11 MARCH

Status at the end of Round 15 of the ONGC I-League


The 15th of the total 26 rounds have been completed. Looking at the league table it is evident that this year the title quest will go to the wire and in all probability it will be a four-horse race. Goa’s Dempo Sports Club still tops the league table with 29 points with Mumbai’s Mahindra United breathing down their neck with 28 points.

At the start of the 15th round Dempo’s were leading the pack with 29 points and Mahindra United were 4 points behind them and next in contention. Dempo’s docked 3 points from an unexpected away loss to Viva Kerala and Mahindra’s home win over city rival Air India brought out a host of fresh possibilities and suddenly the title hunt became realistic for quite a few teams. Last year’s I-League champion Churchill did well to wrest full points in their match against Kolkata’s Chirag United and are now in the third position just 4 and 3 points behind Dempo and Mahindra United respectively.

McDowell Mohun Bagan’s quest to wrest the title received a jolt as they dropped points in a barren encounter with Pune FC playing in front of the home crowd. They are a distant 4th with 24 points. Missing Chiddi Edeh in this match from a double yellow card offence, the Mohun Bagan forward line lacked the requisite bite to tear apart the Pune FC defence. Also the Brazilian Barreto’s magic was not in evidence as he lacked the Nigerian’s presence to create the opportunities. The national goalie, Subrata Pal doing duty under the Pune FC goalpost displayed exemplary form to keep the slate untainted and was fittingly adjudged the Man of the Match.

“Slow but steady wins the race”, this adage has once again being proved right by the Pune FC boys. The side stuttered in the early stage of the competition but have improved remarkably as the rounds progressed. The side is currently placed 5th with 23 points and their coach Derrick Periera has many a trick up his sleeve and could engineer further climb in the subsequent rounds of matches to be played.

Chirag United are in the 6th spot also with 23 points like Pune FC but with an adverse Goal Difference and with a handful of problems. They have sacked their maverick coach, Subrata Bhattacharjee for spitting venom against the two big clubs of Kolkata thereby violating the AIFF’s model code of conduct for coaches and for which he has been show-caused by AIFF. Also, their enigmatic goal-getter Edmilson Pardel was red-carded for on-field spitting in the earlier match against Churchill Brothers and will have to sit out in the 16th round away match against Mumbai FC in the Cooperage. The Chirag players it seems are a bunch of confused lot as a new coach is similar to joining a new work place and it will take some time for them to adapt to this situation. Meanwhile the subsequent matches will come and go and they will be finding it tough to stay focused.

The other teams in the league table and without championship hopes are Mumbai FC and Kingfisher East Bengal (both 20 points), JCT and Viva Kerala (both 18 points), Salgaoncar SC and Air India (both 15 points), Lajong FC (13 points) and the last ranked side, Sporting Clube de Goa (7 points) who have still to register a win as of date. Although not in the championship reckoning, these teams are quite capable to upset the applecart and destiny of the top teams. Therefore the prospective I-League champion side will have to exhibit tremendous character and composure playing these back runners in the days ahead.

The one team which showed promise but have perhaps “thrown the towel’ is the Kingfisher East Bengal Club. Level on points with McDowell Mohun Bagan till the 13th round, they have fared disastrously registering back-to-back defeats in the 14th and the 15th rounds, first against Pune FC at home and thereafter Lajong FC in Shillong. Compounding their woes is the fact that they have three different tournaments to focus upon simultaneously, the local Kolkata league, the I-League and the AFC competition. Managing all three together is quite a handful for any side and there is every possibility of an impending disaster in the coming days.

11 MARCH

Man Utd reached in the last eight of Champions League


A superb performance from EPL star Manchester United saw them into the Champions League last eight with an aggregate of 7 - 2, while defeating Italian Seria A Star AC Milan 4-0 at Old trafford.

Manchester United started the match as big favourites to progress after winning the first leg in their away match at San Siro 3-2. The Red Devils started bery brightly and took a 13th minute lead when Wayne Rooney header beat Christian Abbiati (1 - 0) off Gary Neville's superb cross.

United doubled their lead within 1 minute of the starting of seconds half when Nani, from the left, crossed precisely with his right foot in the 46th minute and Rooney shot past Abbiati. A finish with boot rather than brow was the sole element of surprise..2 - 0

Park Ji-Sung made it 3-0 in the 59th minute after a beautiful pass from Paul Scholes to Park who found the net with a low shot from a tight angle. 3 - 0.

Darren Fletcher capped the rout with two minutes before ending the match with a late header that set the seal on an emphatic victory to send the Rossoneri crashing out.

United will now be in the hat for 19 March’s quarter-final draw.

Manchester United : Van der Sar, Neville (Rafael 66'), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes(Gibson 73'), Park, Valencia, Nani, Rooney (Berbatov 66').

AC Milan : Abbiati, Abate(David Beckham 66'), Bonera (Clarence Seedorf 46'),Thiago Silva, Jankulovski, Flamini, Pirlo, Ambrosini, Huntelaar, Borriello (Filippo Inzaghi 70'), Ronaldinho.

10 MARCH

Pune FC hold Mohun Bagan in I- League match


Mohun Bagan just managed a goalless draw against Pune F.C. in a very vital I-League encounter. A win in this match could place Bagan in a far better situation in the league table but the mariners lost the golden opportunity of coming forward by only managing a draw.

From the very beginning Mohun Bagan realized the absence of Chidi in the field but instead of that Bagan created number of chances in the first half especially in the 27th minute Sueoka wasted a very close opportunity to out his team ahead in the match. The first half was very competitive and in numbers of occasions Pune F.C. also replied with good counter moves but again failed to score any goal. The first half remained goalless.

