ISL 7: Happy with how Goa changed scoreline after being 0-2 down, says Ferrando - The Daily Guardian
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ISL 7: Happy with how Goa changed scoreline after being 0-2 down, says Ferrando

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Panaji (Goa) [India], February 9 (ANI): After playing out an enthralling match against Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL), FC Goa coach Juan Ferrando said that it was pleasing to see how his team was able to change the scoreline after being 0-2 down.
Another stoppage-time goal by Ishan Pandita helped FC Goa pull the match back in the final minutes and hold Mumbai City FC to a thrilling 3-3 draw in the ongoing seventh season of the ISL at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim on Monday.
The Islanders took the lead through Hugo Boumous (20′) and Adam Le Fondre (26′) but goals from Glan Martins (45′) and Igor Angulo (51′) made it all square.
“I am happy because to change the score after going down 2-0 is very difficult. After 3-2, in the last minute, the team continued working and I am happy about that. I am disappointed with the way we defended the set-pieces and the way we played in transitions and building up,” said Ferrando during the post-match press conference.
“It was a new defence line and I am happy because they are working. It is very difficult to change the line of defence every time. If you watch the last few games, we changed our defence in the last four matches. It is difficult but I am happy because everyone is working hard,” he added.
The clash against Mumbai was Goa’s fifth consecutive draw this season and Ferrando admitted that it is indeed frustrating to see his team drop points again.
“It is frustrating because our mentality is to get three points. If you see the statistics, we try to protect the ball, we create space in attack. We want to get three points but it is difficult,” said Ferrando.
Mumbai City is currently at the third spot in ISL standings with 23 points from 16 games. The side will next take on Chennaiyin FC on Saturday. (ANI)

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Puerto Rico Open: Lahiri closes bitter-sweet round with eagle for 2-under 70

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Rio Grande [Puerto Rico], February 26 (ANI): Anirban Lahiri had a bitter-sweet round on the first day of the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.
Returning to action after three weeks, Lahiri opened with a hat-trick of birdies from the second to fourth holes and closed the day with a superb eagle, but in between four bogeys between 10th and 17th as he carded a 2-under 70 in the first round.
Lahiri was placed T-37, while his senior colleague, Arjun Atwal, seeing action for the first time in four months, scored a 1-under 71 to be T-52. Daniel Chopra, who played with Lahiri shot 2-over 74.
The leader was Tommy Gainey who birdied five of the last seven holes for a 7-under 65. Gainey, 45, had his lone PGA Tour win in 2012 and he led by one over local favourites Rafael Campos, Robert Garrigus, Taylor Pendrith, Lee Hodges, Greg Chalmers, Fabian Gomez and Brandon Wu. Gainey birdied the opening two holes and three of the first four and overall had nine birdies against two bogeys.
One of the early starters in the first round, Lahiri, who has not won since his home country success at the 2015 Hero Indian Open, started with a par on the first. He birdied three in a row from second to fourth, parred the rest of the front nine to turn in a healthy 3-under.
He dropped shots on 10th, 13th, 16th and 17th with just one birdie on Par-5 15th. When he came to the 18th tee for the Par-5 closing hole he was even par despite a fine start. He then two fine shots and landed an eagle for a more satisfying 2-under 70.
Atwal had three birdies against two bogeys, while Chopra had two birdies against four bogeys.
The Puerto Rico Open, which is played opposite the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship event in Florida, as usual, saw windy conditions but in warm temperatures at the Grand Reserve. The winner here will get into the PGA Championship in May.
European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington shot 70. Ian Poulter opened with a 71. Greg Chalmers aced the par-3 eighth hole en route to a 6-under 66. It was his second hole-in-one in the event and his seventh career hole-in-one.
All action from PGA Tour — The Puerto Rico Open, Day 2 will be Live on EUROSPORT and EUROSPORT HD from 8:30 pm (IST) onwards on Friday. (ANI)

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Pietersen wants England batsmen to acknowledge their ‘dreadful’ performance

