Category: Football

CFL 2019/20: Sadhna News to broadcast 33 matches live this season

KOLKATA: The Indian Football Association (IFA) has circulated the fixtures of the 2019/20 Calcutta Football League Premier Division ‘A’ till August 14, 2019 on Wednesday.

This season a total number of 12 teams in Mohun Bagan, Mohammedan Sporting Club, BSS Sporting Club, East Bengal, Rainbow Athletic Club, Calcutta Customs, Southern Samity, Kalighat Milan Sangha, Bhawanipore FC, George Telegraph, Aryan Club and Peerless Sports Club will battle to crown champions in Kolkata’s top football competition.

Two teams who would finish at the bottom of the table will exchange their positions with top two teams of Calcutta Football League Premier Division ‘B’ in the next season. The champion team will get Rs. 25 lacs and the runners Up team will get Rs. 20 lacs as prize money, while best coach will be awarded Amal Dutta Memorial Trophy.

The matches of 2019/20 CFL Premier Division ‘A’ will be played primarily at Saltlake Stadium, East Bengal Ground, Mohun Bagan Ground and Mohammedan Sporting Ground besides Barasat Stadium, Gayeshpur Stadium, Howrah Stadium, and Kalyani Stadium.

Defending champions Mohun Bagan will take on Peerless Club in the opener on July 26, 2019 at Mohun Bagan Ground, while other two Kolkata heavyweights Mohammedan Sporting Club and East Bengal will take on Aryan Club and Gerore Telegraph respectively on July 29, 2019 and July 31, 2019 at their own backyard.

Bengali satellite news channel Sadhana News is the official broadcasters for CFL Premier Division ‘A’ this year and a total of 33 matches will be televised.

AU Rajasthan FC launches Residential Academy

Since the last one year, AU Rajasthan Football Club has slowly been catching the sports fraternity’s attention in India (specially in Rajasthan). After a year’s hard work and success, AU Rajasthan FC, in collaboration with Poornima University, has launched a premier football residential academy in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The players for this academy were carefully handpicked by the AU Rajasthan FC team through trials in all major cities in India.

In this new set up, the players from across the country would be staying in a residential facility with top notch facilities like an international size professional football field, fully functional gym, mess, medical room with a 24×7 physiotherapist, library and all other basic needs in terms of training, nutrition, academic, and accommodation. A total package like this is surely going to motivate the youth and the nation as a whole, to take football to new heights in our country.

The event was held at the mesmerizing Poornima campus and was attended by a lot of football enthusiast from the city including players, coaches and parents. Also attending the event were Mr. Sanjay Agarwal, CEO AU small finance bank and Rahul Singhvi, Director Poornima University, who motivated the players with their encouraging words.

On the occasion of the launch, the CEO of the club, Mr. Sohil Bhansali, expressed his gratitude towards Poornima University for sharing the club’s vision of becoming the leading professional club in the country. According to Sohil, the club is attracting talent from all across the country, especially from football friendly states like Assam, Mizoram, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa etc. coming all the way to Jaipur to train with AU Rajasthan Football Club.

Mr. Sanjay Agarwal on the occasion of this historic event, expressed his all out support towards the development of the sport in the state and how his dream of having a player from our state and club to become part of the national team is taking shape in the right direction. Mr. Agarwal focused how AU Small Finance Bank shall leave no stone unturned to provide the best of the infrastructure the young bloods and how only their dedication & determination will help them reach the peak in the footballing world.

Apart from the launch of the residential academy, the club also unveiled its new jersey dedicated  to the induction of Jaipur as an UNSECO world heritage site.  The new jersey in blue proudly shows Jaipur’s most prized possession, The Hawa Mahal on it’s front. This great gesture was loved by everyone present at the event. Mr. Shubham Garg (Director, Spordy Ventures Pvt. Ltd) explained the intention behind this i.e. giving back to the city, by taking this achievement where ever the club goes.

