Goa [India], March 12 (ANI): One hundred and fourteen games, 295 goals, 87,811 passes and 7,307 tackles until now! The match that lends meaning to every single touch taken so far in what has been an exciting Indian Super League (ISL) season, will be played out at the Fatorda Stadium on Saturday. When Mumbai City FC take on ATK Mohun Bagan in the summit clash, there will be no more complex equations in play. The winner takes home the trophy. It’s as simple as that!
Few would argue that there is a better candidate for the final than these two — both ATKMB and Mumbai have been head and shoulders above the rest throughout the season. Both teams come into the final with identical records, 12 wins and just 4 defeats in the league stage.
Despite a nervy penalty-shootout win over FC Goa in the semi-final, it will be Mumbai who head into the final full of confidence. They did the double over Bagan in the league stage, the latter of those victories handing them the League Winners Shield. For Mumbai, this will be a first-ever final, but coach Sergio Lobera, and a handful of his players have been here before when FC Goa lost to Bengaluru FC in 2018-19. The team though has looked confident under Lobera.
“They (ATK Mohun Bagan) are a very good team with good players and have the momentum. But the most important thing now is to put the focus on ourselves and try to do our best. We have no specific plan, only small details about the opponent. We need to work 100 per cent on our style of play,” said Lobera.
There will be few selection dilemmas for Lobera, with the exception of figuring out Mandar Rao Dessai’s replacement. The Goan will miss the final due to suspension.
In the other corner, there is ATKMB, buoyed by Antonio Habas’ almost superhuman record in knockout games. He has already tasted glory twice and has a chance to create history by winning his second straight title and third overall. On the eve of the final, the Spaniard sounded as focused as ever. “We have to compete and our idea is to win against our opponents. My team is prepared for winning,” he said.
Habas dismissed that previous results had no bearing on the match but that his side was braced for a tough test. “We have to analyse the match and control (our chances of) victory than (try to) control the way they play. The opponent will play and maybe, we have will difficulties.”
The match will also decide the fate of the golden boot and golden glove winners. While ATKMB striker Roy Krishna and Goa’s Igor Angulo are tied on 14 goals for the golden boot, a goal on Saturday will hand the award to the Fijian, who has played more minutes than the Spaniard. The race for the golden glove award is between Mumbai custodian Amrinder Singh and ATKMB’s Arindam Bhattacharja. Both players have 10 clean sheets to their name. At the moment, Arindam is in pole position, having conceded fewer goals. (ANI)
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JADEJA’S BLITZKRIEG TAKES CSK HOME AGAINST KKR IN A CLIFFHANGER
Ravindra Jadeja single-handedly took the game away from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday after he scored 22 runs off the 19th over as Prasidh Krishna looked on haplessly.
The two-wicket win sees Chennai Super Kings (CSK) return to the top of the table. Needing 26 off the last two, CSK took two singles of the first two balls off Prasidh’s over before Jadeja went berserk. He hit a six over the long leg, followed it with a straight six, then a square drive for a boundary and then one at third man. By the time the 19th over ended, CSK needed just 4 more runs to make it three consecutive wins.
While Narine did pick two wickets in the 20th over — Sam Curran and Jadeja — but it just wasn’t enough at the end of the day as Jadeja had already done the damage in the previous over. In the end, he finished with 22 off 8 balls.
For CSK, Faf du Plessis top-scored with 43 followed by Ruturaj Gaikwad 40 and Moeen Ali 32. Sunil Narine scalped three wickets while Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell returned with one each.
Chasing the target of 172, Chennai Super Kings openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis provided a perfect start for the team as the duo put 74 run stand for the first wicket.
But then a breakthrough came for KKR when Russell scalped Ruturaj Gaikwad in 8.2 over. After Ruturaj’s departure, Moeen Ali smashed Ferguson and Russell in the 10th and 11th over. Ali and du Plessis were going great as the duo built 28 runs stand for the second wicket, but then CSK lost their second wicket in the form of du Plessis caught by Ferguson and bowled by Prasidh Krishna in 11.3 over at 44 off 30 with 7 fours.
With 2 wickets down CSK now needed 61 runs in 43 balls. However, Moeen Ali and Ambati Rayudu further shaped the innings for CSK as both played sensibly. But then CSK received another blow when Sunil Narine bowled Ambati Rayudu.
After Rayudu Suresh Raina came in and in the very first ball he smashed Narine for four. In 15th over 12 runs came for CSK. CSK lost its 4th wicket in form of Moeen Ali in the 17th over bowled by Ferguson at 32. In the very next over Suresh Raina was run out. Dhoni soon followed him in the same over.
With CSK needing 26 off the last two, Jadeja took matters into his own hands and helped his team across the victory line.