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 26 (ANI): England’s defeat in the pink-ball Test inside two days might have raised questions on the quality of pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium by former cricketers, but Kevin Pietersen has indirectly rubbished all the criticism and wants the English batsmen to realise from their mistakes.
England were 74/2 at one stage in the day-night Test after winning the toss but Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin spun a web over hosts in both essays to hand India a comprehensive 10 wicket win. Former skipper Pietersen wants England batsmen to acknowledge the poor display with the bat rather than questioning the quality of the wicket.
After the win, India skipper Virat Kohli and batsman Rohit Sharma had said that most batsmen from both teams got out off straight balls and it was not a case of pitch misbehaving a lot. Pietersen on Friday cited Rohit and Kohli’s example and called out on England batsmen to be at least honest with themselves and not to blame anyone else for the defeat.
“I hope there are some England batters waking up this morning and being honest with themselves at least, by acknowledging their batting was dreadful on that wicket?! I’ve heard Virat & Rohit say theirs was!” Pietersen tweeted.
Speaking after the game, Rohit said: “Pitch didn’t do anything, honestly speaking, if I can recollect, most of the batsmen got out on straighter deliveries. We also as a batting unit, made a lot of mistakes while batting. We also did not bat well in the first innings, the pitch did not have demons, there is nothing like that,” Rohit said during the virtual press conference on Thursday.
Even skipper Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams. Kohli said the quality of batting was to be blamed as most of the batsmen got out to balls that didn’t turn.
Meanwhile, England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points. New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points.
India need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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We merited to still be in the competition, says Arsenal coach after progressing in Europa League

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Piraeus [Greece], February 26 (ANI): After progressing to the last-16 of the Europa League, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is really pleased with the character that his team showed against Benfica and said his side “merited to still be in the competition”.
Arsenal secured a place in the last-16 of the Europa League in dramatic fashion after a late winner from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang guided them to a 3-2 win in the second leg on Thursday. The first-leg match between Arsenal and Benfica had ended in a 1-1 draw.
“I think again we made it really difficult for ourselves. Over the two legs we have given them two goals, and when that’s the case you going to put the tie in a really difficult position,” Arteta told Arsenal.com.
“At the same time I’m really pleased with the character, the courage and the personality that team showed. And the willingness to win the tie, until the end, we threw everything at them and at the end we got rewarded because I think we merited to still be in the competition,” he added.
Aubameyang scored the opening goal of the match in the 21st minute but Benfica managed to equalise in the 43rd minute. Benfica then went ahead in the 61st minute with the help of Rafa Silva’s strike but Kieran Tierney fired in an equaliser six minutes later.
The manager was also relieved for Dani Ceballos after Arsenal’s victory. The Spain midfielder gave away a free kick for Benfica’s equaliser, then made a defensive error for their second — but Aubameyang’s late goal ensured Arsenal’s win.
“I’m especially happy for Dani because he’s a player that lives his professional life as the most important thing in his life and I know that if we had lost that tie, for him it would have meant the world,” Arteta said.
“So that’s when you need somebody like Auba to come and step in and score the goals and make him much happier than he would have been,” he added. (ANI)

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CAS reduces Pakistan batsman Umar Akmal’s ban by six months

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Karachi [Pakistan], February 26 (ANI): Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Umar Akmal’s 18-month suspension has been reduced by six months by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).
Umar who was suspended on February 20 last year, will now be eligible to reintegrate into competitive cricket subject to deposits of a fine of PKR 4,250,000 and undergoing the program of rehabilitation under the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Anti-Corruption Code.
“The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has announced its decision on the Appeals filed by PCB and Umar Akmal against the Order of the Independent Adjudicator,” the PCB said in an official statement.
“CAS through a consolidated Order on both Appeals has been pleased to impose on Umar Akmal a sanction of a 12-month ban and a fine of PKR 4.25million on one count of breaching Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code,” he added.
According to PCB, CAS has also refused the request of Umar seeking return of his two mobile phones, which are in PCB’s custody for some different investigation, and held that under the PCB Anti-Corruption Code it has the power to do so.
On April 27, 2020, the Chairman Disciplinary Panel had found Umar guilty on two charges of separate breaches of Article 2.4.4 of the PCB Anti-Corruption Code in two unrelated incidents and handed a three-year suspension with periods of ineligibility to run concurrently.
The wicket-keeper batsman exercised his right of appeal and on July 29 last year and the Independent Adjudicator had then modified the sentence and reduced the ineligibility period to 18 months.
Against this Order, PCB and Umar Akmal both approached CAS. PCB’s appeal had been filed focusing on a point of law in regard with cumulative operation of the sanctions for the two charges upheld by the Independent Adjudicator whereas the batsman had sought a finding that he was not guilty for both charges. (ANI)

