Wednesday, April 23, 2014

AFC Cup 2014: Churchill Brothers face New Radiant in a crucial away encounter

Churchill Brothers face New Radiant in a crucial
away tie in the AFC Cup 2014


Churchill Brothers Goa will take on New Radiant Maldives in the last round of the AFC Cup group E encounter at Male's National Stadium on Wednesday.

The Red Machines are second on the table with 7 points from 5 matches and are in contention of making it to the next round. New Radiant Maldives are on 3 points from 5 games, with only pride to play for. Churchill Brothers head coach , Mariano Dias said "We have come without four regular players,Shabana , Raju, Jaison and Balwant."

However I have full faith in the boys and I hope we come out with all 3 points and qualify for the next stage for the first time in our history. Churchill Brothers defender, Saran Singh added "it's a very important game for us. We have come with the intention to win tomorrow and qualify for the next round. We hope to repeat the same thing that we did in the reverse fixture"

Churchill Brothers got the better of the Maldives outfit in Goa, beating them 3-0 at the Fatorda Stadium, Margao.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

AFC Cup 2014: Pune FC end their campaign on a high

Pune FC register victory against Kitchee SC
Pune FC register victory against Kitchee SC to end their AFC Cup 2014 campaign on a high, Picture Courtesy: Pune FC

AFC Cup 2014
Shree Shivachhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune
Pune FC 2-0 Kitchee SC
PFC: Zohmigliana Ralte(74th, 80th)

Pune FC sealed a historic first-ever win on the continental stage defeating Hong Kong champions Kitchee SC 2-0 in a AFC Cup Group-H final round encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Tuesday.

Defender Zohmingliana Ralte’s second half brace (74th & 80th minute) handed Pune FC a well-deserved win over the Group-H winners.The win, no doubt historic, had Pune FC goalkeeper Amrinder Singh save a penalty and the rebound moments after the hosts took the lead.

The three points earned took Pune FC’s overall tally to six points but they remained fourth behind Kitchee (13 pts), Nay Pyi Taw (8 pts) and Tampines Rovers (6 pts). Moreover, Pune FC was the not just the only team to stay unbeaten against Kitchee in the group-stage, but also handed the Hong Kong side their first defeat in twenty games in all competitions.

With injuries and suspensions to deal with, Coach Mike Snoei made four changes to the starting lineup handing starts to Mirjan Pavlovic, Prakash Thorat, Dhanpal Ganesh and Salam Ranjan Singh. In an equally fought opening quarter, it was Jorge Tarres who first went close for the visitors. However, the Spaniard’s attempt from inside the box on the right ended in the sidenetting.

At the other end, Pune FC kept on pushing ahead but were falling short of penetrating into the Kitchee box. Pune FC first went close in the 22nd minute when Ralte’s header off Anthony D’Souza went just over the horizontal. Five minutes later, left-back Gurjinder Kumar beat the offside trap on the left flank to set free only for his direction less cross to go wide.

At the other end, the Pune FC defense led by keeper Amrinder Singh held firm as the opponents kept on attacking the Pune FC goal. Into the final five minutes of the half, Pune FC had a glorious chance to open scoring after Mirjan earned a freekick on the edge of the box. However, Anthony’s dipping shot went inches over the horizontal.

At the other end, Pune FC had Amrinder to thank once again after the young Punjabi blocked To Hon To’s powerful shot after the winger got into the clear inside the box on the right. Moments later, Amrinder once again produced a save blocking Chan Man Fai’s header from close range to keep the score goalless going into the breather.

Coach Mike Snoei made the first change bringing in winger Lester Fernandez in place of Prakash. The move made instant impact as Lester created a chance for Mirjan, but the Australian’s header went agonisingly wide. At the other end, Kitchee almost took the lead but Chan Man Fai’s effort from the edge of the box off Juan Belencoso’s through ball came off the post.

Five minutes later, Amrinder once again pulled off a great save to keep the hosts in the game. Striker Belencoso controlled a cross inside the box and volleyed on the turn only for an outstretched Amrinder to deny him. At the other end, Pune FC almost went ahead. Lester set up skipper Riga Mustapha on a counter but the Dutchman’s effort from the edge of the box went into the sidenetting. Minutes later, Lester’s back-to-back chances from the edge of the box went over as Pune FC continued to push.

Pune FC dominance finally paid off as they took the lead in the 74th minute. Right-back Ralte’s scored with thumping header at the far post on Anthony’s corner kick in from the left. The home side’s celebrations were cut short as Kitchee were handed a lifeline a minute later at the other end. After Amrinder brought down Lam Ka Wai inside the box, the referee pointed to the spot. However, Amrinder made up for his mistake saving Belencoso’s penalty kick and blocking the rebound form Tarres. Charged up after Amrinder’s moment of genius in the Pune FC goal, the home side began to attack and earned another corner in the 80th minute. Ralte once again headed home the corner at the far post taken by Lester on the left to complete his brace. Pune FC kept their calm and held on to their two goal lead in the final ten minutes to seal the much deserved win.