In the second half Bagan showed more urgency and increased their pressure to the Pune goal. Both Snehasish and Marcos missed number of close chances to score and during this span of time Man of the Match Pune Goalkeeper Subrata Pal made certain vital saves and successfully protected the goal of his team. Finally the match ended with a goalless scoreline and Bagan failed to capitalize a good opportunity to move forward in the I-League table.

Mar 10 :  M.Mohun Bagan   0 - 0   Pune F.C

M.O.M:Subrata Pal(GK-PFC)

MMB:Sangram,Manju,Deepak,Barreto,Isfaq,Surkumar,Sueoka, James,Masih,Lalram,Marcos

PFC:Subrata,Caitano,Selwin,Kuttimani,Arata,Edmar,Douhou, Sunil Kumar,Tokov,Franco,Chika.

90':Match end. branco missed an oppertunity to score last time.

88': Still no score. Both teams are trying to score.

87': Last change of Pune. Annes Kutti came in place of Douhou. Bagan is playing well but unable to score.

86': Marcos missed a golden chance to score. Barreo well passed him but he unable to push in the blank goal.

83': Branco came in place of James Singh.

76':Snehasish missed a opertunity. Well passed by Barreto,Subrata was not in his position.But Shehsish shot went out.

72':Edmar shot went away.

70': Bagan is attacking more.

65':Bagan got a free kick. Marcos shot well saved by Subrata. Corner for Bagan.

62': Both teams has changed their Player. Bagan's Snehasish came in place of Isfaq and Venkatesh came in place of Sunil Kumar of Pune.

59': Sangram well saved Sunil Kumar's shot.Earlier James Back Volly well saved by Pune Keeper Subrata Pal.

58': Player changing. Jeje Lalpekhula came in place of Kuttimani.

48': 2nd half match started. Bagan is attackig.Barreto passed to Sueoka but well cleared by Godwin Franco.

HT: It's half time now with goalless score line.

45:Referee added two minutes injury time.

43': Seuoka is playing from behind and Marcos is playing in upfront now. Sueoka missed a header off Marcos cross.

40': Still no score in the match like JCT and Salgaocar match at Ludhiana.

38':Bagan got a free Kick.Marcos Shot deflected from Subrata Pal's hand but no Bagan player was there to follow up the ball.

36': Referee shown Yellow card to Deepak of Bagan. Free Kick taken by Tokov.No damage done.

34':Well effort by Barreto .His side Volly off surkumar pass went away.

31':Chance missed by Surkumar. His header went away off Barreto pass.

28':Toov of Pune passed to Arata.Arata close range shot well saved by Sangram.

27': Barreto well passed towards Sueoka who was unable to received well.

25': Depak well cleared an attack of Pune's Edmar.

20': Barreto well crossed towards Marcos. Nice volly by Marcoes but went away.Pune got a corner. No damage done in the corner.

17': Chika wali of Pune well cleared an attack of Bagan. Barreto to James in right.James passed to Surkumar.Sur well crossed but Chika Wali cleared it.

12':Referee shown Yello card to Edmar of Pune who fouled Marcos.

11': Counter attack by Bagan through Barreto. Passed towards Sueoka but Where is he?

10': Douhou back header went to Arata who shoot nice but Sangram was alert and saved the ball.

7': Ramlalluaha fouled Arata just out side Bagan Box. Well Free kick by Edmar. Sangram saved it by Corner. From the corner Caitano shot went over the Bar post.

3': Match starts. Douhou well attack but Rakesh Masih well cleared the ball timely.

10 MARCH

East Bengal lost their AFC home match against Syrian team


East Bengal was defeated by Al-Ittihad the Syrian team with 1-4 scoreline at Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Salt Lake in an AFC Cup Match.With the kick off the visitors established complete hold on the match and as soon as in the 7th minute Autobong opened the scoreline for the Syrian team from a rebound. After the opening goal the visitors created one after one attacks to the goal of the home team simply like destructive storm and just in the 29th minute of the match Alagha scored the second goal for the visitors.

Towards the end of the first half East Bengal mid field which looked panic stricken from the beginning anyhow little bit organised themselves and the hame side tried to fight back in the match. But before the half time East Bengal could find the desired goal to reduce the margin.

In the second half the home team showed much better football than that of first half and started to create opportunities for reducing the margin. In the 54th minute the AI-Ittihad defender Salah fouled Bhaichung within the penalty box and thus got a golden opportunity to score a goal. Yakubu made no mistake to convert the penalty and thus the home side reduced the margin to just one goal.

But after conceding the goal the visitors became more alerted in the defence and thus provide no more lose opportunities to their opponents and in spite of their several attempts East Bengal failed to score the equalizer. But late drama was still waiting in the match and in the 89th minute again Alagha increased the lead further by adding another goal to the scoreline. Two minutes later in the injury time of the match Obiaid Ali scored the fourth and final goal for the visitors to give the Syrian team a 4-1 victory over East Bengal in the match.

Live Updates

KF East Bengal(IND)   1 - 4   Al Ittihad (SYR) (YBK - FT.. )

AL: Autobong 7',Alagha 28',91',Obiaid Ali 91'

KEB: Yakubu (pen-55')

FT: Match end. Al Ittihad win 4-1.

92':Syrian Al itihad almost win by 4-1.few minutes to end.

90': Referee added 5 minutes more.

91':GOALLLL..Again goal by Ittihad. Obiaid Ali Scored now.Abhra was not in position.

89'GOALLLL..Alagha scored again for Ittihad.