Mr. Garg also spoke about the companies vision for AU Rajasthan FC. The main focus is to develop football in Rajasthan not only as a sport, but as a discipline. There is a lot of talent in remote parts of Rajasthan which with proper support, both technically and otherwise, can boost their growth. The company is currently organising district outreach in which the club will conduct free camps in various districts in Rajasthan to motivate the youth. They are paying close attention on grass root level by training kids under the age of 10 as well, so that they have exposure to sports at an early age. The club is also breaking stereotypes by focusing majorly on women’s team, as a team of 15 girls is being trained regularly at their women’s facility. Mr. Garg also focused on how gradually they aim to host more and more players from all over the country and make an everlasting name for the club in the field of football.

To further add to the celebration, U-13 team of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) were invited to Jaipur to play an exhibition match with AU Rajasthan FC U-13 squad. Players from both the teams showed exceptional zest and skills which the dignitaries, parents and others attending enjoyed.

The other dignitaries present on the occasion of the launch were, Dr.Manish Gupta (Pro Chancellor, Poornima University), Mr. Suresh Chandra (Vice Chancellor, Poornima University) & Mr. Shubham Garg (Director, Spordy Ventures Pvt. Ltd).

Delhi Dynamos sign Arshdeep Singh

NEW DELHI: After an excellent performance for Minerva Punjab last season , 22-year-old goalkeeper Arshdeep Singh Saini has signed a three-year contract with the Delhi Dynamos. He made his debut for Minerva Punjab in 2017 and has proven to be very promising for the former I-League champions. The shot stopper has also exhibited great performance in the AFC Cup.

He was recently in the news after a nasty injury with Chennaiyin FC striker CK Vineeth in their AFC Cup match held in Guwahati. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and with multiple fractures, had to undergo surgery. However, he will be up and running before the upcoming season.

Under Spanish custodian Francisco Dorronsoro, Arshdeep will look forward to gather more experience at Delhi Dynamos and enhance his skills in the upcoming campaign. The 22-year old goal-keeper was also included in Derrick Perreira’s U-23 Indian team for the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers earlier this year. 

Abhijit Sarkar joins East Bengal on loan from Chennaiyin

KOLKATA: After Costa Rican Johnny Acosta yet another World Cupper will turn out for East Bengal this season in Calcutta Football League as Chennaiyin FC today announced that 19-year-old attacking midfielder Abhijit Sarkar has joined The Red and Golds on a loan deal for the 2019-20 season.

The versatile midfielder, who has represented India in FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, signed for Chennaiyin ahead of 2018-19 season from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) developmental side Indian Arrows, spending the subsequent season with them on loan.

Abhijit made six appearances for Indian Arrows last season, scoring once. The AIFF Elite Academy graduate was at Indian Arrows in the 2017-18 campaign as well, where he finished as their I-League top-scorer with four goals.

Meanwhile, Spanish defender Borja Gomez Perez has also joined training today under assistant coach Josep Ferre at Saltlake Stadium training ground.

Photo – Santanu Biswas

Bengaluru FC sign Spanish forward Manuel Onwu

Bengaluru: Indian Super League champions Bengaluru FC have completed the signing of Spanish striker Manuel Onwu Villafranca ahead of the 2019-20 season, the club announced on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old striker who becomes the 13th Spaniard to sign for the Blues, has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the club having an option to extend it for another year.

“Having spent a fair bit of time playing in Spain, I was looking for a different experience. However, I wanted to join a strong project where we fight for ambitious goals. That’s the reason I’m very excited to join Bengaluru FC. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club from many Spanish players in the league, and that helped me make a decision about coming here. I look forward to meeting my new teammates and hope to help the club build on their success from last season,” said Manuel after putting to paper.   

Welcoming him to the Blues fold, Coach Carles Cuadrat said, “Manuel comes in after a long playing career in Spain that includes playing at the very top. He will provide us with some good options in attack and we expect him to settle in easily. Of course, he isn’t a direct replacement for Miku, because we’re talking about two very different types of players. Manuel is a great professional, and his experiences will definitely make him a great addition to our squad.”

