Author: India Footy

India win bid to host FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020

NEW DELHI: After the successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, India have now won the bid to host the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2020. The decision was taken at the FIFA Council held in Miami on Friday (March 15, 2019), who awarded the tournament to India ahead of Armenia and France.

All India Football Federation President Mr. Praful Patel described it as a “proud moment” for Indian Football.

“We felt the football evolution which India attained in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 needed to continue, and as part of AIFF’s commitment towards development of Women’s Football, we decided to bid for the U-17 Women’s World Cup,” Mr. Patel stated. “The tournament will be massive as this time it will also galvanise the girls of the country, making it more popular,” he added.

“However, winning the bid was a lesser challenge. The bigger challenge of hosting the showpiece actually lies ahead, especially after the standards which we have set for ourselves in the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017,” the AIFF President maintained.

“I need to thank FIFA for keeping their trust in us, and granting us the rights to host the tournament. I am also grateful to the Government of India for their support, and giving us the necessary guarantees which made this bid possible,” he added.

The mega event will be India’s 2nd World Cup in 4 years, both achieved under the tenure of Mr. Patel as the AIFF President.

Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation described it as a “historic moment” for Indian Football.

“I cannot sum it up in words what this means to Indian Football,” he said. “Together with all stakeholders we need to make it a grand success, and at the same time we understand that we need to be competitive,” he opined.

“I would like to thank our President Mr. Praful Patel for bringing two back to back the U-17 World Cups to India. Without him we wouldn’t have got the hosting rights. I’m extremely grateful to FIFA, and the Government of India for their support and encouragement,” Mr. Das added.

The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was first played in 2008 in New Zealand, and is held every two years. Spain stay the current champions when they beat Mexico in the final held in the last edition in Uruguay in 2018.

Raghu Nandy warns against complacency ahead of Rainbow clash

KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club may be on their best run of form in months, but technical director Raghunath Nandy has cautioned his players about getting overconfident when they face Rainbow Athletic Club in an crucial Hero 2nd Division League Preliminary Round Group C fixture on Sunday, kick-off 3 pm.

Nandy’s side head into the encounter on the back of a morale-boosting 6-0 win over TRAU FC, while Rainbow AC suffered a 0-3 loss against Jamshedpur FC Reserves.

The former defender reminded his outfit about the fine line between confidence and arrogance as they look to secure maximum points against their Calcutta Football League rivals.

“There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence – we need to stay confident without being too arrogant,” Nandy said ahead of the clash.

Although Mohammedan SC have been invisible in their last three games, scoring 13 goals and conceding none, but Nandy is fully aware that anything less than three points against Rainbow AC, who are winless in their last five outings, will invalidate all their previous hard work.

“We are highly focused, we are concentrating on the match and we will treat it like a match as if we have not been having the run that we are on. We appreciate the run, we are thankful about it. We are getting results, but we have to be careful,”

“Rainbow will be up for playing an open game and will approach the fixture in a carefree fashion. We must be aggressive in order to beat them. We will need to be better than them from a technical aspect and also remain patient for our scoring opportunities,” he added.

Going into the match, Mohammedan SC will be without the services of Ivorian striker Desmos Arthur Kouassi, who is suspended for the match. While his absence may be a concern to supporters, Nandy has no such fears and insists no one in his squad is irreplaceable.

“Obviously this will be a blow for us given the goal threat that Arthur has been here. But we have players who can replace him and we will manage that,” said Nandy.

Super Cup 2019: Arrows shoot down Blasters

BHUBANESHWAR: A fearless performance by a young Indian Arrows side helped them cruise to a 2-0 win over Kerala Blasters FC in their Hero Super Cup 2019 qualifier match at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, on Friday. Arrows captain Amarjit Kiyam struck on the 39th minute to put his team in the lead and then converted a penalty in the second half to seal the result. The loss marks the end of a disappointing season for Kerala, who crashed out of the tournament. The Arrows move on to the Round of 16 of the competition and will next face FC Goa on March 30.

Kerala started the match brightly, with Slavisa Stojanovic testing Arrows goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill within the opening three minutes of the contest. The striker stepped inside from the left-hand side and let one fly, drawing out a brilliant save from the youngster. It would be a first of many crucial interventions from the Arrows custodian, who was adjudged the Hero of the Match for his stellar performance.

As the match progressed, the Arrows slowly settled down showing great composure at the back and looked to counter-attack, primarily through the wings. Right-back Boris Singh Thangjam, in particular, was ever-present on both ends of the pitch, keeping the Kerala defence on its toes with his overlapping runs.

