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Chennaiyin FC ride on Balwant, Elano’s goal to beat Goa

1
By EMN Updated: Oct 15, 2014 10:32 pm
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Agencies
Fatorda, October 15

Chennaiyin FC edged past FC Goa 2-1 in the fourth match of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) played at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Fatorda, Goa, on Wednesday evening. Balwant Singh (32′) and Elano Blumer (42′) gave the southerners a two-goal cushion in the first half, while Gregory Arnolin (65′) managed to pull one back for the Goan franchise.
Robert Pires started as the home team’s captain in a line-up that included Portuguese midfielder Edgar Marcelino as the playmaker while players like Andre Santos and Ranti Martins were benched.
On the other side, player-manager Marco Materazzi benched himself along with India international Jeje Lalpekhlua while opting to start with Brazilian Elano Blumer in the attack and Mikael Silvestre at the helm of his defense.
In the eighth minute, the The Gaurs won a corner that was brilliantly headed by Youness Bengelloun although it landed a few yards away from the target. In the next minute, Pires and Marcelino combined with the former fed with a pass inside the box who played it back to Marcelino, whose long ranger went well over the bar.
The first chance for the visitors fell to them in the form of a free-kick in the 12th minute when Elano hit the wall. Following a clumsy clearance, the resultant Chennaiyin corner was out of reach for Mendy despite the Frenchman rising highest.
The Abhishek Bachchan co-owned team eventually began making some inroads and Bruno Pelissari tried an audacious long-ranger from midfield with an eye to catch Jan Seda off his line. The Goan side’s goalkeeper might as well have left it as the ball went over the bar until they eventually scored the opener two minutes past the half hour mark, but not before Pires wasted a chance down the other end when the Frenchman curled a shot wide in the 27th minute.
For the goal, Dhanachandra Singh had sent in a cross from the left and Elano couldn’t keep his balance, allowing the ball to fall at Balwant Singh’s feet. Admist claims for a penalty, the Mohun Bagan striker became the first Indian to score a goal in the ongoing ISL. Seda got his hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.
Marcelino took another free-kick for FC Goa from outside the box but his shot took a fortuitous deflection off Gennaro Bracigliano’s fist and sailed just over the bar in the 35th minute.
Exactly 10 minutes after the deadlock was broken came the second goal courtesy of a well taken free-kick by Elano after Prabir Das had appeared to have brought down Balwant just outside the box.
The set-piece saw Seda remain grounded with no chance whatsoever as the Brazilian’s delicious effort nestled into the back of the net.
The initial few exchanges in the second half saw a couple of good chances for the side trailing as Gabriel Fernandes was cut out by Mendy after the Goan had managed to get past a couple of Chennaiyin defenders in one chance while Miguel Herlein almost provided the telling touch to the ball sent in by Marcelino from the left.
Holicharan Narzary also tried his luck from a distance after a good link-up between Pires and Herlein, but the shot was away from target just before the Dempo player was substituted in the 62nd minute.
The central defending pair of the hosts went on a rampage as Gregory Arnolin tapped in the ball from the goalline after Bengelloun had played the ball to him from the right edge of the box in the 65th minute. Herlein had sent in the intial long ball.
Pires missed a sitter in the 77th minute. The former Arsenal player was fed with a ball at the edge of the box with the stage perfectly set for a volley from him, but his effort sailed horribly wide of the target.
The inclusion of Ranti Martins could have proved pivotal for FC Goa had he to convert the chances that befell him. Bracigilano reduced the angle and thwarted a close-range effort from Martins after Narayan Das had sent in a sublime cross from the left in the 84th minute and the French goalkeeper came to the rescue once again to claim a cross from the right that was sent in by Gabriel.
The Nigerian striker was also supplied a good cross in the area by substitute Clifford Miranda, but Martins took way too long to allow Mendy block the shot in the 88th minute, while the five minutes of added time could not change the scoreline for either sides.

Enforce Anelka ban, Fifa tells India

TNN
PANAJI, October 15

The confusion surrounding Nicolas Anelka’s availability for at least the opening game of the Indian Super League should not have surfaced, certainly not when Fifa had cleared doubts almost a fortnight ago.
According to a Fifa spokesperson, the governing body for world football wrote to the All India Football Federation on September 30 where they referred to article 12 para 1 of the Regulations on Status and Transfer of Players.
“According to the regulation, any disciplinary sanction of up to four matches or up to three months that has been imposed on a player by the former association but not yet (entirely) served by the time of the transfer shall be enforced by the new association at which the player has been registered in order for the sanction to be served at the domestic level.
“Since the suspension imposed on Nicolas Anelka by The Football Association had not been (fully) served before the international transfer of the said player to India (Mumbai City FC) took place, the All India Football Federation shall enforce the relevant suspension,” a Fifa spokesperson told TOI.
Even the FA, governing body for football in England, remained surprised that the France striker – banned for a ‘quenelle’ gesture during his time in the English Premier League last season – could have shockingly made an appearance in the ISL without serving out his ban.
“The player was issued a five-match ban and served the first two games of that ban whilst still a player in the UK. Now (that) he is a player in India, he will serve the remaining games,” said a spokesperson for the FA Press Office.
After Mumbai City FC’s opening loss against Atletico de Kolkata, coach Peter Reid had admitted that the franchise “originally planned to play him and then go to Fifa.” He said they were still “trying to get clarification on the matter,” but with Fifa now making it clear, Anelka will be available for selection only for Mumbai City’s fourth game against Chennaiyin FC in Chennai on October 28.

Hosts NorthEast United FC face Atletico de Kolkata test

PTI
GUWAHATI, October 15

A tricky test awaits the NorthEast United FC as they prepare to host in-form Atletico de Kolkata in what promises to be cracker of a contest in the Indian Super League on Thursday.
The John Abraham co-owned franchise will have the packed home crowd on its side but they will need more than that to get the better of the visitors who are high on confidence after the 3-0 drubbing of Mumbai City FC in Sunday’s tournament opener.
To start with, NorthEast United FC pulled off a hard fought 1-0 victory against Kerala Blasters in a packed Indira Gandhi Stadium here even as the latter too fought valiantly till the end.
If the hosts are to challenge Kolkata’s supremacy, they will have to think of ways to counter the attacking midfield trio of Borja Fernandez, Jofre and Luis Garcia United FC who flexed their muscles against Mumbai.
While Borja scored an absolute blinder against Mumbai, Garcia ran the show from his position behind the two strikers in the middle of the park.
As far as United FC’s attack is concerned, Koke, who had scored the sole winner in the first game, will be the man to look out for. The Spanish striker is always a threat and tends to exploit the gaps between the centre-backs and the full-backs. He also has an ability to provide dangerous passes from the flanks.
For both sides, it will also be very important to strike a balance between defensive duties and playmaking responsibilities.
A lot will depend on how Denzil Franco, who performed admirably in his side’s last outing against Mumbai City FC, turns out when up against Koke and Co.
After an outstanding job at the post, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury will hope for another good outing against the Northeast outfit.

Today’s match

Time : 7:00 pm
Venue : Indira Gandhi Stadium, Guwahati
NorthEst United FC
vs
Atletico de Kolkata

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By EMN Updated: Oct 15, 2014 10:32:55 pm