Friday, July 29, 2016

Uvena Fernandes to officiate in FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup

Uvena Fernandes
Uvena Fernandes becomes the first Women Referee from India to be selected to
officiate FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup, Picture Courtesy: AIFF Media

Uvena Fernandes becomes the first ever Woman Referee selected to officiate in a FIFA Women’s U-17 World Cup which is slated to take place in Jordan from 30th September till 21st October 2016.

Apart from Subroto Cup 2015 and different Women's competitions across the country Uvena has officiated Asian Games 2014 Women’s Football matches as Assistant Referee.

After K Shankar who was an Assistant Referee in 2002 World Cup held in Japan and Korea, Uvena Fernandes becomes the second referee from India to be handed the chance to officiate in a World Cup.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Aston Villa to open football academy in India

Aston Villa academy in New Delhi, India
English side Aston Villa to open football academy in India
Aston Villa are all set to launch their first academy in India. The announcement was made in a press conference on Monday, 26th July 2016 where the club owner, Dr. Tony Xia was present alongside Indian government officials -  Vijay Goel, Minister of Youth Affaris and Sports and Prakash Javedekar, HRD Minister.

Xia was quoted saying, "Aston Villa Football Club, one of the most successful football clubs in the history of English football, plans to expand globally and India is one of the countries where Aston Villa not only wants to have an ISL club but also open football academies all over India".

The objective of the academy is to provide a platform for the young talents to grow and hence helping the national team to challenge in the International arena more competitively. The academy will have state of the art facilities where young children from the age of 5 will be trained and nurtured. The club also would also help in promoting the 2017 U-17 World Cup to be held in India.

Aston Villa are one of the most successful English clubs having won the European Cup(now known as UEFA Champions League) in 1981-82 defeating Bayern Munich in the finals. Their trophy cabinet boasts of 7 First Division titles, 7 FA Cup titles and 5 League Cups. Aston Villa were relegated to Championship, second tier of English football last season. Dr. Tony Jiangtong Xia purchased the club from American owner Randy Lerner in June 2016.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mumbai beat Kochi on penalties to win Premier Futsal League

Mumbai beat Kochi to win Premier Futsal League
Mumbai beat Kochi to win Premier Futsal League 2016
Premier Futsal League Final

Mumbai 5's 1-1 Kochi 5's (Mumbai win on penalties)
Mumbai: Angelot(38th)
Kochi: Moraes(9th)

Mumbai 5’s : Ryan Giggs, Amado, Foglia, Ramirez and Chanpreet
Kochi 5’s : Michel Salgado, Casalone, Chaguinha, Moraes, Anupam

Individual Awards:

Best Indian Player- Jonathan Piers, Bangalore
Most Valuable Player- Angelot, Mumbai
Golden Arm-Band - Chaguinha

Mumbai won the inaugural edition of the Premier Futsal League on penalties 3-2 as an entertaining game marked the end of a wonderful tournament.

Giggs and Salgado had both done exceptionally well in throughout the tournament but they needed to put in one last big effort to earn their team that coveted trophy. Mumbai boasted the likes of Foglia and Angellot who had really lit up the tournament with their skill.

Kochi had played more as a unit in the tournament with their most famous victory coming in that dramatic 3-3 draw against Chennai who were favourites, to put them through to the semi-final.

Kochi scored the opening goal of the game with 2 minutes to go int he first quarter. Chaguinha attempted shot cum cross somehow found it’s way to Moraes who waiting at the far post and all he had to do was tap it into an empty net.

Foglia came close to levelling it up in the 2nd quarter. His snapshot beat the keeper but bounced off the near post. Kochi continued to employ their counterattacking strategy in the game after grabbing the lead and it was opening up the Mumbai defence every time they attacked.

Salgado thought he had made it 2-0 in the 3rd quarter as he hit the back of the net with a long-range free-kick but the referee ruled it out as it was an indirect freekick which had been awarded.

Angellot almost beat the rugged Kochi defense when he floored two defenders with a fake and then a drag back but his shot was deflected by two sliding defenders.

With 10 minutes left in the match Mumbai kept getting several half-chances as Foglia’s free kick just went wide of the post. Next, a long throw from the  keeper was headed by Foglia but Casalone produced another great reaction save.

With just over a minute to play, top scorer Angellot stepped up to the plate. He first juggled the ball with a brilliant piece of control and then volleyed it home to take the game to penalties.

