Tag Archives: ISL2014

FC Goa Thrash Delhi Dynamos FC 4-1

FC Goa got their act together after a couple of win-less outings as they handed Delhi Dynamos an embarrassing 4-1 defeat, riding on Youness Bengelloun’s twin strikes in an Indian Super League encounter, here on Thursday.

The victory couldn’t have come at a better time as it kept them in the reckoning for a semi-final berth in the cash-rich league.

Bengelloun scored in the 18th and 48th minute while captain Robert Pires and Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey scored one apiece, in the 53rd and 60th minutes respectively.

Gustavo Santos pulled one back for the hosts, when he converted from the spot in the 73rd minute, but that was just a consolation goal as was evident from the faces of the disappointed Delhi fans and players.

The victory, a very important one for FC Goa, finally put an end to the visiting side’s search for three points, their second in the tournament, while extending Dynamos’ winless run.

The Dynamos have now slipped to the bottom following four draws, three losses and a solitary win, while Goa improved a rung to move upto seventh spot with four defeats, two draws and as many wins in the eight-team franchise-based tournament.

The Goa outfit went ahead when Frenchman Bengelloun found the net almost halfway into the first half.

The second goal came as Andre Santos delivered a cross for Bengelloun, which the former Paris Saint Germain ‘B’ team defended gleefully headed home.

The visitors slammed the door on chances of a Dynamos comeback when Pires converted from the spot after Tolgay Ozbey, who was through with ball, was felled by Delhi’s giant shotstopper Kristof Van Hout.

Tolgay completed the rout in the 60th minute, dribbling past a series of Dynamos defenders before successfully finding the back of the net at the JLN Stadium, which witnessed a paltry turnout.

The about 6000-odd turnout was the worst in the tournament, which is otherwise creating new scales in in-stadia audience, when compared to other to leagues in Asia. Bengelloun first scored off a rebound after Gregory Arnolin’s header was kept out by the tall Dynamos goalkeeper Kristof Van Hout. The initial move began with a Andre Santos corner that landed on the feet of Robert Pires, who gave it to Bikramjeet Singh to make the final cross from the right.

The Dynamos had an outside chance to equalise a few minutes later but Robert Lalthlamuana’s volley off a cross from the right narrowly misses the right side of the post. Lalthlamuana’s approach before taking the shot though seemed a bit casual.

Besides, there was also a cross from the right by Steven Dias but Morten Skoubo could not reach the ball in time.

The Dynamos were certainly not lacking as far as build-up was concerned but, as has been their wont in the inaugural edition of the franchise-based league so far, could not make it count upfront.

A lot like in their previous matches, the Dynamos looked decent in the midfield, managing to string together a host of moves that looked like they would culminate in goals, but lacked ideas when it came to converting the opportunities into goals.

The defenders could not tackle the Goa assault for long, gradually losing the plot to concede four times in the game.

The visitors were much better when it came to making the most of the chances that came their way, a far cry from their opponents. Leading the side from the front Frenchman Pires, a legend at EPL giants Arsenal, marshalled the midfield effectively and was there whenever his team needed him.

There was a time when he decided to drop deep, to ensure that his team don’t give away the advantage.

There was much better coordination between the midfielders and strikers in the Goa line-up and the defenders were upto the mark. They succeeded in not letting the Dynamos players of the hook.

Standing in for regular coach Harm Van Veldhoven, Mark Luijpers had dubbed it a ‘revenge match’ following the Dynamos’ 0-1 defeat away in Goa. As the result shows, it boomeranged on the Dynamos team that is virtually out of reckoning.

Kerala Blasters wary of Anelka threat

It was a moment of magic from Nicolas Anelka that saw Kerala Blasters going down against Mumbai City FC at the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai last week.

As the two teams cross swords yet again at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium on Wednesday night, Blasters will be eyeing revenge on their home turf but will also be wary of the danger Anelka possess in Mumbai City FC’s attack.

In their away game in Mumbai, Blasters conceded a free-kick just outside their box in the added minutes of first half. Anelka, who stepped up to take the kick, made his first goal in ISL a memorable one with a brilliant free-kick that sailed into the net with Blasters’ goalkeeper Sandip Nandy helplessly watching under the bar.

After serving a three-game ban, Anelka made his ISL debut in the game against Chennaiyin FC and looked out of sorts. But the goal against Blasters seems to have done wonders to French striker’s confidence as he scored in their next game too against Delhi Dynamos and looked quite a threat in their last game against FC Goa which ended in a goalless draw.

Anelka has not only made up for the absence of Freddie Ljungberg but his form has also resulted in Mumbai moving up to fourth spot in points table after a stuttering start. But Mumbai suffered a setback on match eve as their midfielder Andre Moritz was ruled out of Wednesday’s game due to a pulled hamstring.

Blasters are two places below Mumbai in the points table and they have only themselves to blame for the position they find themselves in ISL. They have raided the rival goal area at will in their campaign but finishing has let them down.

Elano misses penalty, Chennai draw with Pune

It was a classic case of what a high-pressure match can do to even the best in the business. Call it the Elano blooper — the dead ball specialist sprayed wide a 15th minute penalty and along with that victory hopes of Abhishek Bachchan co-owned Chennaiyin FC.

Their Colombian striker John Stiven Mendoza, who worked tirelessly on the night right from the kickoff, was rewarded for his efforts in the 58th minute to save the Southerners the blushes and help them take home a point.