Born in Tudela, Manuel had youth spells with Club Atlético Valtierrano and CD Tudelano, making his senior debut with the latter in 2006. In 2007, Onwu signed with Osasuna B and had a couple of loan spells at CD Iruña (2007-08) and UD Alzira (2008) before returning to the reserve team of the La Liga side. While Manuel featured and netted regularly for Osasuna B in the Segunda B Division, he was called up to the first team and made his La Liga debut in March 2012.

Having played three seasons in the Spanish top flight and another one in the Segunda Division for Osasuna, Manuel had a brief spell in Georgia with FC Dinamo Tbilisi where he was part of the side that won the 2015 Georgian Cup. He returned to Spain the following season and featured for Lleida Esportiu (2015-16) and Lorca FC (2016-18) helping the latter to a promotion to Segunda Division in his first season. In January 2018, he moved to UCAM Murcia CF and featured regularly and in fact, was the top-scorer for theUniversitarios with 11 league goals in the 2018-19 season.

At Bengaluru, Manuel becomes the fourth Spaniard in the current squad joining Juanan Gonzalez, Dimas Delgado, and Albert Serran.

ISL 5: Tight match between Jamshedpur and NorthEast ends goalless

JAMSHEDPUR: Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United FC played out a goalless draw at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Saturday. The match saw only one shot on target over the ninety minutes and it came from the visitors.

The point lifted the Highlanders to the second spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) table with 18 points from nine matches. Jamshedpur remained in the fourth spot and have 15 points from their 10 outings.

Both teams made a tentative start to the match and looked to maintain possession of the ball. The first chance fell to the home side on the ninth minute, after Memo found Pablo Morgado with a long pass from the midfield. The Spaniard took the shooting opportunity, but his effort was too high.

NorthEast hit back with a chance of their own on the other half of the field. Ogbeche did extremely well to hold off his marker inside the box, before laying the ball off for an onrushing Rowllin Borges. The midfielder, however, rushed his shot and put it over the bar.

As the half progressed, Jamshedpur started dominating possession, while NorthEast seemed content staying back and playing on the counter. But neither of the goalkeepers faced any serious test. Both defences kept their shape and most of the attacking play were restricted to shots from outside the box. Chances were few and far between in the first 45 minutes, as both teams headed into the break with the score level at 0-0.

The second-half picked up from where the first-half left off, with either team failing to make any definitive inroads into the opposition defence. It took 58 minutes to register the first shot on target in the match. Federico Gallego’s shot forced a regulation save from Subrata Paul.

On the hour mark, Jamshedpur head coach Cesar Ferrando introduced Tim Cahill to the fray in order the shake things up.

With 64 minutes on the clock, NorthEast almost found a way inside the Jamshedpur box after a dangerous backpass by Memo. But Subrata came off his line quickly to bail his teammate out.

The match started to open up a bit after the 70-minute mark. Jamshedpur substitute Mobashir Rahman’s volley from outside the box managed to worry NorthEast goalkeeper Pawan Kumar for the first time in the match. The shot, however, sailed inches over the bar.

The Highlanders have made it a habit of scoring late goals this season and it seemed the trend may continue when Ogbeche found space inside the Jamshedpur box on the 89th minute. The striker tried to bend one inside the far post. A backtracking Bikash Jairu managed to put a crucial block in to deny him.

It was the final piece of goalmouth action in the match as both sides settled for a point.

Jamshedpur Football Club sign midfielder from ATK

Jamshedpur, November 30, 2018: Jamshedpur FC are ecstatic to announce that the club has completed the signing of 21-year-old midfielder, Malsawmzuala on loan from ATK. The youngster has penned a deal with the the Jharkhand-based side and is now available to feature for the club for the remainder of the Indian Super League 2018/19 season.

Starting his footballing journey with his local club, Chanmari FC in Mizoram, Malsawmzuala quickly climbed the ladder and impressed the scouts at Bengaluru FC. The youngster joined BFC in 2015 and instantly became a regular in the side.

Malsawmzuala made important contributions for the club in I-League and also in the AFC Cup. He made 15 appearances for the club and scored 1 goal; a 30-yard stunner against East Bengal in a crucial I-League encounter.
Malsawmzuala also has Indian Super League experience under his belt as the boy from Mizoram had joined Delhi Dynamos on loan in 2016. He made four appearances that season for the Dynamos and also scored a goal against FC Pune City.