83':Hammond missed a chance. Well corner of Sanju.Hammond shot just touched the 2nd post and out.

78': Hammond well Free Kick saved by Ittihad Keeper.

76':Sanju short corner. Passed to Yakubu. Yakubu to Baichung but Baichug was unable to received the ball.It could be goal if Baichung can received the ball.

70': Chance missed by Baichung. Hammond well crossed from left.

69': East Bengal has changed their player. Nirmal Chhetri out and Khabra came in his place.

67': Goal line saved by Mehraj. Good luck to East Bengal.

60':Yakubu - Baichung to Alvito. Alvito shot well saved by Ittihad keeper Yasser.

55':GOALLLL... Yakubu scored goal from Penalty.

54': Penalty for East Bengal.Ittihad defender Salah fouled Baichung and Referee shown Yellow card.

51': Referee shown yellow card to Okpara of East Bengal.

46': Start of 2nd half at Salt Lake.

HT:It's half time now.

45': refere shown Yellow card to Nrmal Chhetri.

43':Sanju again lost a another chance. Alvito passed to Yakubu.Yakubu to Hammond.Hammond to Sanju but his powerful shot went away. 39': Nirmal header went direct to Ittihad Keeper's hand. Yakubu was trying to enter in the box but Ittihad defence cleared the ball.

34': Al Ittihad is leading 2 - 0 now.

32':Sanju well crossed from right but Baichug and Yakubu could not received the ball.Ittihad defence cleared the ball.

29':GOALLLL Again goal by Ittihad. Alagha scored now. Mehraj and Nirmal were spetator?

24':Chance missed by Ittihad. Their striker beat Abhra but shot hits the post and out.

20':Yakubu again good attack.Dribbled three players and passed again to Baichug.Baichung to Sanju . Sanju shot cleared by Ittihad Keeper.

17':Yakubu want to pass the ball towards Baichug in Ittihad Box.But where is Baichug? Unable to go to the ball line.

14': East Bengal is trying to prevent the visitors attack.Alvito and Mehtaab wants to manage midfield.

7': GOALLLL..Al Ittihad scored goal.Abhra saved a shot of their striker but the ball deflected from his hand and advancing Cameroonien Autobang push it to the net.

East Bengal:Abhra,Nirmal,Okpra,Hammond,Alvito,Yakubu,Mehtab,Baichung, Nabi,Sanju,Mehraj.

10 MARCH

FIFA World Cup 2010 : Group 'D' Analysis


Welcome to Group D. A group headed by the all-time favourites, Germany. One just cannot expect a World Cup without “Die Mannschaft”. They are always there. Either as underdogs or the red hot favourites, the defending champions or the dark horses, the most under-rated side or the most over-rated side, the unorganised outfits or the most disciplined unit, the scrapers or the masters in getting the results, YOU JUST CAN’T IGNORE THEM! They always make it through and are not just a big team for nothing. They are like cockroaches. They almost always, manage to survive the toughest conditions, battling hard against the odds and always come through on big occasions.

Joachim Low has taken over from where Juergen Klinsmann left off. They almost won the Euro 2008, had it not been for a fantastic spanish outfit and the last edition of the World Cup was theirs for the taking with home advantage, players in top form and an attacking and ruthless style of football. However, they had to bow out to the ultimate Champions Italy. Nevertheless they left a mark, finishing third. This time around surprisingly, they have, pretty much, the same constituents and ingredients in the squad as last time. Michael Ballack will lead from the front as captain fantastic and their midfield maestro, Klose once again will spearhead the attack while Mertesacker and co will guard in defence.

The team looks good with a fine mix of old -wine experience in form of Ballack, Klose and Freidrich, matured young talents from yesteryear as Podolski, Schweinsteigger, Lahm and Piotr Trochowski and exhuberant new generation youngsters like Mesut Ozil, Marko Marin, Aaron Hunt and Serdar Tasci. The team plays the usual German way, with power, pace and venom all over the pitch. They have no style, flair or panache about the way they go or to prbably say, this is their style. Quite honestly, they need no style or flair. They need result and they know how to get them, somehow or the other. Watch out for Marko Marin and Mesut Ozil as they announce their arrivals in the biggest stage as the next superstars of World football.

But hold on. I almost forgot as I am going about with Deutscheland. Here also we have Serbia, Ghana and the underdogs Australia. Honestly, in terms of putting up a challenge in front of the Germans, I don’t quite see Australia anywhere near that. Ghana, however, have a chance of halting them. May be even with a draw. Serbia, on the other hand, have a decent chance of beating them on their day. They qualified top from their group in qualifiers consisting of France, Romania and Austria. They boast of some powerful and precisive strikers in the form of Milan Jovanovic, the towering Nikola Zigic, Marko Pantelic and Danko Lazovic. However, it is their defence that can scare any opponent.

With Neven Subotic, Aleksandar Kolarov, Ivica Dragutinovic and the sensational Nemanja Vidic lining up in defence, it even looks tough for a team like Spain to break open the defence lock. Alongside the quality the players possess, the average height of their backline numbers 1.89 metres with an average weight of 87 kgs. Imagine a Lionel Messi or an Aguero or a Robinho or Ronaldo or perhaps David Villa or even Wayne Rooney who often run down their opponents, meeting and clashing against these gigantic towers who can also run with power and force their opponents on the mat. They might well have to take evasive measures in case one of these defenders comes charging in for a heavy tackle or just stops and stands like a wall in front or may be just budges one of them on the run.