Earlier, Rahul Tripathi’s gutsy knock and Nitish Rana’s quickfire helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) post a total of 171/6 in their allotted 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). For KKR Rahul Tripathi top-scored 45 while Nitish Rana scored 37. Shardul Thakur and Josh Hazlewood scalped two wickets each while Ravindra Jadeja returned with one wicket.
Chennai Super Kings got an early breakthrough after Kolkata Knight Riders opener Shubman Gill was run out by Ambati Rayudu in the very first over. Gill’s innings ended for 9 off 5 with 2 fours.
IGOR STIMAC NAMES 23 PLAYERS FOR SAFF CHAMPIONSHIP
Indian men’s football team head coach Igor Stimac has named a list of 23 players for the forthcoming SAFF Championship which kicks off in the Maldives from October 1 onwards. The final of the championship is slated for October 16.
The players and the support staff will assemble in Bengaluru tomorrow (Monday, September 27), and will fly out to the Maldives the next day. Stimac, and other members of the technical staff will join the squad directly in Maldives on the same day.
Besides India – Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and hosts Maldives are the other teams in the Championship. Each team will play each other once with the top two teams qualifying for the final.
Head Coach Igor Stimac stated: “We are all looking forward to the SAFF Championship as the leading football country in this part of Asia. These 4-5 games are extremely crucial for us as we won’t have any other chance of getting together before the start of 3rd round AFC Asian Cup qualifiers next season. So these matches should help us to improve a few points in our game.”
The Blue Tigers have won the SAFF Championship (formerly SAARC Cup) 7 times – 1993 in Lahore, 1997 in Kathmandu, 1999 in Margao, 2005 in Karachi, 2009 (U23 squad) in Dhaka, 2011 in New Delhi), 2015-16 in Thiruvananthapuram.
India begins their campaign against Bangladesh on October 4.
Harshal, Maxwell help Kohli’s Red Brigade beat MI by 54 runs
Glen Maxwell and Virat Kohli starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore posted a score of 165/6 on the board.
Hat-trick hero Harshal Patel, and Glen Maxwell handed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) a comprehensive victory by 54 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter against Mumbai Indians (MI) here at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Harshal Patel (4-17) starred with the ball for RCB as the 30-year-old dismissed Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Rahul Chahar on three consecutive deliveries in the 17th over to turn the tide in favour of Virat Kohli-led side. For RCB, Glen Maxwell was another hero in the match as after scoring a half-century (56), the Australian followed it by scalping two crucial wickets with the ball in hand. RCB skipper Virat Kohli also scored a half-century in the match.
Chasing the target of 166, Mumbai Indians had a brilliant start as their openers Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma frustrated RCB’ bowlers throughout the first powerplay.
The duo gathered 56 runs after the 6 overs in the match. Yuzvendra Chahal provided the much-needed breakthrough for the RCB in the seventh over as he sent Quinton de Kock back to the pavilion at the score of 24. With spinners on both ends, MI felt the heat in the middle overs. Glen Maxwell struck for RCB in the 10th over as he removed dangerous-looking MI captain Rohit Sharma. Sharma walked back after scoring 43 off 28 balls. In the very next over, Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Ishan Kishan after MI batter mistimed a slog.
With runs in scarcity, wickets kept falling for MI as Glenn Maxwell struck again in the 14th over. The Australian all-rounder clean bowled Krunal Pandya for 5 off 11 balls. Mohammed Siraj joined the wicket-taking pack in the 15th over after he sent back Suryakumar Yadav (8 off 9) to the pavilion. Harshal Patel dusted all hopes for MI in the 17th over of the match after he took an incredible hattrick.
Patel removed Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Rahul Chahar for his hat-trick as defending champions suffered a stunning collapse. Yuzvendra Chahal clinched his third of the match in the next over. Patel then removed Adam Milne in the penultimate over to wrap up MI’s innings. Earlier, Glen Maxwell and Virat Kohli starred with the bat as Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) posted a score of 165/6.
For RCB, Glen Maxwell and Virat Kohli played innings of 56 and 51 respectively. K.S Bharat also played a crucial knock of 32 for the team in red. Jasprit Bumrah scalped three wickets while Trent Boult, Adam Milne, and Rahul Chahar returned with one wicket each for Mumbai Indians. Put in to bat first, RCB had a decent start as they end up scoring 48 runs in the first six overs with the loss of one wicket. Jasprit Bumrah got the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal in the powerplay while bowling the second over. RCB batter edged to Quinton de Kock.
Virat Kohli along with K.S Bharat strengthen RCB innings as the duo soon raced towards 51 run partnership in 31 balls. Rahul Chahar provided the much-needed breakthrough for MI in the 9th over as Bharat walked back for 32 off 25 after getting caught at deep cover.
