INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL: KC tops Man Utd on historic night – Sunil Chhetri steadily inching his way upwards ?!!
From MLS Soccer
By Andrew Wiebe
July 25, 2010: A good number of the 52,424 fans came to see Manchester United, but they left with a healthy appreciation for the Kansas City Wizards and Major League Soccer.
Despite going down to 10 men late in the first half, Kansas City took advantage of two first-half goals to hold on for a 2-1 victory against United at the newly remodeled Arrowhead Stadium.
Davy Arnaud and Kei Kamara scored for the Wizards, and Dimitar Berbatov converted from the penalty spot for the Red Devils in an open and flowing game that was played at a breakneck pace and punctuated by near misses.
Kansas City snatched an early advantage in the 11th minute through Arnaud. With the Wizards captain streaking in diagonally behind the United back line, Kei Kamara slipped a pass into space, Rafael kept Arnaud onside and the midfielder tucked a tidy finish inside the back post.
The unlikely advantage injected the home side with a jolt of confidence and the Wizards spent much of the remaining half in United’s end. With Craig Rocastle applying the pressure, Arnaud, Kamara, Ryan Smith and Teal Bunbury put pressure on the Red Devils back four, narrowing missing out on a second goal on a number of occasions.
But that period of dominance was spoiled in the 39th minute when Ryan Giggs slipped a ball in between Jimmy Conrad and Shavar Thomas to Berbatov. The Bulgarian took a touch before Conrad slid in and appeared to nick the ball before bringing Berbatov to the ground. But referee Terry Vaughn didn’t hesitate, showing the veteran defender a red card and pointing to the spot.
United evened the score when Berbatov sent Jimmy Nielsen the wrong way, prompting a chorus of boos from the crowd.
But those boos turned to cheers only a minute later when Kamara got on the end of Smith’s corner kick and nodded the ball off the crossbar and in, although replays shows the ball may not have completely crossed the line.
Even down to 10 men, Kansas City did not back off from its swashbuckling attitude from the first half during the second period while United looked to exploit its man advantage.
But neither side could take advantage of the other’s mistakes as substitute goalkeeper Eric Kronberg put in an inspired performance for the Wizards and Red Devil’s Ben Amos turned away any and all comers.
In the end, Kansas City did just enough, sending the record crowd home with a satisfying end to a historic day in the Midwest.
KC – Davy Arnaud (Kei Kamara) 11
MU – Dimitar Berbatov (unassisted, penalty kick) 41
KC — Kamara (Ryan Smith) 42
MU – Ryan Giggs (caution; Unsporting behavior) 33
KC – Jimmy Conrad (ejection; Denied goal scoring opportunity) 39
KC – Kei Kamara (caution; Shirt removal) 43
MU – Darron Gibson (caution; Reckless tackle) 63
Manchester United – Ben Amos; Rafael, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Ritchie De Laet (Fabio 76), Nani (Gabriel Obertan 68), Paul Scholes, Darron Gibson (Tom Cleverley 68), Ryan Giggs, Dimitar Berbatov (Danny Welbeck 78), Mame Biram Diouf (Federico Macheda 68)
Substitutes Not Used: Edwin van der Sar, Wes Brown, Corry Evans.
Kansas City Wizards – Jimmy Nielsen (Eric Kronberg 46); Roger Espinoza, Michael Harrington, Shavar Thomas, Jimmy Conrad, Ryan Smith (Korede Aiyegbusi 58), Craig Rocastle (Matt Besler 44), Stephane Auvray (Graham Zusi 78), Davy Arnaud (Jack Jewsbury 69), Kei Kamara (Chance Myers 83), Teal Bunbury (Sunil Chettri 69)
Substitutes Not Used: Aaron Hohlbein, Birahim Diop, Jonathan Leathers, Josh Wolff.
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee’s Assistants: Greg Barkey, Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Hilario Grajeda
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 84 degrees
Sunil Chhetri vs Manchester United – a game to watch, if only India promoted football more ?!!
From Sports Keeda
By Chris Punnakkattu Daniel
Jul 23rd, 2010: The Kansas City Wizards are expecting 77.000 fans in the New Arrowhead Stadium, when they host Manchester United on Sunday. The stage is set for an entertaining match and Indians around the globe have a reason to cheer as our very own India striker Sunil Chhetri is set to face the star-studded English team Manchester United.
“We’re looking forward to Sunil Chhetri getting the opportunity to play,” Kansas City Wizards manager Peter Vermes told the club website. “Chhetri been working very hard, and this game will give him a chance to measure himself against some of the best players in the world.”
Suni Chhetri made his Kansas City debut as a substitute in an exhibition match against the University of Tulsa and made his first team debut in the Wizard’s US Open Cup qualifer match against the Colorado Rapids in April.
There are indications from club sources that Chhetri might even start against Manchester United. The English team will miss the services of the players who featured in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but they still have many star players on their roster.
Talking to local media Sunil Chhetri said: “In the three months I’ve been here, I’ve been working hard to understand the kind of game we play in Kansas City. It’s been difficult, because I’ve been trying my best to acclimize. I’m excited. Not personally, but for the whole team and the whole of Kansas City and the whole of America. Manchester United is one of the best in the world. It should be a great experience for all of us.”
Sunil Chhetri will be only the second Indian player after India skipper Baichung Bhutia to face the English Premiership side. Baichung played the “Red Devils” Manchester United with his former club Bury FC in a pre-season friendly match and impressed Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson, who even inquired about the “Sikkimese Snipper” Bhutia afterwards.