Injuries or sheer dismissal of their presence from the sight of the thousands watching with one heavy blow causing them to fly away can be very humiliating at the same time quite hopeless. Their sheer presence and physical style of play can be very intimidating, no matter what or how much anyone talks about the individual dribbling skills, pace and trickeries of these superstars put on show. Serbia not only possess strong defenders and tall target men but also skillful midfielders as Krasic, Kuzmanovic, Zoran Tosic, Stankovic and Bosko Jankovic. Tosic will be the player to watch out for out there with his stinging runs down the left and some pin point accurate crosses to be headed in by the tall target men waiting inside the box.

The Black stars will definitely be fighting for the second spot, if not the top, which looks very likely. Although, they made it to the finals in the CAF Nations Cup this year itself without Michael Essien, they would still need to work hard. Being in Africa would definitely grant them an advantage and they would almost certainly have Michael Essien back in the squad this time unlike the last world cup. Sulley Ali Muntari, Anthony Annan and Asamoah Gyan will definitely make up the team’s own star list whereas Opoku Agyemang, Andre Ayew, the son of the great Abedi Pele and Derek Asamoah will feature as the young starlets ready to shine for their country in this grand stage.

John Mensah and John Paintsil will be the experienced defence warlords at the back. Serbia will definitely be the team to challenge for them but on their day may be even Germany can be dealt with. Australia as the fourth team might be even happy to finish third. After all, they don’t have Guus Hiddink anymore and everyone knows what a difference he makes to a side no matter which side it may be. Mark Viduka is long gone and Harry Kewell is not the same anymore. Mark Bresciano and Vincenzo Grella might be the lone source of inspiration from midfield and Lucas Neill with his rich English Premier League experience, as now a Turkish league player, might put in some valuable contribution in collecting points. In any case, their chances look quite dull.

As said earlier, Germany should progress comfortably whereas Ghana and Serbia will have to fight it out for the second spot. It will be very hard to predict who finishes second here as Ghana might put the homely conditions to the fullest use or perhaps Serbia can collect the maximum points. Serbia vs Ghana will surely be a match that can determine a lot. Ghana vs Germany and Germany vs Serbia will also be attracting viewers. My prediction will have Germany as toppers and Serbia finishing second.

09 MARCH

East Bengal will face Al Ittihad of Syria in AFC Cup home match


As the winner of Federation Cup East Bengal will face the Asian challenge when they will take on Al Ittihad of Syria of Group D Match tomorrow at Salt Lake Stadium. East Bengal had a bitter experience in last two matches when they lost 1-2 to Pune FC and 0 - 1 to Shillong Lajong FC I-League.

Now East Bengal wants to forget the past and looking forward to perform better result in the matche.

Today in a press meet at Oberoi Grand Hotel at Kolkta, the coach of Al Ittihad, who arrived here with his team on Saturday told that, the they have no past knowledge about East Bengal team but some of their players know the name of India Captain Baichung Bhutia who is a player of East Bengal.

Al Ittihad who finished second in the last years Syrian Premier League and currently at 10th place in the Syrian Premier League with 20 points. In the last five matches they draw one , win one and lost three. The six times Syria League winner and Eight Times Syria cup winner team admitted that they have never played on an artificial turf like poly grass at Salt Lake Stadium.Yet the Current temperature and Astro turf will not a barrier to them to play a good match as they are actually practicing and playing in natural grass pitch.

Although East Bengal coach Ridder told that it would be better if the match time will be in evening.His boys are very much eager to take on the Asian challenge with the visitors and his boys will give 200 per cent in the AFC Cup first home match.East Bengal captain Rahim Nabi addressed that the team will fight good as it's an International Match.

09 MARCH

Chirag warns their coach Subrata by a letter


Chirag United today sent a letter to their team coach Subrata Bhattacharjee for talking to press and giving controvertial statements without prior permission of Club.This is not a show cause letter and not ask him to send answer of the letter.This is an warn notice to him for not voileting the code of conduct in future.

Today in a press meet at Chirag office Chirag United Chairman Koustav Roy told that, their coach not to interact with media and give any statement without permission of Club Authority.He should not use the club's platform in accusing or passing comments on other clubs or players.

In spite of this, if he continue to do the same, then club would be forced to take action against him. He has been asked to speak only on technical matters of the club.

Yesterday AIFF sent a letter to Chirag United coach Subrata Bhattacharya for making some comments in local news paper, before his team’s clash against Mohun Bagan in I- League home match on 4th march. After one day of the match,Mohun Bagan brought the matter to AIFF’s notice after their executive committee meeting.The letter states that Subrata has to answer within 10 days as to why he made a comment.

Subrata Bhattacharyya who was not present todays practice.If hea will not present in tomorrow's practice,then Chirag may think to show cause him.

08 MARCH

First Ever Reality Football Show by ESPN STAR Sports to be launched in India


In association with Media Star Global the ESPN-STAR Sports will introduce the Super Soccer Star the first ever football reality show on television in India. UK based Kids Company Galleon Holdings has struck a deal with Disney and ESPN-STAR to launch the multi-platform reality show the Super Soccer Star. The show will telecast in the weekend Saturday and Sunday during the five weeks of the FIFA World Cup 2010.

This is going to be an opportunity for the young football talents of the country to come forward and prove their talent. The young boys between 13 to 16 will get the opportunity to prove their brilliance in the show. R.C. Venkatesh the MD of the ESPN Software India stated that in going to be a fabulous opportunity for the young football talents all over the country.

Twenty contestants from different parts of the country will be chosen after trials and live events. Then from them ultimately four finalists will be selected and they will move to London and are evaluated by the Chelsea F.C. and finally the winner of the Supper Soccer Star will get the opportunity to get training at the Chelsea Academy in Cobham.

