Hazard brothers conquer Russia

REUTERS St Petersburg Belgium secured top spot in Euro 2020 qualifying Group I and stretched their perfect record to nine wins after two goals from Eden Hazard and one by his brother Thorgan inspired them to a sparkling 4-1 win in Russia on Saturday. With one round of games remaining, Belgium have a maximum 27 …

REUTERS

St Petersburg

Belgium secured top spot in Euro 2020 qualifying Group I and stretched their perfect record to nine wins after two goals from Eden Hazard and one by his brother Thorgan inspired them to a sparkling 4-1 win in Russia on Saturday.

With one round of games remaining, Belgium have a maximum 27 points and second-placed Russia 21, both sides having booked their places at next year’s 24-nation tournament.

Although there was only pride to play for, the game got off to a pacy start and Thorgan Hazard fired the visitors ahead with a superb 19th-minute goal when he side-stepped his marker and blasted an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Eden Hazard made it 2-0 in the 33rd with another fine effort, volleying a low drive past Russia’s Brazilian-born goalkeeper Guilherme after striker Romelu Lukaku headed a lofted pass into his captain’s stride.

The livewire forward doubled his tally shortly before halftime from a brilliant move, with midfielder Kevin De Bruyne squaring the ball unselfishly for Hazard to stroke into an empty net from 12 metres.

Only poor finishing by Lukaku and two good saves by Guilherme denied the Belgians a bigger lead in the opening hour as Russia failed to create anything in front of a partisan home crowd.

Ruthless Belgium struck again in the 72nd minute as Lukaku made amends for his early miss, rifling a scorcher inside the near post from 16 metres with Guilherme clutching nothing but thin air.

Georgi Dzhikiya finally gave the subdued home fans something to cheer about when he swept home a close-range rebound in the 79th, but it was scant consolation for a crushing defeat by last year’s World Cup semi-finalists.

Scotland, who will be in the play-offs in March after Nations League success, went third thanks to Christie’s fine curled opener in the 12th minute and McGinn’s side-footed winner eight minutes into the second half.

Cyprus slipped to fourth despite a brilliant volleyed equalizer in the 47th minute by Georgios Efrem, who was unlucky early on when officials failed to spot the ball seemingly crossing the line after his shot struck the bar.

Kazakhstan, fifth, beat bottom of the table San Marino 3-1.

Wales took an early lead in Baku when Kieffer Moore headed home Harry Wilson’s corner with the aid of a deflection.

Betalbatim outshoot Maina on way to semis

NT NETWORK Majorda Betalbatim SC entered the semifinals of Fr Basilio Andrade Memorial football tournament defeating Maina SC 6-4 via the tie breaker played at Musson grounds, Majorda on Saturday. The teams played a 1-1 draw during regulation time. Clifford Miranda put Betalbatim SC in the lead but soon Maina’s Vicky Cardozo restored parity. Both …

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Majorda

Betalbatim SC entered the semifinals of Fr Basilio Andrade Memorial football tournament defeating Maina SC 6-4 via the tie breaker played at Musson grounds, Majorda on Saturday.

The teams played a 1-1 draw during regulation time. Clifford Miranda put Betalbatim SC in the lead but soon Maina’s Vicky Cardozo restored parity. Both goals came in the first half with no scoring in the second session.

Playing to their best potential, both teams matched each other well in all the departments of the game and carried out raids against each other’s citadel with a lot of sting in them. However, the defence of both the teams which looked strong containd the attacks on each other with timely clearances.

After Maina SC threatened the Betalbatim SC goal when striker Vicky Cardozon unleashed a shot which missed the mark narrowly, Betalbatim celebrated with a goal where Clifford Miranda found the mark in the 15th minute.

A brilliant move on the right flank saw Betalbatim’s defender Manushawn Fernandes overlapping and sending a pass in the middle. Alaric D’Cunha then passed the ball to Clifford Miranda whose angular effort gave no chance at all to the Maina SC keeper.

Maina SC thereafter retaliated and created two strong moves, one of which culminated into a goal following a quick build up from the right flank.

Maina’s Manuel Castanha who worked his way down the right flank sent a defence splitting pass to Vicky Cardozo who responded with a neat placement to beat Betalbatim SC keeper Rhys Rebello to restore parity in the 18th minute.

The match then wore on with moves coming from one end to the other and a goal looked imminent but somehow the defence of both teams cleared the ball to safety.