Now it’s the time to shine for another Indian star against the likes of Ryan Giggs, Nani, Wes Brown, Dimitar Berbatov and many more.
SANTOSH TROPHY – SIKKIM WATCH
Delhi continue victory march, Haryana lose – better luck for Sikkim next time ?!!
From Hindustan Times
By HT Correspondent
Kolkata, July 25, 2010, 23:44 IST: Delhi marched into the pre-quarter finals of the Santosh Trophy with a confident 3-1 win over Madhya Pradesh in a Cluster V match at the Howrah stadium on Sunday. Having qualified with nine points from their three cluster matches, Delhi will take on Chhattisgarh on Tuesday for a place in the quarter-final league.
Chhattisgarh, too, qualified with an all-win record after they defeated Haryana 5-1 in their Cluster VI match at Khardah stadium.
Delhi shot into the lead in the fourth minute when striker David Ngaihte’s powerful right-footer from just outside the box left Madhya Pradesh goalkeeper Kamal Ahir stranded. This was after David had a goal disallowed by woman referee Maria Rebello for infringement on the goalkeeper in the first minute itself. But Madhya Pradesh slowly clawed back into the match, Delhi’s profligacy and hence the frustration up front helping their rivals take control of the midfield.
The equaliser came in the 17th minute when Madhya Pradesh midfielder S. Gaiguiba Thangal capped a solo run down the right and lay it up for an unmarked Javed Manihar inside the box. The striker made no mistake in slotting home.
The rest of the first half was a battle to take control of the midfield and though Delhi looked more likely to score, the teams went into the break tied at 1-1.
Madhya Pradesh began the second half showing more purpose and pushed men upfront. That gave Delhi more space and they hit on the counter. Former HAL midfielder Bhuvan Joshi gave Delhi the lead in the 55th minute.
David dodged past a couple of defenders but the touch that would set him up for the shot was slightly long. The striker showed good presence of mind to regain control and lay it up for Joshi who tapped in. The third one was a blinder. Vikash Rawat’s right-footer from 35 yards hit the upright and went in just before the final whistle.
Haryana, Sikkim qualify for semi-finals – Sikkim women pick-up the ball ?!!
From Panjab Newsline
CHANDIGARH, Sunday, 25 July 2010: Well-knit Haryana and formidable Sikkim qualified for the semi-finals from Group A quarter-final league in the 9th Junior National Girls Under-19 Football Championship being organized by the Chandigarh Football Association at the Punjab Engineering College grounds here Sunday.
With an all-win record Haryana topped Group A with full nine points while Sikkim finished runners-up with two victories and one defeat.
The Group A quarter-final league concluded this evening with Haryana expectedly outclassed Puducherry by 6-0 at Ground I. It was third successive victory for the Haryana girls trained by Sukhwinder Kaur Dhillon.
At the adjacent ground, Sikkim eliminated the challenge of Uttar Pradesh whom they routed by 4-0 for their second triumph from three matches.
Sikkim were quick to go one up in the second minute with Nima Lhamu Bhutia dribbling her way into the Uttar Pradesh box before sending the ball over the goalline. A 14th minute goal by Anita Rai saw Sikkim increasing their margin. The winners led 2-0 at half time.
Mongmit Lepcha and Pabitra Limboo were the goal-getters for Sikkim on resumption. Mongmit netted in the 60th minute while Pabitra scored in the 79th minute.
At Ground No. 1 Haryana started asserting themselves and opened their account in the third minute through Seema who was their top scorer with three goals. Ebullient Seema found the target again in the 47th and 59th minutes. The second goal for Haryana came from the boots of Preeti who netted in the 11th minute while Taruna got Haryana’s third goal in the 39th minute.
Taruna also netted the sixth goal for her team and second for herself when she capitalized on a measured pass from Shalu in the 80th minute.
Against the run of play Puducherry had a golden chance to score a goal in the 72nd minute. However, Puducherry striker K Indumathy found Haryana goalkeeper Raveen a hard nut to crack.
Tomorrow’s fixtures (q-finals, group B): Maharashtra vs West Bengal. Orissa vs Manipur (4.30 p.m.).
Three Sikkim players tested positive for swine flu – get well soon & no more Kolkata poochkas ?!!
FROM THE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STAFF WRITER
Kolkata, July 24, 2010, 19:27 HRS IST (PTI): Sikkim’s Santosh Trophy campaign received a huge blow today with three of their players tested positive for swine flu.
Bikas Jairu, Sanjay Chhetri and Sagar Rai tested positive for the disease after they were admitted at the state-run Infectious Diseases Hospital this morning with high fever, according to the local manager of the team Somnath Chatterjee.
“The trio along with Robin Gurung were admitted after complaining of high fever and chest congestion. Gurung however was released but doctors have advised at least five-day treatment for the three players as they were tested positive for swine flu,” Chatterjee told PTI.
More than 40 people have been affected of the deadly Influenza A (H1N1) virus in the city so far.
Queen’s Baton arrives in Nagaland – no more disappearing acts ?!!
FROM THE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA STAFF WRITER
Kohima, July 24, 2010 19:30 HRS IST (PTI): The Queen’s Baton for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi today arrived in Nagaland for a three-day relay at different parts of the state.
The baton arrived this morning at Dimapur, where a relay was held, officials said here.
Later in the afternoon, the QBR arrived here before stopping for a photo session at Kohima Orphanage on the outskirts of the capital town.
The main official function will be held here tomorrow at the local ground which will be attended by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, his cabinet colleagues, government officials and prominent sportspersons from the state.
On Monday the relay will visit the historic Khonoma village before leaving for Dimapur on its onward journey to Manipur.