Earlier in the first half, FC Pune City drew first blood when right winger Israil Gurung sent forth a gem of an aerial ball to Greek midfielder Kostas Katsouranis. Rival midfielder Denson Devdas should have cut short the pass.

The Greek was there to slot the ball home and send the home crowd in to raptures in the ninth minute. It was just the ending to a well-fought match though the rivals will look back and count the number of times Mendoza, who was all over the place, took shots at goal but was denied his day in the sun. The 1-1 result keeps both teams static.

Chennaiyin FC with 12 points are at second spot while FC Pune City with 11 points are at third. At the whistle: FC Pune City 1 (Kostas Katsouranis 9m) drew with Chennaiyin FC.

Nicolas Anelka Fires Again as FC Mumbai City Beat Delhi Dynamos

Nicolas Anelka scored his second goal of the tournament to help Mumbai City FC beat Delhi Dynamos 1-0 in a keenly-contested match of the Hero Indian Super League at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.

The win helped the hosts zoom up to third spot on the table with nine points from six games while the visitors, who have six points in the kitty, slipped to the sixth position.

Mumbai City FC made a nervous start as the Delhi side kept possession for major periods of the first half.

Syed Rahim Nabi, for the second time in the tournament, picked up an injury early on and was forced off with Peter Costa coming on to replace him. Nabi’s injury pegged back the Mumbai side as the visitors moved the ball around well with Delhi’s Steven Dias causing a few problems for the hosts from the right with his runs and crosses.

Mads Junker was, however, unable to get on the end of any of them as Mumbai custodian Subrata Paul came bravely off his line a few times to thwart any danger. As the half progressed, Mumbai slowly began to get into the groove.

Jan Stohanzl collected the ball in midfield, ran towards the goal and unleashed a thunderous effort that sailed over the bar.

Atletico, Chennaiyin play out a 1-1 draw in ISL

A stoppage time penalty strike from midfielder Elano Blumer helped hosts Chennaiyin FC hold Atletico de Kolkata to a 1-1 draw in a top-of-the-table Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Tuesday.

With the draw, both teams have maintained their positions at the standings, Atletico de Kolkata on top with 12 points from six matches and Chennaiyin FC second with 10 points after five matches.

It was a drama-filled match that witnessed two red cards and two penalties.

In the end, the home team would be more content to walk away with a point after being a goal and a man down from the early stage of the game and stealing an equaliser in stoppage time.

Chennai goalkeeper Shilton Paul was shown the red card on 33 minutes when he brought down opposing striker Mohammad Rafi inside the box, also conceding a penalty.

Chennai had to sacrifice striker Jean-Eudes Maurice to bring in their second-choice keeper Gennaro Bracigliano but he couldn’t stop the penalty as Atletico’s Spanish midfielder calmly converted from the spot to give the away team the lead.

Atletico maintained the lead at halftime. But the match underwent a dramatic shift right after the resumption of play when Atletico’s Jofre was sent off after receiving his second caution of the match for diving.

Both teams were down to 10 men and with the numerical superiority of Atletico nullified, Chennaiyin stepped on the pressure, hoping to equalise.

Both teams had their fair share of chances to score but couldn’t convert them.

Just when it appeared that Atletico will hold on the 1-0 lead to clinch crucial three points that would have given them a comfortable five-point lead at the top of the points table, Chennayin got a penalty.

Defender Kingshuk Debnath, under pressure from Colombian forward John Steven Valencia brought him down in the box to give away a penalty in the 90th minute.

Brazilian Elano scored with a neatly-taken penalty to restore parity and gift his team a point that could prove to be very crucial in determining the final four teams that will qualify for the semi-finals.

Dhoni, Kohli doubtful for gala ISL opening

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his deputy Virat Kohli, who are co-owners of ISL Chennai and Goa franchisees respectively, are unlikely to participate in the gala ISL opening on October 12.

“I am not sure if the BCCI will allow them to be present on the inauguration in the middle of a series (India-West Indies). It’s difficult but you never know,” Atletico de Kolkata co-owner Utsav Parekh told reporters today.

India will have its second ODI in Delhi on October 11 and it remains to be seen whether the duo makes a flying visit to Kolkata en route to Vizag, the venue for the third ODI on October 14.

However, Parekh said the bigwigs of Bollywood, cricket and corporate world with the likes of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan (Chennai), Salman Khan (Pune), John Abraham (Guwahati), Ranbir Kapoor (Mumbai), Varun Dhawan (Goa), Sachin Tendulkar (Kerala) and city’s Sourav Ganguly have confirmed their participation.

The star team owners will take a lap of the stadium followed by a spectacular 45-minute opening ceremony by Bollywood heart-throb Priyanka Chopra and Varun Dhawan.

There will also be a host of top notch industrialists including Mukesh and Nita Ambani who is also the founding chairperson of ISL, the Munjals (Hero Motocorp), the Salgaocars who will grace the occasion along with Praful Patel, president of the All India Football Federation that is supporting the tournament.

“It’s rarely that we get to see such a gathering of both Bollywood, cricket and corporate world,” Parekh said.

The ISL opening ceremony will begin at 5 pm with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee formally opening the 11-week-long tournament that will be kicked off with the home side Atletico de Kolkata squaring up against Mumbai City FC.