Resorting to some incisive passes, Betalbatim SC looked impressive for sometime but then soon thereafter Maina SC too began to dazzle with some nice moves and brilliant passing by using both the flanks

Betalbatim’s midfield looked cohesive and had an eye for an early goal. Resorting to some swift passing, Betalbatim SC had the lions share of the exchanges in the second session, surprisingly could not find the mark when opportunities came to them.

Maina SC too came up with some breakaway moves which also looked lethal at times but Betalbatim’s stopper back Manushawn Fernandes was always there to snatch the ball from the feet of Maina SC strikers.

A few minutes from the final hooter Maina’s Milagres Fernandes stormed into the box but was challenged by Betalbatim’s defender Masnushawn who cleared the ball to safety before Milagres could aim to shoot the ball.

In the tie-breaker Betalbatim SC proved to be the better shooters, winning the match 6-4.

Youth Sports ease past Verem

NT NETWORK Duler Youth Sports Colvale eased past Verem United with a 2-0 win the Goa Football Association Bardez Zone Third Division League play offs match at Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Saturday. Colvale will next play against Benny XI Sports Club in the semi-final on November 22. Colvale scored a goal each in either half. …

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Duler

Youth Sports Colvale eased past Verem United with a 2-0 win the Goa Football Association Bardez Zone Third Division League play offs match at Duler Stadium, Mapusa, on Saturday.

Colvale will next play against Benny XI Sports Club in the semi-final on November 22.

Colvale scored a goal each in either half. Shaikh Sattar gave them a 5th minute lead and Akash Parwar netted the second in the second half injury time.

Colvale’s Akash Parwar was awarded the Man of the Match award by Bosco Monteiro, Ex-Sesa Footballer in presence of GFA executive members Babli Madrekar and Domnic Pereira at Duler.

Anjuna down Penha de Franca

NT NETWORK Panaji Anjuna Gymkhana scored a fluent 3-0 win over Penha de Franca in the Goa Football Association U-14 League to top the group B and qualify for the Bardez Zone play offs. Anjuna collected 10 points recording three wins and a draw. Playing against a determined Penha de Franca, Anjuna had to wait …

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Panaji

Anjuna Gymkhana scored a fluent 3-0 win over Penha de Franca in the Goa Football Association U-14 League to top the group B and qualify for the Bardez Zone play offs.

Anjuna collected 10 points recording three wins and a draw.

Playing against a determined Penha de Franca, Anjuna had to wait until the half hour mark to surge ahead as they scored through through Nazir Ali.

In the second half, Penha de Franca couldn’t maintain their shape and soon fell the Anjuna’s pressure.

Gajanan Kochrekar doubled the account for Anjuna at the hour mark before Jagdish Arkasali netted the third to collect full points for the winners.

At Bicholim ground: Cunchelim SC and Eagles SC played out thrilling 3-3 draw which saw Eagles come from behind to hold their opponents.

Cunchelim led 2-1 at the break with Chetan M and Aditya Kumar scoring for Cunchelim. Vignesh Naik pulled a goal back for Eagles in the first half.

In the second half, Eagles made it all square through Vedanshu Sakhalkar in the 43rd minute.

In the 58th minute Ganesh Jadhav put Cunchelim ahead once again but Vedhanshu stole the points from Cunchelim as he scored an injury time equalizing goal.

At Cevossim ground: Ave Maria secured full points scoring a comfortable 3-0 win over Pax of Nagoa.

Rishikesh Melvani netted a brace while Jayden Rodrigues added another for the winners.

LOCAL SPORTS SCAN

Britona Boys thrash Mix Friends PANAJI: Britona Boys scored a convincing 5-1 win over Mix Friends-D in the Porvorim Premier League match at Penha de Franca, church ground on Saturday. Sagar opened the scoring for Britona Boys in the 10th minute while Bruno made it 2-0 in the 16th minute. Bruno added a second to …

Britona Boys thrash Mix Friends

PANAJI: Britona Boys scored a convincing 5-1 win over Mix Friends-D in the Porvorim Premier League match at Penha de Franca, church ground on Saturday. Sagar opened the scoring for Britona Boys in the 10th minute while Bruno made it 2-0 in the 16th minute. Bruno added a second to his tally in the 19th minute and soon he  completed his hat-trick in the 29th minute. Savio pulled one back for Mix Friends-D in the 31st minute. Bruno made it 5-1 for the winners in the dying minutes of the game.

Inter college snooker
tournament from Dec 4

PANAJI: Billiards and Snooker Association of Goa along with Sports Authority of Goa (SAG) will be organising an Inter College – Higher Secondary Snooker and Pool Tournament, from December 4 at BSAG Cue Sports Academy, Athletics Stadium, Bambolim. Entries should be submitted by November 26 to Coach Felix Francis (8805333480) or email to felix.francis1959@gmail.com. There will be no entry fee.