The youngster joined ATK ahead of the ongoing season but has not been able to garner regular playing time in the Steve Coppell managed side. Malsawmzuala will now be hoping to kick-start his ISL journey with Jamshedpur FC.

Malsawmzuala has also represented India at the U-19 level and was previously included in the Indian senior team squad for the World Cup qualifiers in 2016 alongside his soon to be teammate, Sumeet Passi. The midfielder is touted as a huge talent and is predicted by many to become the Indian midfield mainstay for the years to come.

Malsawmzuala is a defensive midfielder that excels in breaking up play and helping his side win back possession. He is also comfortable when on the ball and has an ability to test the opponents with his long-range shooting. The youngster will surely play a key role in the ongoing season for Jamshedpur FC with his ability to destruct and dictate the game from the centre of the park.

ISL 5: Chennaiyin, Kerala play out goalless draw

CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC played out a goalless draw with Kerala Blasters in their Indian Super League clash on Thursday.

Chennaiyin were desperately in need of the maximum points, but they failed to make the home advantage count for them and can only rue their missed chances of which there were many in what was a tough game played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.

The result saw Chennaiyin remain on 9th place with 5 points from 9 matches while Kerala Blasters are on 7th position with 8 points.

Both teams started the game at a frantic pace in the hope of catching their opponents early on but to no avail.

Chennaiyin looked the more likely to open the scoring and almost did so in the 6th minute when Isaac Vanmalsawma crossed in from the left side to Andrea Orlandi inside the box but the Spaniard’s header went straight to keeper.

Jeje Lalpekhlua also came close to break the deadlock for the hosts in the 20th minute when Orlandi made his way into the box from the left flank and cut it back to Jeje who fired his shot off target.

Chennaiyin were attacking with zeal, precision and tenacity in the first-half. They were asking all sorts of questions to the Kerala Blasters defence and could have taken the lead on the 30-minute mark.

Orlandi floated a free-kick in from the left and Eli Sabia head it down for Thoi Singh to shot on goal. However, Dheeraj made fantastic diving save on his left to keep his side in the game.

Kerala Blasters created little in reply, with their only notable attacking effort of the first-half seeing Halicharan Narzary controlling a ball in the penalty area, but any hopes of getting away a shot were quickly crushed by Chennaiyin custodian Sanjiban Ghosh in the 38th minute.

Thereafter, neither side were able to create any further chances in the first-half with the score deadlocked 0-0 as the teams headed for the change room at the break.

The hosts visitors were better after the break, but continued to be frustrated by a disciplined Chennaiyin defense.

Keziron Kizito fored over the target six minutes into the second-half, while a short while after Sahal Abdul Samad saw his goal-bound effort stymied by Sanjiban.

At the other end, Raphael Augusto led a quick counter-attack, but his shot took a deflection and Dheeraj collected the ball with ease.

The embattled goalkeeper needed to make another top save shortly after the hour mark when a free-kick from Orlandi found Jeje who headed on target in the 71st minute.

Seiminlen Doungel should have netted the winner for Kerala Blasters in the 82nd minute when he received a lovely pass from Zakeer Mundampara and went one against one with Sanjiban, who produced a brilliant save to prevent his side from losing two points.

The remainder of the match was a frustrating time for Chennaiyin, who dominated play but were unable to find a way through Kerala Blasters’ resilient defense. Even the introduction of Carlos Salom and Anirudh Thapa off the bench didn’t help the hosts find the breakthrough.

ISL 5: Cuadrat urges Bengaluru to keep momentum going

Bengaluru: In what is the first reverse fixture of the season for the Blues, Carles Cuadrat’s side take on FC Pune City at the Kanteerava Stadium, on Friday, with the intent to stretch their unbeaten start to the Indian Super League and further their lead on top of the table. Bengaluru FC, with 19 points from seven games, are two points clear of second-placed FC Goa on the standings, with Sergio Lobera’s side having played two games more.

