ISL 7: NEUFC leave it late to salvage point against Chennaiyin - The Daily Guardian
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ISL 7: NEUFC leave it late to salvage point against Chennaiyin

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Panaji (Goa) [India], February 18 (ANI): The race for the Indian Super League (ISL) playoffs took another twist as NorthEast United FC was held to a thrilling 3-3 draw by Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Stadium, Bambolim, on Thursday.
Three teams – Hyderabad FC, FC Goa, and NorthEast — are tied on 27 points from 18 games, intensifying the race for the last two playoff spots. When it looked like Chennaiyin would inflict a first defeat on Khalid Jamil this season, Luis Machado scored a stoppage-time equaliser to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.
Chennaiyin was in the lead through goals from Lallianzuala Chhangte (8′, 52′) and Manuel Lanzarote (50′) while Imran Khan (14′) and Deshorn Brown (43′) had replied for NorthEast.
Csaba Laszlo had made his intent to attack clear during the pre-match press conference and his side delivered early in the game with an eighth-minute lead. After a miserable season in front of the goal, Chhangte finally found his scoring boots as he put his side ahead. Jakub Sylvestr picked up Chhangte with an accurate pass from the left and the latter took a touch before firing past Subhasish Roy.
However, it took the Highlanders just six minutes to get back into the game. Luis Machado played a low cross which took a deflection and fell to Imran Khan, who headed in. Chennaiyin was rescued by Kaith’s brilliance when he came up with a double save to deny Machado and Brown from close in quick succession.
At the other end, NorthEast United had the framework to thank. Roy fumbled Manuel Lanzarote’s freekick from outside the box, but the ball deflected off his back and hit the post, before being cleared away.
The Highlanders finally took the lead from a quick counter. Chhangte lost possession outside the NorthEast box and Khassa Camara played a long ball which found Brown. He won the battle against Enes Sipovic before slamming the ball into the back of the net.
The Highlanders nearly doubled their lead soon after the restart. Machado delivered a perfect free-kick into the six-yard area which was met by Suhair Vadakkepeedika, but Kaith produced yet another save.
At the other end, Chennaiyin won a penalty when Ashutosh Mehta brought down Chhangte inside the box forcing the referee to point towards the spot. Lanzarote sent the keeper the wrong way to restore parity.
Chhangte then scored his second and put Chennaiyin ahead again. Edwin Vanspaul found Chhangte outside the box. His effort took a deflection off Benjamin Lambot before entering the goal.
NorthEast kept pressing for the equaliser but was denied by Kaith’s brilliance. However, Chennaiyin’s hero soon turned villain, giving away a penalty in stoppage time when he brought down Idrissa Sylla in the box. Machado kept his composure to convert the spot-kick. (ANI)

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SLC appoints Mathews as stand-in T20I captain for West Indies tour

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Colombo [Sri Lanka], February 28 (ANI): Sri Lanka Cricket on Saturday appointed Angelo Mathews as the stand-in captain for the T20I series against West Indies.
Mathews was named the stand-in captain as Dasun Shanaka, who was appointed as the T20I captain for the Tour of West Indies, is yet to join the team, owing to a visa-related issue.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce the appointment of Angelo Mathews, as the stand-in captain, for the T20 International series vs West Indies,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
“Mathews was appointed by the National Selectors, as Dasun Shanaka, who was appointed as the T20i Captain for the Tour of West Indies, is yet to join the team, owing to a delay in obtaining a US Transit Visa. Shanaka confronted this issue pursuant to the loss of his previous passport, which had a valid visa for the USA stamped on it. He is expected to join the team once the issue is resolved,” it added.
Cricket West Indies on Friday named the West Indies squads for the T20I series and ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Chris Gayle and experienced fast bowler Fidel Edwards, were named in the T20I squad, marking their return to the international stage, while off-spinner Kevin Sinclair had earned his first West Indies selection and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein received his first T20I call-up.
The three T20I matches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, while the ODI series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua on March 10, 12, and 14. (ANI)

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CSA announces 17-member women’s squad for T20I, ODI series against India

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Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 28 (ANI): Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Sunday named a 17-member squad for their upcoming series against India, an away tour that will see the Proteas Women play five ODIs and three T20Is.
Head coach Hilton Moreeng and his squad landed in India on Saturday afternoon ahead of fixtures in the month of March that will take place in Lucknow. All the ODIs as well as the T20Is will take place in a bio-secure environment.
The South Africans have named an unchanged unit to the one that did duty against the Pakistan Women in Durban earlier this year. CSA said all-rounders Chloe Tryon and Dane van Niekerk will miss the series due to injuries, while Masabata Klaas has sustained an eleventh-hour injury that will see her miss out.
Following the squad announcement head coach Moreeng, in a statement, said: “It is really exciting to finally have this tour confirmed and announce our squad that will do duty here in India, and we are looking forward to getting out there to see our ladies prove themselves under different playing conditions.
“India is always a wonderful place to tour and we are looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.”
The squad is currently in a six-day quarantine which will be followed by a two-day training session before their first ODI on March 7 at the Ekana Stadium.
Squad: Sune Luus, Ayabonga Khaka, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty, Sinalo Jafta, Tasmin Britz, Marizanne Kapp, Nondumiso Shangase, Lizelle Lee, Anneke Bosch, Faye Tunniclife, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Tumi Sekhukhune. (ANI)

