Wednesday, September 17, 2014

i-League: Mumbai FC sign Collin Abranches

Collin Abranches-Mumbai FC
Mumbai FC sign Collin Abranches with
Deputy VP Atul Badgamia(left)

Mumbai FC have added Collin Abranches to their roster. Deputy Vice President of Mumbai FC Mr. Atul Badgamia confirmed the signing, "Yes, Collin has been added to our Mumbai FC squad. He is someone who has the hunger to win matches and hence he'll play an important role in the upcoming season."

22 year old Collin, who plied his trade previously for Air India, Salgaocar and Mohammedan, said, "I am very happy on signing for Mumbai FC. I have a lot of trust in the team and in Coach Khalid and Henry.

My aim is to help my team win trophies. I`m excited to play for the Mumbaikars and I'm sure I’ll have a great time playing at this club."

Collin comes with a good amount of experience having already played over 50 I-League games.

Monday, September 15, 2014

FC Goa manager Zico arrives in India

Zico arrives in India
FC Goa manager Zico arrives in India with Beto(on left)

Arthur Antunes Coimbra (Zico), Manager and Chief Coach, FC Goa arrived into the sunny coastal state of Goa from Brazil earlier today. He was accompanied by Roberto Mendes da Silva  (Beto), former Dempo player, also a native of Brazil.

Mr. Alberto Colaco who leads the team at FC Goa along with his team members welcomed Zico with garlands at the Dabolim international airport in Goa. A few fans of FC Goa turned up at the airport to welcome the Brazilian legend

Six International FC Goa Players Jan Seda, Miroslav Slepicka, Bruno Pinheiro, Miguel Herlein, Edgar Marcelino and Gregory Arnolin have already arrived into Goa a day prior. The team will begin training under the expert eye of Zico shortly.

Icheon Asian Games: Unimpressive India hammered by UAE

India hammered by UAE in Asian Games Opener

Icheon Asian Games
India U-23 0-5 UAE U-23
UAE: Saeed Alkatheeri(13th,15th,65th), Al Ahbabi(19th), Sandesh Jhingan(Own Goal, 84th)

An unimpressive display by India U-23 Men’s Football contingent saw them surrender without a fight to United Arab Emirates as they went down 0-5 in their opening Group G match in the Asian Games in Incheon.

The winners, who scored the first three goals within 20 minutes, led 3-0 at the interval.

Rival skipper Saeed Alkatheeri notched up a hat-trick which included two Headers with the Indian defenders looking helplessly. Al Ahbabi scored a brace to complete the rout.

The Indian side lacked vision on the field. There wasn’t much understanding while defending; there wasn’t much understanding either while attacking. The series of mispasses, the ineffectiveness on the wings and the sluggish midfield losing almost every battle for the ball made matters tough as a ruthless UAE took control.

All the goals were conceded from counter attacks with the India back four of Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhinghan, Joyner Lourenco and Narayan Das lacking cohesion.

It all started in the 14th minute when Alkatheeri stooped low to his left and tucked in a cross from the right. Two minutes on, the Captain was at it again this time diving acrobatically to meet a cross from the same area.

It was 3-0 by the 20th minute when Al Ahbabi converted from close.

Stung, India tried to fight back. Sunil had a penalty appeal turned down after he was hacked down inside the area, while right back Pritam tried his luck from 35 yards with a stinging effort which the keeper somehow clung on to.

Changing over, any slim hope of a daunting comeback went up in smoke when four minutes into the hour mark the 2012 Olympics Qualifying Team rode their flying No 10 to the fourth goal. Alkatheeri slid in to guide the ball in between Amrinder’s legs after a good pass from the right channel once again found him at the right place.

Coach Wim Koevermans ringed in a change in the hope of some pride to be restored with Shillong Lajong’s Seminlen Doungel replacing ineffective Dempo man Mandar Rao Desai in the 72nd minute. The former East Bengal forward almost made an immediate impact with an angular effort that flew inches over the frame.