However, it was the team from Kochi who carved out the second big opportunity of the match on the 15th minute. Sahal Abdul Samad, who has been Kerala’s standout player in the Hero ISL this season, showcased some quick feet to dance past a crowd of defenders to create a shooting opportunity for himself. But Prabhsukhan had his angles well covered.

For Arrows, Boris was at the thick of things throughout and almost created the opening goal of the match. The 19-year-old did brilliantly to get to the touchline and fizzed in a teasing cross towards the six-yard box. With Lalengmawia sliding in to get the telling touch, it took an outstanding interception by a back-tracking Anas Edathodika to clear the danger.

Spurred on by the move, the young Arrows side began dominating the proceedings, driving the Kerala team on the backfoot and adding to Nelo Vingada’s woes in the dugout. The consistent pressure would eventually pay off. The move – one of the many the Arrows created through the right – saw Khumanthem Meetei free down the flank after an intricate bit of interplay with Boris. The youngster showed impeccable composure to control the ball and cut it back to find captain Amarjit Kiyam’s run from the deep. He fired the ball past Kerala goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh to give the Arrows a well-deserved lead on the 39th minute.

A goal down, Kerala players tried to up the ante in search of a quick equaliser but was snuffed out by a very well-organized collective performance by the Arrows backline. The half time whistle sounded with the Arrows leading 1-0.

After the restart, the Blasters tried to increase the tempo, playing short quick passes to bypass the Arrows’ press. Matej Poplatnik did get a sight at goal early on but his snap shot was too straight to worry Prabhsukhan. With Kerala on the front-foot, the Arrows goalkeeper was kept busy and had to pull off another stunning save to deny Seiminlen Doungel’s effort around the 50-minute mark.

As the match trickled past the hour-mark, the tempo slowed down a tad, with both coaches looking at their bench to freshen things up. Vingada brought on Prasanth K in place of Slavisa Stojanovic, while his counterpart Floyd Pinto responded by bringing on striker Rahim Ali in place of Lalengmawia. The trend of the match saw Kerala boss the possession but their forward forays were indecisive at best.

Arrows, on the other hand, defended resolutely and enjoyed short bursts of threatening possession. One such phase of play helped the Arrows win a string of corners and one of them, eventually, led to their second goal. After a brief pinball session inside the Kerala box, Anas used his hands to prevent the ball from going into the net. The infraction earned the Kerala centre-back a red card and the Arrows, a penalty. Amarjit stepped up to take the spot kick and promptly dispatched the ball past Dheeraj for the second time on the night.

Kerala could have pulled a goal back almost immediately, but Prabhsukhan was at hand to deny Kerala for the umpteenth time. With time running out, Vingada’s side tried desperately to breach the Arrows’ blue wall but being a man down didn’t help their cause. On the 84th minute, the numbers evened out as Jitendra Singh was sent off for denying Sandesh Jhingan a chance to get a free run at goal.

The sending off would, however, have little consequences on the result, which ended 2-0 in the Arrows’ favour.

Meanwhile, Minerva Punjab FC failed to turn up for their Hero Super Cup Qualifier against FC Pune City at the Kalinga Stadium earlier today (March 15, 2019). The match did not kick-off as Minerva Punjab FC did not report till scheduled kick-off time. The matter will be dealt accordingly as per the regulations of the tournament.

6th edition of Salgaocar FC Community Outreach Program draws to a close

GOA: Amidst a colourful and electric atmosphere, the 6th edition of Salgaocar FC’s annual Community Outreach Program came to a close at the Chicalim Panchayat Ground on Sunday, 10th March, with their Grassroots Football Festival for children enrolled in the program and their parents.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Swati Salgaocar, Vice President-Youth Development said that “Salgaocar FC’s commitment to developing football at a grassroots level has remained unwavering in the uncertain economic situation in Goa and lack of clarity on the way forward for football in India. This would not have been possible without the support and involvement of the local community”.

The festival began with the children playing small sided games. Various football related fun games were organised for the parents as well. The games concluded with fun football matches between the parents and the coaches, volunteers and older children.

Medals & mementos were handed over to the volunteers and coaches of the Community Outreach Program for their   voluntary service.  Prizes were also given to the winners of the games organized at the festival.

The evening concluded with words of appreciation from the parents and young footballers.

Recognised by the AIFF and AFC for having one of the best Youth Development Programs in the country, the Club continues to set the benchmark in Grassroots and Youth Development initiatives in India. At Salgaocar FC, encouraging and promoting young Goan talent and engaging with the community at large has always been essential to the club’s philosophy.