A series of penalties took place as Giggs, Salgado, and Foglia all missed but it came down to the battle of the goalkeepers. Mumbai’s keeper Amado converted his penalty while Casalone missed his, giving Mumbai the trophy.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Kochi to face Mumbai in the finals

Premier Futsal League Semi Finals Results
Kochi and Mumbai progress to grand finale of
Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League Semi-Final Results

Goa 5's 1-2 Kochi 5's
Goa: Vampeta(22nd)
Kochi: Chaguinha(13th, 27th)

Goa 5’s : Cafu, Georgievsky, Rafael, Vampeta and Mohd Ali
Kochi 5’s : Michel Salgado, Casalone, Cahguinha, Moraes and Anupam

Mumbai 5's 4-2 Kolkata 5's
Mumbai: Angelot(8th, 11th, 32nd), Ramirez(19th)
Kolkata: Carioca(23rd), Gabriel(24th)

Mumbai 5’s : Ryan Giggs, Amado, Foglia, Ramirez and Chanpreet
Kolkata 5’s : Hernan Crespo, Cidao, Pula, Gabriel and Akshay Nair

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Goa and Kochi advance, Bengaluru and Chennai bow out

Premier Futsal League 2016
Kochi's last second goal send them to semis at the cost of Chennai. Goa too went through the semi-finals, Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League
Goa 5's 3-0 Bengaluru 5's
Goa: Michael Silva(10th), Rafael(21st), Vampeta(39th)

Goa 5’s : Cafu, Bebe, Vampeta Rafel and Mohd Ali 
Bengaluru 5’s : Paul Scholes, Elias, Tatu, Maxi and Jonathan Piers

It is the last match day of the group stages as Bengaluru 5’s and Goa 5’s battle it out to join Kolkata 5’s in the Semi-Final from Group B. Goa 5’s played their last game without a marquee player, with Cafu still to arrive in India. Today, will be a different story. The World Cup winning captain who said he has spent a lot of his leisure time playing Futsal with his friends in Brazil to stay fit, will feel at home on the Futsal turf.

It took Cafu just a couple of minutes to take the first shot on goal and took the second shot a minute later. The first quarter also saw 18 year old Bengaluru 5’s Jonathan Piers take Cafu head on which kept the spectators in the game. The deadlock was broken by Goa 5’s, after Michael Silva drove home a deflected save from the Bengaluru 5’s Elias.

The second half became an end to end contest which saw goal-keepers parade of their posts and the score the home team stayed a goal ahead of the Bengaluru 5’s.

The third quarter started for Goa with a bang as the Vampeta rolled the ball in Rafael path who hit the back of the net from close range to double Goa 5’s lead. The Goan defence under Cafu’s guidance looked intimidating. They managed to shut down the Bengaluru attacks way before they could become a concern for their Goalkeeper, Bebe. He did not have to make a single save all through the quarter.

With Bengaluru trailing at the start of the final quarter, they had to put their might behind to find the goal. Their goalkeeper Elias was at the half way line dictating terms and putting pressure of the Goa 5’s. Cafu continued to dominate the proceedings and guiding his team from the back. Vampeta converted a penalty at 39 minutes to seal their berth in the Semi-finals with Kolkata from Group B.

Kochi 5's 3-3 Chennai 5's
Kochi: Moraes(37th), Chaguinha(38th, 40+1st)
Chennai: Camilo(12th), Nannda(18th), Romulo(39th)

Kochi 5’s: Salgado, Cassalone, Changuinha, Moraes and Mohd Ameer
Chennai 5’s: Romulo, Nando, Camilo, Espindola and Faraz Azeez

The thrilling game between Mumbai and Kochi, gave Chennai a lifeline before their game against Kochi. Chennai needed to win by a margin 2 goals against Kochi in order to qualify for the next round. Both teams started out in cautious fashion. The most clear-cut chance of the first quarter fell to Anupam whose close range side-foot effort was saved by the keeper.

Chances were few and far between as players were reduced to shots from distance in the first 10 minutes. The deadlock was finally broken by Chennai in the second quarter. On the breakaway, it was 3 v 1 and Camilo received the ball on the left and the Colombian smashed the ball into the net. But the job was only half done. With 3 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, Chennai got their second goal. From a corner, Nanda made a near post run and like a true poacher he managed to squeeze it into the net, despite the defender putting all kinds of pressure on him Kochi needed a goal to gain the advantage once again.

Espindola made an incredible save in the second half to prevent Kochi getting a goal back in the game. The keeper dived to his left and tipped a thunderbolt of a drive. At the other end, the Kochi keeper made low crucial save in split second first through a deflection and then from Camilo’s powerful drive. In the 4th quarter Chennai almost made it 3-0 as their new recruit almost caught the Kochi keeper off guard with an attempt from his own half, but it was just wide off the post.

With 3 minutes to play, Kochi finally got their goal through their No 10. Moraes after a wonderful through pass by Chaguinha to make it 2-1. Next from provider, he turned goalscorer with a smart finish from the right to make it 2-2.