Emphasis on grooming youngsters, less on foreign talent is right call to fans

NT NETWORK Duler, Nagoa, Navelim With an average of 2.45 goals per match and the focus on youngsters from Goa the Goa Football Association (GFA) Professional League matches have been seeing better days with crowds beginning to come in North and South Goa, after the end of the eight rounds. With most teams fielding players …

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Duler, Nagoa, Navelim

With an average of 2.45 goals per match and the focus on youngsters from Goa the Goa Football Association (GFA) Professional League matches have been seeing better days with crowds beginning to come in North and South Goa, after the end of the eight rounds.

With most teams fielding players from the youth development setup and little emphasis on foreign or players from other states of India, football in the Professional League is attracting   people from the villages to come, see and cheer the stars of tomorrow.

Sporting Clube de Goa, Churchill Brothers FC, Guardian Angel SC, Vasco Sports Club and Calangute Association were the teams that signed foreign players. Before the end of the eighth round, Vasco SC have dispensed with their foreign signing. Four foreign players have accounted for 13 of the 119 goals scored so far.

Apart from the foreign signings of Churchill Brothers FC – who have signed the players for the I-league – the quality of other signings has been mediocre with the local boys contributing far more on the field. “Our teams prefer to pay these foreign players more and give them all the facilities and treat us as second class when we are the ones working ourselves out,” a player with one of the teams told The Navhind Times on condition of anonymity.

Initially, all the matches of the Professional League were held at the Duler stadium but through the rounds, games are now being held on grounds all over Goa and this spread has managed to evoke more interest from villagers.

“I have watched football with my family on TV but never attended a match. Off late there has been conversation on the table about this league (Professional League) match and so I decided to come as I do not live far away. It was a nice evening,” said Joyce Fernandes after the Churchill Brothers and Sporting Clube de Goa match at Nagoa.

Dempo Sports Club tops the table at the end of round eight with Sporting Clube de Goa second and Calangute Association – coached by Severino Fernandes from Salcette who has a penchant for scouting talent – is third.

After Jessel Carneiro was allowed to join Kerala Blasters without any impediments, Dempo Sports Club is establishing itself as a home for players -who have been dropped by Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League teams – to keep themselves match fit. Fulganco Cardozo formerly of ISL winners Chennaiyin FC and Luis Barreto of East Bengal are the two players that have been signed and the two – the duo have played for two games so far– have added another dimension to the level of football for Dempo SC and the League.

“Signing players from bigger leagues depends on players first and then the clubs. There are many players who played for the ISL and simply vanished after they were dropped because they found it below their dignity to play for lower leagues. That should not be the attitude of a professional player. Professional players love to play in any competition and for that they need to have clubs that will accommodate them,” stated a senior coach from Goa.

Devendra Murgaonkar of Salgaocar FC is the second highest scorer of the league and could well follow the steps of Ronaldo Oliveira who was picked up by East Bengal after having finished last season as the highest goal scorer. Devendra started his football career with Liston Colaco – who despite signing for FC Goa has had no playing time – and was seen growing under his team mates shadow.

Devendra has this season developed a shot, has shown far better abilities of playing the ball when in possession and made himself available when not with the ball. With the match time he gets with Salgaocar, he is capable of sidestepping Liston for greater glory.

Rajat Harijan of Dempo SC is pushing himself hard along with Aman Goverkar. So are Chaitan Komarpant and Ribhav Sardesai of Salgaocar FC and Shanon Viegas of Sporting Clube. They could well use the 2019-2020 season as a bursting ground.

FC Goa, which has been mentored by Derrick Pereria from start, is still acting as a ground for talent to sprout and a cushion for players in the senior team who have not match time. Vasco SC signed Suraj Mondal from Kolkata and he has been gaining in fitness since joining. Suraj has talent but that has been shadowed by his inability to keep himself fit.

Corps of Signals has been showing a lot of promise with the officers in charge appointing Goa’s Eban Mesquita as coach and signing locals into the team. “It is obvious that football is loved in Goa and as the army there is nothing like helping promote it. The rules that govern us are different but it does not stop us from joining the eco system,” said a senior military official.

With games now scheduled to be held at the Dempo SC ground in Ella, Old Goa, Sesa Football Academy (SFA) ground in Sirsaim and SAG grounds in Goa, football fans can expect to enjoy the sun down with a dose of good football brewed by local talent.