Bengaluru FC are the champions of Airtel i-League 2013-14



Bengaluru FC champions of Airtel i-League
Bengaluru FC win the Airtel i-League crown in their
very first season
It was coronation day for Bengaluru FC. By far the most impressive debutants in the National Football League/I-League history, the Jindal Steel Works (JSW) owned outfit clinched their maiden I-League Crown sans the big names, a much sought-after success formula in Indian Football.

Albeit having the resources to cash in on the marquee signings, the affluent outfit chose to funnel their money judiciously.

“We could have gone for the Moon. But that was never going to be the way we wanted to about it. However, we are on the Moon at the moment,” Club consultant Mandar Tamhane told www.the-aiff.com.

“Breaking the Bank balance is not a success formula. We wanted to strike a balance between Player’s salary and spending wisely on the other important things which are as important as buying Players,” he adds.

“When we entered the fray there were not many marquee Players we could choose from. The other Clubs had already done their shopping and we were left with very few choices. At the end of the day, I am happy that we did not go for the big names.”

“We brought John Johnson and Curtis Osano to lend experience at the back and it worked wonders. We got the Indian Captain upfront and kept faith on youngsters and Players who reinvented themselves at BFC. The likes of Keegan (Pereira), Thoi (Singh) who have been in the fringes for a long time not getting a chance to play because better players were there, have found a place in BFC and are doing so well,” he goes on.

“Look at Sunil (Chhetri). He is the enjoying himself on the left flank. I would say, he has reinvented himself .”

Of the goals scored by BFC, 20 have come from the boots of Chhetri (14) and India International Robin Singh (6).

Thoi Singh (4) shares the second largest chunk in goals netted along with Australian striker Sean Rooney (9). What’s significant is that all these names prior to the start of the season sans Chhetri who had just won the I-League with Churchill Brothers, were not in the most wanted list of I-League playing Clubs.

“Ever since joining the Club, I can feel the improvement after every training session. Everything that I need is at this Club,” Thoi was quoted saying on Bengaluru FC’s Official Website.

“Most importantly, I have regained my lost confidence. My Teammates have been fantastic and the Seniors have always been by my side giving me handy tips,” he maintained.

 “I have always played on the right wing and never ever thought the middle was for me. But thanks to the Coach, all of that has changed now. I love my new position so much that I have almost forgotten how to play down the right,” he had added.

Young players like Mizoram’s Beikhokhei Beingaichho and Siam Hanghal have also excelled at BFC.

“We give the Players the best of facilities. From staying in the best Hotels, to providing the perfect diet, we have done few basics correctly and the owners have backed us to the hilt. For example we travel with 8-9 officials for our away Games. Most Teams don’t. They travel with the bare minimum which is required. You need Officials travelling with the Team for the overall health of the Team to remain at the same level as in Home Games,” Tamhane pronounces.

“This is where Money is spent judiciously. I just think we have been successful with all out initiatives in doing the basics correctly. We have told the people what we are doing. This is very important.”

Bengaluru FC have also tied up with HEAL, where International standards are maintained while dealing with Player injuries.

On the Youth Development front Tamhane informs that BFC Academies and Grassroots Programme aims at promoting local talent the most. “The reason we don’t have residential Academies is because we want to give the local boys of Bangalore a chance. There is a lot of talent in Bangalore and we want to unearth that.”

“Our philosophy as followed by our youth Coach Richard Hood is to play in the same style as the Senior Team.”

ROLL OF HONOUR

I-LEAGUE 

2007-08:
Champions: Dempo SC
Runners-up: Churchill Brothers

2008-09:
Champions: Churchill Brothers
Runners-up: Mohun Bagan

2009-10:
Champions: Dempo SC
Runners-up: Churchill Brothers

2010-11:
Champions: Salgaocar SC
Runners-up: East Bengal

2011-12:
Champions: Dempo SC
Runners-up: East Bengal

2012-13:
Champions: Churchill Brothers
Runners-up: Pune FC

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

1996-97:
Champions: JCT Club
Runners-up: Churchill Brothers

1997-98:
Champions: Mohun Bagan
Runners-up: East Bengal

1998-99:
Champions: Salgaocar SC
Runners-up: East Bengal

1999-00:
Champions: Mohun Bagan
Runners-up: Churchill Brothers

2000-01:
Champions: East Bengal
Runners-up: Mohun Bagan

2001-02:
Champions: Mohun Bagan
Runners-up: Churchill Brothers

2002-03:
Champions: East Bengal
Runners-up: Salgaocar SC

2003-04:
Champions: East Bengal
Runners-up: Dempo SC

2004-05:
Champions: Dempo Club
Runners-up: Sporting Clube de Goa

2005-06:
Champions: Mahindra United
Runners-up: East Bengal

2006-07:
Champions: Dempo Club
Runners-up: JCT Club

FROM THE HISTORY BOOK

Bengalaru FC are the second Team to win the Title in their maiden appearance. Mohun Bagan achieved the feat in 1997-98 when they won the second edition of the National Football League. Obviously, JCT Club had won the title in the inaugural year.