Since its first edition in 2013, the program has been a roaring success with the number of boys and girls increasing significantly every year.  Held every Sunday between October 2018 and March 2019, this year the program saw the registration cross 500 children from in and around Vasco.

The children head to the ground, every Sunday, proudly wearing a full Salgaocar FC kit, for an afternoon of learning and excitement.  Divided into two batches of 6-8 years and 9-11 years, they are trained under the watchful eyes of highly qualified and experienced Salgaocar FC coaches.  A total of 40 licensed coaches and volunteers were involved in the program this year.  Youngsters are taught the basics of football through fun drills and games while the older children learn more challenging skills & tactics for competitive play.  The most promising players from the program are absorbed into the Club’s U-13 youth team.

This year also saw the introduction of Baby Leagues for children in the 8 and 10 year age group. Around 90 children participated in 40 matches between November and March.

Salgaocar beat Nepal’s Sankata Club to crown champions in 4th CEM Gold Cup

GOA: Salgaocar Football Club beat Sankata Club, Nepal 4-2 to win the 4th CEM Gold Cup 2019, organised by Karbi Anglong Sports Association at KASA stadium, Diphu, Assam on Thursday. Salgaocar led 1-0 at break.

The Greens dominated from the start and their superiority mirrored on the scoreline when striker Devendra Murgaonkar sent a powerful shot from inside the box, past the Sankata Club goalkeeper, after receiving an assist from Selwyn Costa. At the other end, Sankata Club also found a few opening but Salgaocar defenders did a good job of keeping the slate clean.

The second period was no different but there were more goals to boot for the Goans.  Salgaocar kept the pressure up and Devendra scored again as he hoodwinked a host of rival defenders and slotted it past the advancing goalkeeper, off well laid cross from Ronaldo Oliveira.

Salgaocar then slammed two more goals to all but seal the title. The third goal came when Ronaldo split the rival defence open with a free kick to mount more pressure on Sankata. Selwyn then killed the contest with a superb shot past a hapless rival goalkeeper. The Greens did concede two goals but were never threatened by the Nepalese opposition.

Salgaocar coach Anthony Levino Pereira was overjoyed with the performance of his team. “The most important thing was winning the tournament and we have achieved that. The boys performed exceptionally well. We dedicate this win to our club boss Shivanand Salgaocar – President of Salgaocar F C and his daughter Swati Salgaocar – Vice President, Youth Development and family,” Pereira stated.

Bengaluru FC B held to a goalless draw by LoneStar Kashmir

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC B were held to a goalless draw by LoneStar Kashmir FC in a Hero 2nd Division League encounter at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, on Friday. The stalemate brought an end to Blue Colts’ four-match winning run in Group A, but Naushad Moosa’s boys stay unbeaten and on top of the group with 13 points from five games.

Playing their game after a long gap, Moosa started the game with six players from the first team with Aditya Patra returning in goal alongside Gursimrat Singh Gill, Sairuat Kima, Parag Shrivas, Myron Mendes and Edmund Lalrindika.

The Blue Colts began the game aggressively and created more than five close chances in the opening twenty minutes. The closest chances fell for Naorem Roshan Singh, Myron Mendes and Edmund. However, none was as clear as the one that fell for Altamash Sayed in the 12th minute. The playmaker was unmarked and at the end of an inch-perfect ball in from the left by Roshan at the far post. However, Altamash somehow missed the attempt failing to get a clean touch.

LoneStar Kashmir struggled to create any real danger for major part of the first half but had a glorious chance right before the break. Duleep Menon found himself clear in the box but his effort from close was saved by BFC custodian Patra.

The second half saw both teams struggle in creating clear goal scoring chances. While the Blue Colts saw majority of the possession, LoneStar Kashmir sat back, defending deep in their own territory, only pushing ahead on counter attacks.

It was Bengaluru who came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the 83rd minute when Altamash unleashed a powerful left-footer but his effort from distance was tipped over by Muhammed Nalakath in the rival goal. The Blues kept the pressure on and pushed up with most players but couldn’t find the breakthrough as the game ended 0-0.

Bengaluru FC B play ARA FC next at the Bengaluru Football Stadium on March 20.

Bengaluru FC B host LoneStar Kashmir in 2nd Division League

Bengaluru: Group A leaders Bengaluru FC B will be keen to build on their winning momentum when they take on LoneStar Kashmir FC in their fifth game of the Hero 2nd Division League at the Bengaluru Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Friday.