Glen Maxwell then joined the RCB skipper on the pitch and the duo stabilised the innings of the team in red. Virat Kohli continued with his carnage and brought up his second consecutive IPL half-century in the 15th over of the innings. But the RCB skipper was not able to profit from the good start as he walked back to the pavilion in the very next over after getting caught on deep. Adam Milne sent Kohli to the dressing room after a fine inning of 51 off 42 balls.
Maxwell then scored his fifty in the 18th over of the match – off just 33 balls -which included three sixes. Bumrah who was bowling penultimate over removed dangerous-looking Glen Maxwell and AB de Villiers on two consecutive deliveries. Glenn Maxwell returned to the pavilion after scoring 56 off 37 balls.
MESSI WAS ‘TYRANT’ DURING TRAINING, SAYS BARCA COACH RONALD KOEMAN
Barca coach Ronald Koeman has said Lionel Messi was like “a tyrant” during training at Barcelona.
The Argentina star raised the bar at the Camp Nou club as he developed into one of the greatest to ever play the game before departing to join Paris Saint-Germain this year. “Lionel Messi has obscured everything. He was so good and he won,” Koeman told Voetbal International, as reported by goal.com.
“Of course he had good players around him, but he made the difference. Everyone seems better than they are because of him. This is not a criticism, but an observation,” said the Barcelona coach.
Koeman, who worked with the Argentina star for a year before Messi left the club for Paris Saint-Germain said, “I knew how good he is, but it’s still nice to see it up close every day. Everything you would like to teach a football player, in recognising situations, in taking the ball under pressure, in ball speed, in finishing; with Messi everything is a 10 Not normal, not normal!
“When we did a finishing practice during training, there were sometimes players who started to hit easy balls, a bit of fooling around. But with Messi everything was: boom, boom, boom, boom. Never frills, everything functional. And always wanted to win everything.”
WANT KOLKATA PLAYERS TO PLAY AGGRESSIVE CRICKET, IT SUITS TALENTED GUYS IN OUR SIDE: EOIN MORGAN
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan has said that it is really pleasing to finally see his franchise play a ‘fearless brand’ of cricket that is associated with him and head coach Brendon McCullum. Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday.
With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table. “It is extremely pleasing. We want the best for everybody in the dressing room, the aggressive cricket that we have shown in the last two games is exactly what suits the talented guys in our changing room. I know some of them might feel alien to take risk after risk, but that is exactly what we want them to do. They are seriously talented, batting and bowling, and we want them to get better,” said Morgan while replying to an ANI query during a virtual post-match press conference.
Before entering this match, KKR had a dismal record against MI, registering just six wins in a total of 28 games, but Iyer and Tripathi helped the franchise turn around their fortunes. “I do not think it is one player (Venkatesh Iyer) that has changed the outlook of the team. The last two games have been, the superstars in our side have been the bowlers. That allowed our opening pair to play their natural game. Venkatesh played an innings against MI that would match a guy who has played 50 IPL games. The freedom in which he has played with has really been imposing. He has continued on with his form, but I do not think it is one player. It has been a collective performance which has been set by our bowlers,” said Morgan.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs. For KKR, Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson scalped two wickets each. “I think the quality of our spinners means that they can bowl in conditions that are not friendly to spin bowling. I do not think Abu Dhabi is, the two games we have played here, the ball has not spun much as compared to the last time we played here,” said Morgan.
GANGULY HAS PLAYED HUGE ROLE IN MY BATTING, WANT TO REPLICATE HIS STYLE: VENKATESH IYER
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer has impressed one and all with his hitting ability in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, and he has now revealed that his style is inspired by none other than former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer played knocks of 74 and 53 respectively as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Mumbai Indians by seven wickets here at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday. With this win, KKR has risen to the fourth spot in the points table while Mumbai Indians has slipped to the sixth position.
“Honestly, KKR was the first franchise I wanted to get in because Sourav Ganguly was the captain initially so I wanted to get into KKR first. Got picked by the franchise so it was a dreamy moment for me. Everyone was very welcoming , I got a lot of gifts. I am a huge fan of Dada, he has got millions of fans around the globe and I am one of them. He has played a huge role in my batting,” Iyer told teammate Rahul Tripathi in a video posted on iplt20.com.“I used to bat right-handed when I was very young but I wanted to exactly replicate Dada, how he hit sixes and the way he batted. He has played a very big role unknowingly in my life. I was really waiting for my opportunity and I knew I am going to get my chance,” he added.
Earlier, Quinton de Kock’s 55-run knock helped Mumbai Indians post 155/6 against KKR in the allotted twenty overs.
For KKR, Prasidh Krishna and Lockie Ferguson scalped two wickets each. KKR will next lock horns against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday.
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