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Slavia Prague showed more quality when it was required: Rodgers

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Leicester [UK], February 26 (ANI): After suffering a shock exit from the Europa League, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said their opponents, Slavia Prague, showed more quality when it was required.
The first-leg match between the two teams had ended in a goalless draw. However, Lukas Provod and Abdallah Sima scored one goal each in the second leg on Friday to send the Czech outfit into the Round of 16.
“I think the best team won over the course of the evening. If you assess the two legs, we didn’t create enough opportunities and then we didn’t defend well enough, with enough intensity in the games,” Rodgers told LCFC TV.
“I felt that they defended with more aggression than us and they showed more quality when it was required to score the goals, so unfortunately, we lose the game and go out,” he added.
Slavia Prague scored both goals in the second half as the first half of the game witnessed a good competition between the two teams. Rodgers said his team started the match well but lacked precision with their pass.
“We started the game well, got into some good areas, but we lacked that precision with our pass or that bit of quality when we arrived in,” he said.
“We’ve gone to sleep just after half-time and conceded but still, even at 1-0, I fancy us with the players we could bring in to get back into the game, but we never did. Over the course of the two legs, we didn’t quite create enough opportunities,” Rodgers added. (ANI)

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Germany tour will add value to our Olympics preparations: Indian Hockey team skipper Rani

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Dusseldorf [Germany], February 26 (ANI): The Indian Women’s Hockey Team is all geared up for their second assignment of 2021 as they take on Germany in what would be the first of the four-match series in Dusseldorf on Saturday, which is a part of their preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
The 18-member Indian team’s Germany tour comes on the back of their seven-match outing in Argentina earlier in January.
Speaking about getting back-to-back assignments in a month’s time, India Women’s Captain Rani expressed, “Argentina tour helped us gain confidence, and we are really boosted up for our next assignment. These back-to-back tours in a short span are like golden opportunities for us. We are just months away from the Tokyo Olympics, and these matches against top teams will help us finding loopholes and gain momentum before the Games. I would like to thank SAI and Hockey India for making this happen despite tough situations, we are looking forward to making the most out of the tour.”
With an aim to cover all the bases before going into the marquee event Tokyo Olympics, the Rani-led Indian team will put their skills to the test against World No. 3 Germany.
“It is going to be a totally different experience than the Argentina tour. From our skills to fitness level, everything will be tested, and that’s what we as a team want. It will be a challenging tour for us, considering we will be playing back-to-back matches, but I feel we are up for any kind of challenges thrown at us. To be honest, there’s no extra pressure as such. Our priority, for now, is to get into that competitive frame of mind. You know, the experience of playing against a top team like Germany will really add value to our preparations for the Olympic Games,” said the skipper, on the prospect of playing against one of the strongest teams.
To ensure the safety of the players and the support staff, a bio-secure bubble has been put in place. Asked if living in a bio-bubble is a challenge, the 26-year-old commented that the team has become used to it.
“Bio-bubble isn’t a fuss for us anymore. We are now prepared to live under such circumstances because that’s the only way in order to keep the action going. When we step on to the field, I don’t think it plays in our mind. The only thing which is in our minds right now is the Olympics,” concluded Rani.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team will kickstart the proceedings on Saturday. The eves will play their second match of the tour on February 28 and after a day’s break, they will play two back-to-back games on March 2 and 3, respectively. (ANI)

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