Having set the pace at the top with four successive wins in their group, three of which came on the road, the Blue Colts will look to make the most of the second half of the group games which takes place over the course of the next two weeks.

“The players had a short break after their last game in Delhi. We have been training regularly and some of our players were part of the first team for the ISL’s final League stage game against Jamshedpur. While it is not easy to push players without competitive games, we played a friendly in between which has helped us during this break,” said BFC B Head Coach Naushad Moosa on the eve of the game.

While Bengaluru’s away game in Srinagar was postponed, they have already faced their opponents earlier in the season. Back in October, the Blue Colts ran out 7-0 winners over LoneStar Kashmir in the J&K Invitational Cup. However, with the visitors having improved their team since then, Moosa expects his side to avoid complacency.

“We played against LoneStar in Srinagar at the start of the season. But I don’t want my players to be casual in their approach for this game. It’s important to stay focused and take this game seriously. It’s been five months since then and they have added two foreigners and a few Indian players to strengthen their squad. Which means they will be a different side to the one we faced. Our objective is to stay on top of the group and we will have to be at our best to take anything away from this game,” added Moosa

On the team news front, the Blue Colts will miss the services of midfielder Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha after the youngster picked up an ankle injury in training. Meanwhile, a few key players have returned to the squad, having been part of the first team in the ISL.

The game kicks off at 3.30 pm at the Bengaluru Football Stadium tomorrow.

Stephenson Pale’s hat-trick spurs Mohammedan to 6-0 win over TRAU

KALYANI: Mohammedan Sporting Club thrash TRAU FC 6-0 on Wednesday to keep their Hero 2nd Division League final round hopes alive.

The big win at Kalyani Stadium was powered by Stephenson Pale’s (43′, 71′, 90+1′) hat-trick. The winger was well supported by skipper Philip Adjah (45+5′ & 66′) who scored a brace along with Mohammad Amirul’s (86′) lone strike.

As a result of this win Mohammedan SC have moved to second spot in Group C standings on the basis of goal difference in head-to-head with 13 points from their 8 matches.

Mohammedan SC dominated proceedings from the very beginning and kept the ball in the rival half itself during the opening quarter, however, struggled to break down a well-organised TRAU defence.

On the other hand, TRAU who were pressed back for the majority of the half, did well to absorb the pressure and looked dangerous on the few times they attacked. Goalkeeper Priyant Singh had to make a number of fine saves to keep Mohammedan SC in the contest.

Nonetheless, Mohammedan SC almost took the lead when Satyam Sharma pumped up a ball from the midfield in the 28th minute. The perfect pass found Adjah on the run just outside the box, but the Ghanaian’s effort narrowly missed the target.

However, Mohammedan SC continued to push forward and were rewarded with the opening goal in the 43rd minute when Pale head past TRAU goalkeeper Mithun Samonto from Satyam Sharma’s free-kick to give his side the well-deserved lead.

The rampant Black Panthers added their second goal five minutes into first-half stoppage time when Adjah converted a penalty after TRAU’s Prem Singh committed handball inside the box.

Mohammedan SC started the second-half like a house on fire, and it was evident from the very beginning that Black Panthers were going to collect full points as TRAU players were outclassed in all departments.

Mohammedan SC duly added the third through Adjah in the 66th minute. TRAU defense gave the ball away carelessly and Adjah burst through into the area on the left hand side and deposited the ball past the helpless Mithun for a 3-0 lead.

It was 4-0 five minutes later when Pale grabbed his second of the day after slotting home a left wing cross from Satyam.

The scoring spree did not end there as substitute Amirul increased the lead further after striking home in the 86th minute. The pass came in from Arthur Kouassi for Amirul who produced a good strike from the edge of the area to find the left hand side of goal.

Meanwhile, TRAU had a couple of good opportunities to reduce the margin but the visitors were unlucky and Mohammedan SC well at the back.

Mohammedan SC didn’t take their foot off the accelerator and continued to dominate proceedings but had to wait till injury time to get their sixth when Pale scored from close range to complete his hattrick.

The Black Panthers will now prepare for Rainbow AC in their last home game on Sunday at Kalyani.

ISL 5: Goa set final date with Bengaluru despite loss against Mumbai

GOA: FC Goa booked their place in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 final despite a 0-1 loss in the second leg of their semi-final encounter against Mumbai City FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Tuesday. The Gaurs’ 5-1 victory in the first leg in Mumbai ensured their progression to the grand finale on March 17 with a 5-2 aggregate scoreline.