After telecasting such kind of show successfully in China and Malaysia, Scandinavia, Eastern and Western Europe the Galleon Holdings now brings the show in India.

08 MARCH

Viva Registered Surprise 1-0 win over Dempo at Home


Again David beat Goliath. In the 15th round encounter of the I-League one of the bottom teams of the league table Viva Kerala registered a surprise win over the current top position and three time League winner team Dempo S.C. with 1-0 margin in home. With this win with 18 points in 15 matches Viva climbed up the ladder while Dempo remained stagnant with 29 points in equal number of matches. This event proved the real competition in the I-League which is a very good sign for Indian football.

After starting Kick -Off in 37 degree temperature Viva took the control of the match and within first 25 minutes number of good moves were built up by the home team. But finally the desired goal came in the 42nd minute when from a well directed cross of the substitute Nishad KP Reuben Senyo’s nice header defeated the Dempo keeper Kattimani and went straight in to the net. Thus before the half time Viva went 1-0 up in the match.

While in the second half being 0-1 down Dempo tried their best to level up the scoreline. In fact the attacks of Dempo towards the Viva goal created a kind of storm but in spite of that the visitors failed to broke the defence fortress of the home side.

In fact the Viva keeper made two great saves in the second half the wise the story could be different at the end of the day if those two opportunities of Dempo were not wasted. Finally the match ended with 1-0 scoreline in favour of the visitors and these 3 vital points will definitely be crucial to save the relegation for Viva at the end of the League. The scorer of the match Reuben of Viva declared man of the match later.

08 MARCH

Rooney has high hopes for England at 2010 World Cup


Wayne Rooney thinks that 2010 could be a new dawn for England at the upcoming FIFA World Cup which begins in South Africa in June.

In a wide ranging exclusive interview published in the March 2010 issue of the All Sports Magazine, the ace England and Manchester United striker holds forth on a host of subjects including England’s prospects at the World Cup, the difference between Fabio Capello & Sir Alex Ferguson as managers, how much he misses Cristiano Ronaldo, how he has channelized his aggression in a positive way, his love for the ‘red devils’ and a lot more…

Asked if England can win the World Cup, after a bit of introspection, Rooney said: "We’ve been playing well and hopefully we’ll keep improving. I still think we’ve got to improve to win it and if we do that hopefully with a bit of luck we can go further than we have done in recent years."

Dwelling on the issue of his irascible temper and disciplinary record, Rooney however doesn’t think that it (his record) has been "too bad". However, he is frank enough to admit that he deserved to be sent off for that stamp on Ricardo Carvalho in the 2006 World Cup, which however wasn’t intentional:

"Of course, it’s a straight red card. I’ve got no argument about that. But I just want to try to forget about it now and move on and I’ve got a chance to put it right in the next tournament," the 24-year-old player said.

Questions about his former colleague at United, Cristiano Ronaldo, gets Rooney all enthused in a jiffy. He has no hesitation in dubbing the Portuguese forward the best player in the world at the moment. "At Real Madrid he seems to have improved again. He’s passing the ball a lot more as well. I think he’s definitely the best player (in the world)", Rooney replied when asked a direct question on the subject.

Rooney also feels that the ‘red devils’ are a much more potent force from the time he hauled up at Old Trafford from Everton in 2004: "I think this team is a lot better than when I joined. When I first joined I was 18. We had a lot of young players but over the last few years we've got the experience that has helped the team to progress."

Asked what areas of his game he needs to improve on before he can be touted as a great player, Rooney does not hesitate to spell out what they are. "Most of it, to be honest. I still want to improve on my link-up play, my goal scoring and my heading. I should probably score more goals with my head," he confessed.

Warming up to questions about United and its diehard fans, Rooney sums up the romance of the ‘red devils’ quite succinctly. "We always try and entertain and play attacking football, and I think we’ve done that well over the last few years," he concluded.

ARTICLE COURTESY      www.allsportsmag.in

07 MARCH

Another I-League loss of Chirag against Churchill



Chirag United failed to continue their good form in the second leg of the I-League. After 1-5 loss to Mohun Bagan in their previous match today Chirag again faced another I-League defeat at home against defendig champions Churchill Brothers.Today was the 100th match of this years I-League.

This time with the help of a fantastic hattrick of Odafe Oolie, Churchill won with 4-2 scoreline in Yuba Bharati Krirangan in their away encounter against Chirag and reached to 3rd place in the point table now with 25 points after 15th round.

With the kick-off Churchill established their hold over the game and Odafe opened the scoreline as early as in the 9th minute of the match. With the total dominance in the match the away team increased the margin in the 38th minute through the goal scored by Ogba Kalu. In the dying minutes of the first half Odafe again scored another goal to put his team 3-0 up in the match just before the half time.

Being 0-3 down Chirag fought back in the match in the second half and by scoring two goals respectively in the 61st and 63rd minute of the match Edmilson took the challenge to the opposite site. But the home side could not get enough satisfaction as in the 61st minute by scoring his hattrick goal Odafe again gave two goals lead two the visitors.

Unnecessarily in the 76th minute Edmilson received a red card as he spit to the face of Robert. This event ended all the chances of Chirag to return back in the match as Churchill got none man advantage to protect the lead. As expected finally the match ended with 4-2 scoreline in favour of Churchill Brothers.

Odafe was unquestionably selected as the Man of the Match by scoring hattrick in 100th ILeague math in this edition and also reached the race of top scorer with 12 goals. \

Chirag Unitd :Somnath,Manas,Arnab,Du, Dhanarajan,Gouranga Dutta,Jayanta, Denson,Gauranga Biswas,Edmilson, Joshimar.