Captain Sunil followed him on moments later getting on the end of a delectable ball from the defence. But uncharacteristically the AIFF Player of the Year’s shot was meek giving the advancing keeper no problems whatsoever.

UAE notched their fifth in the dying minutes of the one sided tie, this time Al Ahbabi riding luck to his double when his tamely drilled attempt past Amrinder was helped on its way by Sandesh on the goalline.

India next play Jordan on September 22.

INDIA: Amrinder Singh, Pritam Kotal, Sandesh Jhinghan, Joyner Lourenco, Narayan Das, Pronay Halder (Lalrindika Ralte – 12th), Siam Hanghal, Francis Fernandes, Mandar Rao Deasi (Seminlen Doungel – 72nd), Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh.

NorthEast United FC sign Spanish Forward Koke

Spanish Striker Koke signs for NorthEast United FC

Sergio Contreras Pardo commonly known as “Koke” is a 31 year old Spanish striker who has joined the 'youngest team' in the ISL - The NorthEast United FC. Koke started his football career in 2001 which makes him a big asset to the team as he brings with him a wealth of experience .He will be benefiting the NorthEast FC’s attack by bringing onboard 13 years of professional football experience.

Koke a native of Malaga in Spain started his career with Malaga. He soon went on to play for Marseille in France and then had a good run at Sporting Lisbon in Portugal .He then went on to play for the Greek super league team Aris for 5 years where he captained them for 2 years in that duration,this period clearly was some of the best years of his football career. Moreover, Koke’s efforts helped them to finish fourth in the 2006–07 Super League Greece season.

On his new journey with North East United FC Koke expresses "I am very eager to start training with my new teammates and am excited about this new journey. I look forward to a great season and to score some winning goals for my team.”

NEUFC coach, Ricki Herbert is looking forward to this new addition to his team. He stated, "The arrival of Koke at North East United is one of excitement and anticipation.  His experience and pedigree is much awaited and we all look forward to his appearances as a North East United player"

The North East United FC is excited to have this exemplary striker on board, and hopes that his presence will assist them in their fight to take home the ISL title.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Incheon Asian Games: Indian Women's thrash Maldives by 15-0

Indian Womens team thrash Maldives in Incheon Asian Games opener
India 15-0 Maldives
India: Sasmita Malik (5th, 23rd,  26th, 80th, 87th), Kamala Devi(17th, 23rd, 31st, 45+3rd, 66th), Bala Devi (18th, 45+1), Ashalata Devi (54th), Bembem Devi(56th), Prameshwori Devi (90+3rd)

India began their campaign in the Incheon Asian Games on a high when the Indian Women’s Football Team came up with a dominating performance to pump in more than a dozen goals past Maldives to win 15-0 in their first Group A match on Sunday (September 14) and move a step closer to a quarterfinal berth in the Competition.

Five-star performances from winger Sasmita Malik and midfielder Kamala Devi underlined India’s dominance in a match where their counterparts failed to register even a single shot on goal.

Captain Bembem Devi, strikers Bala and Prameshwori Devi alongwith defender Ashalata Devi also got on the scoresheet. It was such a lopsided encounter that goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan would rue not netting one.

The Indian women who led 9-0 at the interval next play hosts South Korea on September 17 while their last Group League match is against Thailand on September 19.

The twice SAFF Champions seized the initiative right from the kick-off as they dominated proceedings all throughout in the completely one-sided encounter. The flurry of passes, the slowing down of the game at will, the sudden bursts of speed and the quick interchanging proved too much for the Maldives women as they surrendered meekly.

Meanwhile, the Indian U-23 Men begin their campaign on Monday (September 15) when they take on a strong United Arab Emirates, the silver medalists of the last Asian Games held in Guangzhou in 2010. The kick-off of the match is at IST 1.30pm.

However, the last time the two Teams met in the AFC U-22 Championships in Muscat, the match had ended 1-1.