Chennai once again got themselves the advantage after Falcao’s powerful drive to put them 3-2 ahead. But with seconds left in the game Chaguinha produced a moment of magic with a brilliant long-range strike that sent his teammates into ecstasy. A dramatic game ended in disappointment for Chennai but for Kochi it’s another step closer to the trophy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Kolkata qualify for semi-finals

Premier Futsal League 2016
Mumbai beat Kochi in a thriller while Kolkata advanced to semis after
draw against Bengaluru, Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League
Kolkata 5's 1-1 Bengaluru 5's
Kolkata: Pula(7th)
Bengaluru: Jonathan

Day 2 of Premier Futsal in Goa saw Bengaluru 5s draw 1-1 with Kolkata 5s at the Pedem Sports Complex. The Bengaluru 5s needed a win to stay in the hunt for a semi-final spot and the result saw Kolkata seal a semi-final spot.

With Neto no longer in the Bengaluru squad, Tatu stepped in and did give Kolkata goalkeeper Cidao a couple of scares in the first quarter. The keeper, with his orthodox style of coming out of the box and even entering the opponent’s half to initiate attacks, was always on his toes when Bengaluru had the ball and made some fine saves.

Kolkata took the lead when they won a penalty after Hernan Crespo’s corner kick struck the hand of Maxi who was stationed in the D. Pula stepped up and fired it to the left and found the back of the net in spite of Elias diving in the right direction.

The shot simply had too much power as it whizzed past him to give Kolkata a 1-0 lead. Pula was dead set on scoring more and ended the first quarter with five shots. Even Cidao got into the act and had shots on goal that Elias palmed away with ease.

Bengaluru had some good build up play but failed to get enough shots on target. Kolkata were also guilty of simply striking the ball from a distance rather than move it around and find space.

Cidao’s forays into Bengaluru’s half almost cost Kolkata a goal when Elias launched a shot from his own area. The back-pedaling Cidao was in no position to make a save but Gabriel was on hand to back him up and head it away.

However, Bengaluru soon found the equaliser through Jonathan Piers. Cidao had parried a shot away but Bengaluru pounced on the rebound. With the Kolkata defence caught sleeping, Jonathan had an open goal to make it 1-1.

Scholes was trying his best to help Bengaluru find another and set up his teammates a few times in the fourth quarter. But no matter what they threw at Kolkata, Cidao was in no mood to concede another.

But his enthusiasm almost cost him when he punched a ball just outside the D. However, Bengaluru’s free-kick routine was disappointing and Kolkata survived and qualified for the semi-final.

Mumbai 5's 6-4 Kochi 5's
Mumbai: Foglia(4th, 20th, 40th), Kevin Ramirez(14th), Chanpreet(30th), Angellot(30th)
Kochi: Moraes(3rd, 18th), Chaguinha(10th, 36th)

Mumbai 5s beat Kochi 5s 6-4 in a thrilling game on Day 2 of Premier Futsal in Goa at the Pedem Sports Complex. With Mumbai already in the semi-finals, all Kochi needed was a point to qualify and ensure Chennai had no chance of finishing in the top two. But the result now gives Falcao’s side hope ahead of the final game.
The Kochi 5s took no time in taking the lead when Michel Salgado’s shot came off the post and the goalkeeper before Deives Moraes stationed at the far post tapped it in. However, Mumbai stormed right back and scored the equaliser within moments of conceding. Foglia’s quick feet and trickery saw him send two defenders the wrong way before a searing shot found the bottom left corner to make it 1-1.

But just before the hooter sounded for the end of a lively first quarter, Moraes retained the ball under pressure from three defenders and took the right moment to flick the ball back to Chaguinha who fired home beat Luis Amado and make it 2-1 to Kochi.

Kevin Ramirez made it 2-2 three minutes into the second quarter when his own throw-in was deflected into his path just outside the D. A powerful shot saw Casalone get his angles wrong as the ball rifled the net. A vociferous celebration followed as just minutes earlier Ramirez was having his ankle strapped up after twisting it in the first quarter.

The goals continued to flow as Devies Moraes got his sixth of the tournament after a sublime cross-field pass from Chaguinha. Ramirez was caught sleeping allowing Moraes to steal past behind him and finish calmly to give Kochi the lead. But just at the stroke of half-time, Foglia got his second of the night with a poacher’s goal. Casalone parried a shot right into his path and he couldn’t recover fast enough to make the save.

Mumbai then struck twice towards the end of the third quarter to take the game away from Kochi. Chanpreet scored his first goal of the tournament when he stationed himself in front of the goal and simply tapped in Foglia’s cross. Moments later, Angellot found himself in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper on a counter-attack and beat him with ease to make it 5-3.

Halfway through the final quarter, Chaguinha and Moraes carved open Mumbai’s defence with a neat one-two and Chaguinha grabbed his second of the night with substitute goalkeeper Federico Perez unable to get in the way of his effort. Though he made some fine saves, he lost his bearings and conceded a handball which saw Amado come back on for the final play.