Goa will face off against Bengaluru FC for the title on Sunday at the Mumbai Football Arena.

Mumbai needed an early goal to have any chance of overturning the massive 5-1 first leg deficit and Rafael Bastos did exactly that on the 6th minute. Arnold Issoko rode a challenge, carried the ball forward and rolled the ball in perfectly for an onrushing Rafael Bastos. The Brazilian calmly slotted it in to open the scoring. Incidentally, it was the same Issoko-Bastos combination which led to the first goal of the first leg at Mumbai.

Goa, however, didn’t look even slightly rattled by the early goal and continued to exhibit their attacking brand of football, pressing high for an equaliser. Despite trailing the possession stats in the early stages, the Islanders carved out another big opportunity on the 23rd minute. Ahmed Jahouh, uncharacteristically, kept hold of the ball for a little too long, allowing Bastos to nick possession. The Brazilian sent Modou Sougou through on goal. Goa goalkeeper Naveen Kumar came out quickly to block the striker’s effort and Mourtada Fall swept up after him to clear the danger. The Mumbai players appealed for a handball by Fall, but the referee wasn’t interested.

After the 25-minute mark, the balance of the match switched towards Mumbai as the Islanders upped the ante and started pushing the Gaurs on the back foot. With Jahouh picking up a yellow card, the Moroccan was taken off on the 39th minute to avoid a second booking, which would have ruled him out of the final. Edu Bedia came on in his place.

Goa did manage to wrestle back the reins in the final 10 minutes of the first period, but the half ended with the away team one goal to the good.

The home team started as the brighter of the two sides in the second half, with Ferran Corominas getting an early look at goal. But his shot from distance was dealt with Amrinder Singh without too much difficulty. On the 56th minute, Coro found himself on the end of another opportunity to grab the equaliser, this time from inside the box. The Spaniard’s shot, however, came off the crossbar.

The Gaurs kept up the pressure, pegging the Mumbai defence back and even had a penalty claim turned down after Anwar Ali seemed to have blocked off Hugo Boumous inside the box.

With the clock ticking down, Mumbai created a few chances of their own to score. First, Sougou’s shot eluded the far post by inches and then Naveen Kumar pulled off a brilliant save to keep out substitute Matias Mirabaje’s dipping free kick. Sougou did get a second bite of the cherry from the rebound but blasted it high.

AFC Cup comes to Ahmedabad, Chennaiyan FC play Colombo FC at The Arena by TransStadia

Ahmedabad, March 11, 2019: The Arena By TransStadia is proud to announce that it will be the home venue for the first ever international football match to be played in the vibrant state of Gujarat, when two-time Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC face Sri Lankan team Colombo FC in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup qualifying playoff round second leg on Wednesday March 13 2019.

Chennaiyin FC became the first Indian Super League (ISL) outfit to qualify for the AFC Cup by virtue of winning the 2017-18 ISL title. They will be looking for a win in the second leg at The Arena, Ahmedabad in order to book a spot in Group E, which comprises South Asian football powerhouses. The first leg in Colombo on Wednesday March 6, 2019 concluded in a goalless draw.

TransStadia’s released an official statement, “This is a historic moment for Ahmedabad & Gujarat to witness top-flight football. The Arena by TransStadia has been approved by the AFC given our world class facilities and we look forward to providing a wonderful match and fan expenence for both participating teams and the spectators.”

In the recent past The Arena by TransStadia has been the host venue for Kabaddi World Cup 2016, 2017 ITTF World Junior Circuit India Junior & Cadet Open (Premium), PKL Season 2017 – 18 and 2018 -19 (Gujarat Fortune Giants Home Venue) and PBL 2018 -19 ( Ahmedabad Smash Masters Home Venue ).

Chennaiyin FC, Vice President, Mr. Hiren Mody expressed the importance of the fixture “This is a very important fixture in our club’s history, as we aim to qualify for the group stages in our debut AFC Cup campaign. The Arena by TransStadia will be the venue for the same in what we hope will be a memorable occasion.”

The Chennai based team will be playing this qualifier tie against Colombo FC at The Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad, as it was not politically conducive to play a Sri Lankan opponent in the state of Tamil Nadu. It was announced by Chennaiyin FC on March 1, 2019.

Chennaiyin FC is co-owned by Mrs Vita Dani, Mr Abhishek Bachchan and Mr Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Chennaiyin FC has won the ISL in 2015 and 2017-18.