinder) 1; Al Habib 2; Royal Satin 3. Not run: Almond (2). Won by: 1/2; 3; (1-15.5). Tote: Win Rs 55; Place: 20; 26; 23; Quinella: 284; Shp: 56; Tanala: 4,874. Fav: Soviet Bay (7).

6. Nawab Sultan Ali Khan Memorial Plate 2,000m: (9-8-4) Firecrest (Kader) 1; Forest Monarch 2; Adolfito 3. Won by: 1-3/4; SH; (2-11.7). Tote: Win Rs 88; Place: 29; 25; 22; Quinella: 419; Shp: 74; Tanala: 7,524. Fav: Enterprisor (1).

7. Tippu Sultan Cup 1,400m: (2-7-9) Classical Act (Shroff) 1; Baffert 2; Another Time 3. Won by: 8-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-28.5). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 19; 21; 13; Quinella: 96; Shp: 52; Tanala: 375. Fav: Another Time (9).

8. Ramkirpal Plate, Div-I 1,200m: (3-1-9) River of Stars (Prakash) 1; Breaking News 2; Star Diamond 3. Won by: 2; Hd; (1-17.9). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 13; 19; 70; Quinella: 62; Shp: 65; Tanala: 1,339. Fav: River of Stars (3).

Jackpot: Rs 41,090; (C) Rs 7,251.

Treble: (i) Rs 314; (ii) Rs 1,164.

Day I city meet put off

Calcutta: The stewards, Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC), on Saturday, cancelled the July 5 race meet, the opening day of the monsoon season. The season now starts from July 12, according to RCTC sources.


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