Leading Indian Players to have won the NFL/I-League maximum number of times:

Mahesh Gawli (Six times): 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12.
Clifford Miranda (Five times): 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12.
Sandip Nandy (Five times): 1999-00, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06 and 2012-13.
Climax Lawrence (Four times): 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12.
Debjit Ghosh (Four times): 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02 and 2003-04.
Deepak Mondal (Four timers): 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2005-06.
Surkumar Singh (Four times): 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2005-06.
Leading Foreign recruits to have won NFL/I League maximum number of times:
Ranti Martins (Five-times): 2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2011-12.
Roberto Mendes Beto (Four times): 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2012-13.
Jose Ramirez Barreto (Thrice): 1999-00, 2001-02 and 2005-06.
Suley Musa (Thrice): 2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04.

Airtel i-League 2013-14 Results: 21st April 2014

Airtel i-League 2013-14
21.04.2014

Rangdajied United FC 0-0 Shillong Lajong FC

Dempo SC 2-4 Bengaluru FC
DSC: Beto(82nd), Romeo Fernandes(89th)
BFC: Sean Rooney(2nd), Robin Singh(56th), John Menyongar(79th), Sunil Chhetri(90th)

Bengaluru FC after the win against Dempo SC have secured the Airtel i-League 2013-14 title in their debut season. Congratulations to Bengaluru FC.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Airtel i-League 2013-14: 19th April 2014

Airtel i-League 2013-14 Results
19.04.2014

Churchill Brothers 0-2 United SC
USC: Eric Brown(49th, 71st)

Pune FC 1-2 East Bengal
PFC: Anthony D'Souza(39th)
EB: Chidi Edeh(72nd), S. Doungel(75th)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Now fans will choose the Shillong Lajong FC 2014-15 kit

A Shillong Lajong FC Press Release
Shillong Lajong FC unveils the four possible kits for 2014-15 season


A football kit is not just a uniform, it represents what you play for and is worn with pride. adidas, the most exciting sports brand is set to take this passion to the next level while unleashing Shillong Lajong FC’s (SLFC) new home kit.  For the first time in the history of the club, fans will get the opportunity to vote for their new team jersey!
Shillong Lajong FC 2014-15 Kit
The 4 kit designs for Shillong Lajong FC for the 2014-15 season

adidas and SLFC have short-listed 4 kit designs for the 2014-15 season, and will launch a consumer / fan outreach program, inviting all fans to vote for their favorite kit. The month long program will kick off on the 21st April, when fans can log in to the team’s website or facebook page and pick their favorite design.

Talking about the program, Tushar Goculdas, Brand Director- adidas India said, “Shillong Lajong is one of the leading football clubs, with a huge following across the country. Our partnership began in 2009 with a strong focus on supporting the team with the best in class football gear. Over the years, we strengthened the association by supporting the development of their youth teams through our global scouting and training programs. Today, we are taking this relationship the next level, through exciting fan engagement programs and giving back to the passionate fans of the club. Through this latest initiative, we are inviting the fans to go all in and play a vital role in deciding the 

new look for their team. This is just the beginning of what’s in store for Shillong Lajong fans and we are equally excited to see which design gets the maximum votes.”
 
Larsing Sawyan, Managing Director- Shillong Lajong Football Club added, “This is a great initiative to excite and engage the club’s fans, and bring them closer to the team they love. We’ve shared a fantastic partnership with adidas, who not only enable the players to deliver match winning performances with cutting edge products, but also support efforts to give fans the opportunity to be closely involved with the team. I am all in to cast my vote and looking forward to see what the fans choose.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Airtel i-League 2013-14 Results: 15th-16th April 2014

Airtel i-League 2013-14 Results
15.04.2014

SC Goa 3-3 Salgaocar FC
SCG: Ogba Kalu(20th), Boima Karpeh(41st), Rowlin Borges(73rd)
SFC: Darryl Duffy(4th), Dudu Omagbemi(11th), Bikash Jairu(90th)

16.04.2014

Mohammedan Sporting 4-5 Shillong Lajong FC
MSC: Ashim Biswas(5th), Penn Orji(34th), Josimar(47th, 79th)
SLFC: Cornell Glen(Penalty 16th, 43rd, 74th), Shubhash Singh(29th, 69th)

Churchill Brothers 1-0 East Bengal
CB: Yunam Raju(23rd)
 
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