“We are enjoying a good phase at the moment and it’s important that we keep it going. The first part of our target will be complete once we make the play-off stages, so I am not taking anything for granted until then,” he said, while addressing the media on the eve of the game.

It needed an 87th minute winner from Udanta Singh at the Fortress on Monday to beat Delhi Dynamos 1-0 and Cuadrat will be hoping that Friday’s fixture will see a marked improvement in the way his side go about things. Injuries and suspensions have thrown a spanner in the works for the Blues who have relied on resilience to pull them through.

In better news for the hosts, Dimas Delgado returns to the squad after serving a suspension and Erik Paartalu, who came on in the second half against Delhi, looks fit to start. The attack will however have their work cut out after Miku was ruled out till the end of the year owing to the ankle injury that kept him out for the last two games. “Miku will only be available in January now. He will be flying to Spain on Friday to further his treatment that requires him to take a few injections. It is an unfortunate situation given the kind of quality he brings to the team, but this is a chance for the others to stand up and be counted,” said Cuadrat.

While the midfield and attack have been operating rather seamlessly for most parts of the season, it is the Bengaluru defence that has been silently but surely making the biggest difference. The Blues back line have let in five goals in seven games, making them the side to conceded the least so far this season.

They will however face a potent threat in the Pune attack tonight. Iain Hume was handed his first start of the season in the 2-0 defeat to NorthEast United earlier this week and the highest goal scorer in the League’s history can be a handful when on song. In Brazilian Marcelinho and the impressive Ashique Kuruniyan, Pune possess the quality needed to come at Bengaluru.

However, coach Pradhyum Reddy – a former assistant coach at Bengaluru for three seasons – too has a key player missing in Brazilian Diego Carlos who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

While the Blues are on a five-game winning streak in the ISL, the Stallions come into this game with a not-so-ideal away record having last won on the road way back in February this year when they overcame Mumbai 2-0. Since then, they have drawn three times and lost four conceding 14 goals and scoring seven.

The game kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be telecast live across the STAR Sports network, HotStar, JioTV and Colors Kannada Cinema.

ISL 5: ATK and Goa involved in end-to-end goalless stalemate

KOLKATA: ATK and FC Goa played out an enthralling goalless draw at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Goa started the half as the better of the two sides and should have really scored two goals within the first 15 minutes. Seriton Fernandes was awarded the first real chance in the seventh minute when he was slipped through by Jackichand Singh. The right-back though failed to direct his shot on target and hit the side-netting.

A few minutes later, Goa had an even better chance when Ahmed Jahouh delivered an inch perfect ball to the far post. Mourtada Fall ghosted behind the defence to win a free header, however, he could only find the side-netting – a real let off for ATK.

The hosts then spurned a few good chances themselves. Santos, who was ATK’s most threatening player of the first period almost broke the deadlock near the half-hour mark. A delicious pass from Jayesh Rane across the face of goal was flicked on by the Brazilian attacker. But Goa custodian Mohammad Nawaz stood firm to make a good stop.

ATK wold come closest to scoring in the 36th minute through Lanzarote. After some neat build up play from Santos and Gerson Vieira, the ball fell to the Spaniard inside the box. He chested it down before firing a shot, which narrowly missed the far post. That would prove to be the last notable piece of action of an end-to-end goalless half.

ATK started the second half on a bright note and created a neat opening in the 54th minute. Santos and Lanzarote were once again in the thick of the action, carving open the Goa defence with their fine running. This time Lanzarote laid the ball off to Rane, who took one touch before forcing a good stop from Nawaz.

A few minutes after the hour-mark, drama ensued as Goa felt hard done by when they were not awarded a penalty. Substitute Manvir showed incredible control and composure to beat ATK’s offside trap before creating space for a shot a goal. His effort was blocked by Bikey before being cleared off the line by John Johnson. The ball seemed to have hit Bikey on the arm, but the referee waved play on.

As the match reached its end, chances were few and far between as both sides seemed to settle for a point. Goa did have a glorious opportunity in the final minute though when Ferran Corominas demonstrated determination and skill to beat two defenders before delivering a cross for Edu Bedia. The midfielder, however, failed to direct his shot on target as the ball ran out of play.