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That’s what we expect from players: Pochettino revels in PSG’s 4-0 win over Dijon

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Dijon [France], February 28 (ANI): Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) manager Mauricio Pochettino is delighted with his team’s dominating showing in victory over Dijon and said that’s what he expects from the players.
PSG put on a commanding display in the Ligue 1 match and registered a 4-0 win over the bottom-placed club Dijon here on Saturday.
“I think it was a very professional performance in the squad’s approach to the game. We expect that in every single game and every training session from our players. I think that with the very difficult circumstances the team put in a good performance and we were very solid,” Pochettino told PSGTV.
“I’m happy because that’s what we expect from the players and maybe some of them haven’t played too much but they showed their quality and put the coaching staff in a difficult position to pick the starting eleven for the next game,” he added.
During the match, Moise Kean put PSG ahead in the game in just the sixth minute before Kylian Mbappe converted a penalty to make it 2-0. Mbappe then scored his second goal of the match in the 51st minute, handing PSG a three-goal lead.
Danilo Pereira then netted a stunning goal to seal the final scoreline. Securing three points from the game, PSG now have 57 points, only one point behind the table-toppers Lille.
PSG will next play against Bordeaux on March 4. (ANI)

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Pirlo rues Juventus’ lack of aggression after draw against Verona

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Verona [Italy], February 28 (ANI): Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo expressed frustration after being held to a draw by Verona and said that his side was not “aggressive enough” during the match.
Juventus and Verona played out a 1-1 draw in the Serie A here on Sunday.
“It’s a shame because we knew it was going to be a tough, scrappy game but we played well and managed to take the lead. We weren’t aggressive enough when they equalised. We should have closed them down and details like that can make the difference,” the club’s official website quoted Pirlo as saying.
“In the second half we dropped off a bit when the tempo died down and they managed to carve out openings in the wide areas. I didn’t have the players to play four at the back and once we lost a bit of aggression on [Federico] Chiesa and [Merih] Demiral’s side they managed to get a few crosses in. We were missing lots of players and I asked the more experienced guys like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and Alex Sandro to make themselves heard. It’s not easy playing against Verona with the way they press you,” he added.
During the match, Ronaldo scored the opening goal in the 49th minute. However, Antonin Barak’s strike in the 77th minute levelled the scores and the match concluded on the same.
Securing one point from the game, Juventus now have 46 points and are placed on the third spot, seven points behind table-toppers Inter Milan. Pirlo’s men will next play against Spezia on March 3. (ANI)

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Narine had indicated that he’s not ready to return to international cricket: Harper

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St John’s [Antigua], February 28 (ANI): Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) lead selector Roger Harper said that Sunil Narine was not selected in the squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka as the player had indicated that he “is not ready to return to international cricket”.
Narine has not played for West Indies in any format since August 2019.
“Sunil Narine had indicated earlier that he is not ready to return to international cricket. He’s still fine-tuning his game and getting himself ready. From that perspective, he wasn’t considered for this series,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Harper as saying.
CWI Selection Panel on Friday named the West Indies squads for the T20I series and ODI series against Sri Lanka at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS).
Chris Gayle, and experienced fast bowler Fidel Edwards, were named in the T20I squad, marking their return to the international stage, while off-spinner Kevin Sinclair had earned his first West Indies selection and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein received his first T20I call-up.
The three T20I matches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, while the ODI series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua on March 10, 12, and 14.
Also, CWI had said that all-rounder Andre Russell is still recovering from contracting COVID-19 earlier this month, and despite testing negative over a week ago was ruled out of the T20Is by the CWI Medical Panel whilst he completes his “return to play” protocols. (ANI)

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ISL 7: Concentration levels have let us down again, says Fowler after defeat

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Panaji (Goa) [India], February 28 (ANI): SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler is disappointed after suffering a defeat against Odisha FC and said his side was not good enough defensively.
Odisha FC secured a 6-5 win over SC East Bengal in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim on Saturday. The Bhubaneswar-based club scored five goals in the second period after they were trailing at the end of the first half.
“In the first half, I could see us winning. But in the second half, we conceded two goals which put us on the back foot for a little bit. It was hard to take. Every time they attacked, they seemed to score,” Fowler said after the game.
“Defensively, we weren’t good enough. Concentration levels have let us down again, but we have to take this result and soldier on. This is a league where anyone can be beaten and this season has proven that many times. Five games ago, we were still in the hunt for the top four. But our concentration levels and our poor starts to the second halves have cost us again,” he added.
SC East Bengal finished ninth on the league table in their debut ISL campaign, but Fowler is confident about them being stronger next season.
“With the right recruitment and the right amount of time on the training pitch to get my ideas to the players on the way we want to play, we can do well. We had not had enough time for preparation [this season]. We haven’t played how we have wanted to. We have lacked a little bit of fitness,” he said. (ANI)

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