Coming to the goals, it was as early as in the 5th minute when Bembem– who by the end of the match was the architect of almost all the goals – picked out Sasmita on top of the box, with the fleet footed left winger then turning her marker to smash a powerful shot low to the keeper’s right.

Midfielder Kamala doubled the tally for the blue shirts 12 minutes later with fine strike from inside the area after combining well with Bembem.

In form striker Bala made pulled away further from their lacklustre counterparts in the very next minute, placing the ball onto the roof of the net from a Tuli Goon cross from the right.

Three minutes later, Sasmita got her second this time scoring off the rebound after Prameshwori Devi had forced the keeper to a diving save.

It was only the 21st minute of the match and the all of Maldives’ players were drafted inside their own half to stop the carnage.

But nothing was going to work as Kamala heaped on more misery in the 23rd minute turning well to beat her marker and firing low off another Bembem put-through.

Sasmita notched up her hattrick in the 26th minute and by the half hour mark Kamala did the same. By the time it was halftime Bala was at the double and Kamala had scored her fourth as India went into the break leading by 9 goals.

Ashalata joined the fun after the break with Bembem deservingly netting one too as India gave the scorers at the ground a harrowing time.

Kamala scored her fifth in the 66th minute, Bembem again turning provider to tee up her state mate.

Sasmita crowned her superlative showing with a dipping free kick in the 80th minute from 25 yards. She was not done yet, turning in her fifth seven minutes on. Prameshwori completed the rout in added time.

Friday, September 12, 2014

NorthEast United FC sign English striker James Keene

NorthEast United FC has brought on board yet another international player to add more European experience to the team, with the signing of James Keene, a 28 year old English Striker who is a product of the Portsmouth FC youth scheme in England.

James Keene signed by NorthEast United FC
James Keene signed by NorthEast United FC, Hero ISL
He debuted, in the 2005 English Premier League as a Portsmouth Striker under Henry James "Harry" Redknapp, who is one of the senior most managers in English professional football.

Also he is plugged as Elfsborg’s top European scorer of all-time in Sweden; and has also been an integral member of the club’s Champions League team. James had a very successful career in Sweden between 2007 to 2013 and was considered one of the brightest stars in the Swedish League.

After signing for NEUFC, Keene expressed,“I am very proud to be part of NorthEast United FC and it's great to know that the North East is the power house of Indian Football and that the people here are very educated about the game as well.”

The team is currently working tirelessly every day to be prepared for the league that will commence on October 12th, 2014. Towards this preparation, he added “All of us are training very hard at the moment and the training is fantastic; especially working under an experienced Coach - Ricki Herbert. We are excited for the matches to start and hope that  this new league will take Indian Football to the global stage.”

With this new inclusion made to their team, The NorthEast United has only upped their ante, James Keene is a big asset to them with the wealth of experience that he brings having played extensively on the international front. He will only add value to the NEUFC attack to make their mark in the Hero ISL inaugural season.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

i-League Transfers: Mumbai FC extends contract with Rahul Bheke

Rahul Bheke with Mumbai FC Head Coach
Khalid Jamil(Left) and
Atul Badgamia(Right), Club VC

Rahul Bheke has extended his contact at Mumbai FC after impressing with his performances last season.  The 23 year old joined Mumbai F.C. in January 2014 from Mumbai Tigers.

Mumbai FC Head Coach, Khalid Jamil confirmed this news, “Yes, Rahul is going to be a Mumbai FC player next season. It was a very easy decision. I was highly impressed with his performances and he shows a lot of intent in training. His dedication to football helps him and the team to perform even better. He is still only 23 and already has a good amount of I-League experience.”

Bheke, who made 8 appearances for Mumbai FC last season, said, “I was really happy when Mumbai FC decided to sign me in January last season. I was confident back then that if I train hard with the team I will be rewarded with an extended contract. I am really happy to have proved myself to be a player at this club. I look forward to an exciting season ahead.”

Bheke made his debut for Mumbai F.C. on 15 January 2014 in the Indian Federation Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi as a substitute for NP Pradeep.
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