Moraes stepped up to take the free-kick without a wall but Amado made a superb block and Mumbai soon countered to make it 6-4 through Manikkoth.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Premier Futsal League: Mumbai enter semis, Kolkata held by Goa

Ryan Giggs - Mumbai 5's - Premier Futsal League
Mumbai sealed their semis berth defeating Chennai 4-3 on Tuesday in the Premier Futsal League
Premier Futsal League
Goa 5's 2-2 Kolkata 5's
Goa: Vampeta(24th, 27th)
Kolkata: Pula(5th), Carioca(9th)

Goa 5’s: Vampeta, Georgivsky,Rafael, Mohd Ali and Bebe
Kolkata 5’s: Hernan Crespo, Carioca, Pula, Akshay Nair and Cidao

The Goa Leg of Premier Futsal kick-started with the home team taking taking on Kolkata 5’s without their marquee player, Ronaldinho having to return home.

However, Goa came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Kolkata as Brazilian Futsaller Vampeta scored both of Goa’s goals in a man of the match performance. Ronaldinho’s replacement Cafu was yet to arrive in India and they played the game against Kolkata without a marquee player. The Kolkata 5’s made the most of the home team short of their charismatic leader as Hernan Crespo came close to scoring within the first 2 minutes. However, Pula did not take too long to find the back of the net at 4 minutes. Akshay had a brilliant opportunity to double their lead, but he missed an open goal from 2 yards out.

Before the end of the first quarter, Kolkata finally doubled their lead. Carioca received the ball with his back to goal but an exquisite first touch helped him escape his marker and then he embarrassed the keeper by finding the gap between his legs to make it 2-0.

Kolkata started to play some real exhibition stuff as the continued to dominate Goa. Faizal was the next player to miss a great opportunity to extend the lead. After some neat passing, Faizal skewed his shot wide from a cutback. Goa slowly started to grow into the game as Kolkata started to sit back Goa kept knocking at the door as Cidao kept making save after save, but something had to give and in the 3rd quarter, it finally did.

Kolkata 5’s Marquee Player and Captain, Hernan Crespo says, “I preferred to rest and come to the Semi-finals in a better shape. We already have 5 points and even if we secure a point in the next game will take us through to the next rounds. I have faith in the team and it is important to make it right till the very end in such important tournaments.”

On the break, Vampeta had all kinds of space and he got it past the Kolkata goalkeeper with an acute finish into the far corner to make it 2-1. With 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, it was 2-2. Once again, Kolkata were caught on the counter as Vampeta raced down the other end skipped past the goalkeeper who came off his line and slotted it calmly into an empty net.

Speaking to the media after the match, Vampeta said, “Cafu is a World Cup winning captain, he will bring a lot of experience with him and the team will benefit from it. We conceded two early goals and to come from there is just like win for us. Ronaldinho brings a lot of joy and energy to the team, we will surely miss him a lot. We as a team are hoping we can create some magic like he did in Chennai.”

But that’s how the game ended as neither team could find that decisive goal to win it. An exciting start to the Goa leg of the Premier Futsal League.

Mumbai 5's 4-3 Chennai 5's
Mumbai: Fogila(2 Goals), Angellot, Ryan Giggs
Chennai: Sean Garnier, Romulo, Camilo

Mumbai edged Chennai 4-3 to become the first team to book their place in the semi-finals of Premier Futsal League.

Mumbai got the opening goal of the game in controversial circumstances. Sean Garnier of Chennai had possession but Foglia muscled him off the ball which the freestyler thought he would get a foul for. But, play went on and Foglia chipped the ball wonderfully over the keeper to put his team into the lead.

Their joy was cut short, as in a matter of minutes, Chennai were level. Nanda put in a powerful cross that bypassed every player in a blue shirt and Sean Garnier at the far post reacted quickly to chest the ball into the net from close range.

Chennai had the momentum and took the lead in the 2nd quarter. Angellot tried to do a little too much with the ball and lost possession to Romulo, whose powerful drive beat the keeper, even ripping a hole through net. The Colombian though made up for his earlier error by getting his team back on level terms. A well-worked move ended up with Foglia rolling the ball for Angellot, who blasted the ball into the back of the net after the keeper was left in no man's land. Camilo once again put Chennai ahead as his top poke effort deflected off Angellot and went through the keeper's legs. The goal the crowd wanted came as Ryan Giggs interchanged wonderfully with Angellot and the United legend tapped home to make it 3-3. There was a brilliant piece of control and skill from Angellot in the build-up to that move.

In the 4th quarter, Mumbai took the lead as Foglia scored his second goal of the game. Frenchman Ramirez set up the Italian and he slipped it into the net through the keeper's legs. The referee blew the whistle as Mumbai qualified for the semis after winning 2 of their 3 games in the group.
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