Churhill Brothers: Arindam,Rowilson,Felix,Naouba,Kalu,Odafa,Vasum,Robert, Nasimento,Gourmangi,Ralte.

ON LINE UPDATES

Chirag United   2 - 4   Churchill Brothers

CU: Edmilson 61', 63'  : CB:Odafe 9', 45', 71', Kalu 38'

M.O.M :Odafe Okolie (CB)  : R/C:Edmilson (CU)

FT:Match end. Churchill win the match 4-2.Odafa okolie of Churchill declared Man of the Match.

90'+2': Well saved by Somnath. Odafa got a ball from Gourmangi and wants to place the ball but Somnath saved it by diving well

90': Referee added 4 minutes for injury time.

89': Tulunga's shot direct went to Churchill Keeper Arindam's hand.

87': Few minutes left to end of the match.The score line is Chirag 2 - 4 Churchill Brothers.Churchill is trying to increase the margin and 10 men Chirag also attacking with their force for reducing the margin.

76': RED CARD to Edmilson who spitted Robert and Referee shown him red card and Yellow card to Robert. Now 10 men chirag is attacking to reduce the margin.

71':GOALLLLL..Odafa Hattrick.Easily dribbled two defenders in Chirag Box and scored his hattrick.

67': Player changes. Tulunga came in place of Gouranga Biswas for Chirag and Charan Rai came in place of Vasum for Churchill.

63':GOALLLLL.. Again goal by Edmilson.. Same type.Joshimar's shot deflected from Arindam's hand and advancing Edmilson who well followed the ball scored his and Chirag's 2nd Goal.Now score line is 3 - 2.

61':GOALLLLL..Chirag scored Goal through Edmilson.Joshimar's shot deflected from Vasum's leg came to Edmilson who scored. 3-1.

58':Asim Biswas came in place of Jayanta Sen of Chirag.

53': Chirag got a chance. Jayanta passed to Emilson but his shot just missed the target.Asmi Biswas is warming up now.

49': Arindam saved a powerful punch of Dhanarajan.

46': Starts of 2nd half now. Chirag is trailing 0 - 3.

HT: It's Half time now. Churchill is leading 3 - 0.

45':GOALLLLL.Again goal by Odafa.Felix passed him in the Box.Where was Du and Arnab?

43':Referee rejected a goal of Edmilson for offside.Joshimar lobbed the ball in the box.

41':Joshimar corssed from left but Edmilson was let to follow the ball. Nacimento cleared the ball.

38': Felix passed to Vasum from right. Vasum Shot hits the post and returned to unmarked Kalu who easily pushed the ball into the goal.

38':GOALLLLL.. Churhill increased their margin by 2 - 0. Ogba Kalu scored.

36': Yellow card to Du of Chirag who fouled Odafa just out side the Box.

30':Chirag got a free kick but Edmilson free kick went away.

29':Ralte passed to Felix. Felix passed to advancing Odafa.But this time Odafa's shot went away.

26': Du Header well collected by Arindam

24': Gourmangi well cleared an attack of Edmilson in the Boz.

22':Kalu passed to Felix.But Felix shot just missed the target.

20': Churchill is pressurising through their two striker Odafa and Felix.

15': Churchill is leding 1 - 0 now.Edmilson got a ball from Gouranga Dutta but his shot went direct to Churchill Keeper Arindam.

9': GOALLLLL..Odafa scored for Churchill Brothers.Felix passed well from left side.Manas Das was there but Odafa beat him and his shot went to goal after hitting post.

5': Chirag is in attack.Edmilson received a pass from Joshimar in the Box.But his shot went away.

1': Match strats.

07 MARCH

Goals Galore: Mohun Bagan crushed Calcutta Port Trust 6 - 0


Mohun Bagan continues their huge margin win also in the Sahara Premier Division Calcutta Football League. In their last I-League match Bagan registered a 5-1 win over Chirag United and today in a CFL encounter Bagan crushed the Port team with huge 6-0 margin. Three goals in each half finally gave a half a dozen goal victory to the Maroon and Green.

As the match started Mohun Bagan opened the scoreline as early as in the 8th minute through a fine goal scored by Branco. Within two minutes of the opening goal Branco scored the second goal from a fantastic free kick of Subha Kumar. In the 15th minute Mohun Bagan find their third goal and Branco completed his hattrick. Sueoka made a brilliant back volley which Branco capitalized into another goal. In the rest of the first half Mohun Bagan entirely dominated the match but could not find any further goal. On the other hand Port got just one or two good attempts to the Bagan goal.

With the beginning of the second half Port tried to reduce the margin in fact during this span of time Ndem created couple of chances for Port but the team of Biswajit Bhattacharya failed to convert the opportunities into goals. Soon again Bagan got the complete hold of the match and in the 63rd minute from a pass of Branco substitute Kulathungan further increased the margin. In the 79th and 82nd minute Man of the Match of today’s game Snehasish Chakraborty scored the final two goals to confirm a six goal win to his team. With this win Mohun Bagan not just only strengthen their top position in the league table but it also showed a very good start of Satyajit Chatterjee as the Coach of the Mariners.

M.Mohun Bagan:Sangram,Zenith,Azim,Biswajit,Rakesh,Branco,Snehasish, Seuoka,Ramlalluaha,Subho Kumar,souvik.

ONLINE UPDATES

M.Mohun Bagan   6 - 0   Cal. Port Trust

MMB:Branco 8', 10', 15, Kulothungal 63', Snehasish 79' 82'

M.O.M : Snehasish Chakrabarty (MMB)

FT: Match end. Bagan win the match 6 - 0.

90': Referee added 2 minutes.Bagan is leading 6 - 0. Snehasish Chakrabarty of Mohun Bagan has been declared man of the match today.

82':GOOAAAALLL..Snehasish scored again for Bagan.6 - 0.

79':GOOAAAALLL..Snehasish scored fifth goal of Bagan.

72':Another change of Bagan. Tomba Singh came in plae of Subho Kumar.

68': Bagan changed another player. Branco who scored hattrick now out and Suraj Mondol came in his place.

63':GOOAAAALLL.. Again goal by Bagan. Kulothungan scored this time. Branco passed in the box.

58': Bagan has changed their Player. Sueoka went awy and Kulothungan came in his place.

55': Free kick by Rakesh Masih went away over the cross bar.

54':Souvik Offside but he netted the ball.

52':Slow math pace now.Port is trying to attack.

49':U - 19 plauer Souvik of Bagan booked for a foul.

47':2nd half starts.Bagan is leading 3 - 0.

HT: It's half time now. Bagan is leading 3 - 0.Courtesy Banco Cordozo.

43': Few minutes left to end of the First Half.

38': Danger in Port Box. Branco could get an another. Snehasish crossed ball from left.No one was there but Branco was too let to reach.

37': Bagan is attacking again.Leading by 3 - 0 now.Sanjeev Maria of Port cleared an attack of Sueoka-Snehasish attack.

33': Port has changed their player. Debranjan Behra came in place of Limbu Ram.

31': Yellow card to Branco who disturbed Port Keeper.

28':Bad luck of Bagan.Souvik shot hits the post and returned in the field.Sueoka passed him in the box.

25':Souvik nice passed from right.Branco was trying to push the ball but Port keeper Maidul well alert.

20':Sangram well cleard an attack of Limbu of Port.

19':Bagan is attacking again.Sueoka-Snehasish duo is playing well.

15':GOOAAAALLL..Hattrick by Branco..Beautiful Back Volly off Sueoka pass.Bagan is leading 3 - 0 now.

10':GOOAAAALLL.. Again scored by Branco. Beautiful Free Kick by Subho Kumar.

8':GOOAAAALLL..Branco scored for Bagan off Snehasish Free Kick.Branco placed the ball on the way.

7': Seuoka well effort,dribbled two deenders but Port Keeper saved it nicely by diving well.

5':Souvik to Zenith to Branco..but Finally Branco offside.

3':Souvik of Bagan tries to enter from right.Port defender Tapan Das cleared.

2':Sanjit Saha of port moves from left But it was too fast to control hiself finally.

1': Match starts.

06 MARCH

Chirag United will face Defending Champion Churchill Brothers


After their 1-5 drubbing at the hands of city rival Mohun Bagan in their last I-League match at Salt Lake,Subrata Bhattacharya’s boys now will take on defending champion Churchill Brothers tomorrow in their 15 th Round match in I-League .

Churchill Brothers who lost 1-4 at home against Mahindra United at home will give some hope to the city outfit. In terms of points, Chirag are placed fifth with 23 points from 14 games, while Churchill with 24 points from equal number of matches.

With rest 12 matches( 8 Home and 4 Away) still to go, this is the best opportunity for Chirag to get their confidence back by earning full point.But Subrata will chamge some players tomorrow.

Jayanta Sen will be starting as the central midfielder in place of Mathew Grbesa.Right back Rahul Kumaris likely to be replaced by Dhanrajan.Du and Arnab Mondal will be manning the central defence along with leftt back Narugopal Hait.Denson Devadas, tulunga and Gouranga Biswas may be played midfield. The Brazilian duo of Edmilson and Joshimar will play as striker as usual.

Apart from their Nigerian sharpshooter Okolie Odafe who scored 9 goals so far, Churchill have a few matured players like Kalu, Nauba, Felix,Gourmangi Singh. In their home match Churchill won 2 - 0.This match is acid test for their brazilian coach Carlos Pereira.

06 MARCH

Revenge of Lajong in home match against East Bengal


Finally Shillong Lajong overpowered East Bengal in their home encounter against the Kolkata giants. Earlier in their away match Lajong lost to East Bengal with 3-0 scoreline. Not only this, East Bengal also beat the Shillong team in the final of the Federation Cup to attain the title. But today a different story was waiting. With the loss East Bengal remained at the seventh place in the league table with 20 points while this win also made no change in the position of Lajong in the I-League table as the team of Stanley Rosario remained at the second last position with 13 points.

Today the visitors got a fantastic start as in the first 20 minutes of the first half the Red and Gold Brigade enjoyed complete dominance in the match. But gradually Lajong fought back soon and got the hold of the match in the later period of the first half. It was surprising to see that Rider used Budhiram Tudu in the first eleven while Yakubu was at the side bench as a substitute in the first half. This decision of Rider proved very much costly at the end of the day.

In the second half Alvito replaced Poibang and Yakubu came out to the field in place of Tudu. These two changes made immense betterment in the game of East Bengal. Numbers of close chances were created but the forwards of the visiting team wasted all the opportunities to score. While the final blow came to the visitors as a big surprise at the 87th minute. The best player of the match Daniel scored a brilliant goal which confirmed the 3 vital points for the hame side.

Though in the closing minute East Bengal tried everything to get an equalizer but the Lajong defence denied all the options of leveling the scoreline. Finally the match ended with 1-0 scoreline in favour of Lajong while it brought another disappointment for the Kolkata side. Shillong Lajong

KF East Bengal : Abhra, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Uga Okpara, Nirmal Chetri, Poibang (Alvito 46'), Harmanjot Singh Khabra (Bekhokhai 84'), Mehtab, Sanju Pradhan, Nabi, Hammond, Budhiram (Yakubu 46').

Shillong Lajong FC : R. Lalthumawia, Daniel Bidemi, Wailadmi Passah, Zohmingliana, R. Vanlalpeka Ralte, Kelechi Okoye, James Gbilee (James Kyrshan Lynshing, 85’), Samson Ramenmawia, Rohmingthanga (Niwan Gatphoh, 72’) Ailad Kynta, Anil Gurung (Seikhohao Tuboi, 65’).

LIVE UPDATES : Soumyo Mukherjee. Shillong

Shillong Lajong  1 - 0   KF East Bengal (Shillong - FT.. ..)

SLFC:Bidemi Daniel 87' M.O.M : Bedemi Daniel (SLFC)

KEB: Abhra, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Uga Okpara, Nirmal Chetri, Poibang (Alvito 46'), Harmanjot Singh Khabra (Bekhokhai 84'), Mehtab, Sanju Pradhan, Nabi, Hammond, Budhiram (Yakubu 46').

92: Match ends, East Bengal goes down to Lajong 0-1. Daniel is the Man of the Match. Sweet revenge by Lajong F.C who lost 0 - 3 in first leg at YBK.

90: Injury time going on.

87: GOALLLLLLL.. James cross, ball goes over Okpara and Nirmal's head to Daniel, who takes a side volley and the ball goes inside goal. Brilliant goal by the best player of the match, Daniel.

86: Lajong continuing with attack on East Bengal. East Bengal defending completely now.

84: Last change for East Bengal, Bekhokhai in place of Khabra.

84: Alvito corner, Mehtab shot goes out.

83: Alvito takes corner for East Bengal, head by Nabi, but headed out by James for another corner.

82: Corner goes out.

81: Lajong gets a corner, cleared by Okpara, another corner.

79: James tries to get past Nirmal, but nice interception by the latter before kicking his back volly.

77: Yakubu brilliant pass for Alvito but he fails to trap the ball properly and fell down.

75: Yakubu and Hammond trying to slow the pace of the game by holding the ball.

73: Another cross, this time by Tuboi, headed out by Okpara.

72: Continous attack by Lajong, James cross, cleared by Nirmal.

70: Still no goals, Lajong having slight supremacy over improved East Bengal in 2nd half.

68: Yakubu and Hammond plays wall pass, Yakubu gets the ball outside box, gives a through pass which is a bit fast for Hammond. Nice move by East Bengal.

65: James cross from right, Khabra clears the ball.

63: Yakubu tries a shot but ball goes out of target.

61: Tuboi in action immediately as he enters box from right side but his cross cleared by Nirmal.

60: Tuboi in and surprisingly Anil out.

59: Tuboi warming up for Lajong.

58: Anil Gurung solo run but his shot straight to Abhra.

56: Match mainly going in midfield now.

54: Definitely Yakubu's inclusion has East Bengal and they are playing better now, but no positive chance as of yet.

52: Khabra to Alvito, but his cross headed out by Lajong defence.
50: Low corner of Lajong, cleared by Nirmal. Lajong continuing to dominate. Yakubu's inclusion might change things in favour of East Bengal.

49: Cross from right wing of Lajong, cleared for corner by Mehraj.

46': It was a real surprising decision that Yakubu and Alvito were not in the first team.

46': 2nd half match starts. East Bengal has changed their two players.

Alvito D Counha is playing in place of Poibang and Yakubu is playing in place of Budhiram Tudu.

HT: It's half time now. Lajong is playing well. Budhiram today is not playing up to the mark.Hammond is trying to his best.

43':Harmanjot wants to cross the ball from right flanck but no KEB players in opponent Box that time to follow the ball.Lajong defence cleared.

40': Daniel is having a superb match so far.

39': Daniel in action again, as he enters box from right but his shot was saved by Abhra.

37': Sonju takes the corner again, but this time takes a poor one.

36': Sonju corner, headed by Nirmal, out of target but takes a deflection on the way, another corner for East Bengal.

35': East Bengal gets a corner.

32': Lajong completely dominating the match now.

30': Anil gets ball from midfield, with only Abhra to beat, he pushes Abhra, referee gives foul in favour of East Bengal.

28': Daniel cross from left, Abhra fails to collect properly, Anil shot goes out.

26': Hammond pass to Budhiram, but cleared by Lajong defence.

25': Daniel and Gurung plays a wall pass, and Gurung shot brilliantly saved by Abhra.

24': Daniel cross, no Lajong player inside EB box, otherwise it could have been very dangerous.

23': Lajong dominating now.

21': Good match going on with both teams attacking.

19': Hammond free kick way over target.

18': Free kick for East Bengal for foul on Budhiram at top of box.

17': Mehtab pass to Nabi, but cleared by Daniel.

15': Daniel pass to Gurung, he goes past 1 defender but his shot narrowly miss target. Close shave for East Bengal goal, first postive movement by Lajong.

12': Lajong trying to control the game after initial attack by East Bengal.

10': From corner, Hammond cross, Nirmal brilliant head, over crossbar.

10': Corner for East Bengal.

9': Counter attack by Lajong, cleared by Nirmal.

8': East Bengal dominating the game.

6: Sanju sprints down right flank, but his cross cleared by Lajong defence.

5': East Bengal got a free kick. Hammond took the shot and it just went away over the bar post.

1':Match starts.