15
Saturday
December 2018
10:21 AM IST
News Headlines
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media        Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign, says his son after court setback        Rahul Gandhi After Rafale Verdict: "Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani"        Author Amitav Ghosh Honoured With 54th Jnanpith Award        Supreme Court sees no wrongdoing in Rafale deal, rules out probe        India bowled a little bit short, Australia pacers could benefit: Border        ISL: FC Goa thrash NorthEast United 5-1        BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma Register Easy Wins To Enter Semifinals        Diving legend says HIV-contracted friend inspired him to Olympic gold        India beat Pakistan to reach final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup        Boosting exports key to make India $5-tn economy by 2025: Kant        Prabhu, US Commerce Secretary to discuss trade issues on Feb 14        Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN        Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU        Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha        Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace        Rahul tweets pic with Kamal Nath, Scindia as race for CM moves to Bhopal        Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri        World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth        Govt should consider 100% FDI in multi-brand retail trade: CII report        
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Sports News
ISL: FC Pune City ground high-flying FC Goa
 
(Margao, Dec 23, 2017):Suddenly, FC Goa don’t seem safe even at its fortress, the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda. The Goan franchise has been one of the most potent sides in the Indian Super League, registering a record 18 goals in five matches. But up against the might of FC Pune City, familiar weaknesses showed up as the visitors notched a comfortable 2-0 victory on Saturday.

Emiliano Alfaro (71st minute) and Jonathan Lucca (84th minute) pierced a dagger through Goa’s heart, handing the hosts their first defeat at home. The victory takes Pune to 12 points from seven matches and a fourth place on the table. If it’s any consolation, Goa still have a match in hand and will return to the top of the table if they can put it across ATK in the rescheduled clash on January 3.

Nobody saw this coming, though. Goa were riding high after a hat-trick of victories, scoring an astonishing 14 goals in just three games. The weakness in defence was always going to stick out like a sore thumb but you could trust the strikeforce. Fans sang, “Corominas, sha la la la la; he scores whenever he wants,” in tribute of the leading goal-getter, but it’s unfair to expect a hat-trick in every second match. Not that he didn’t have a chance, but the goalpost stood in between and goalkeeper Vishal Kaith eventually proved a hard nut to crack.

Pune were always going to be dangerous customers. With Marcelinho, last year’s Golden Boot winner, and Emiliano Alfaro, they have a strikeforce which is as good as anyone else and proved that in good measure as the two combined to leave Goa’s defence in shambles.

For the opening goal, Marcelinho picked Alfaro with a delightful through ball which neither Goa defender Mohammad Ali nor goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani could check. For the second, five players crowded the box and defender Seriton Fernandes could simply watch from behind as Lucca turned the ball home from handshaking distance.

Lucca, a former FC Goa player, didn’t celebrate his strike but the travelling fans, Orange Army, couldn’t hide their joy. Neither could coach Ranko Popovic, who was animated on the touchline throughout the match, largely agitated at the officiating.

Referee Rowan Arumughan had a tough time on the field. Both teams made it difficult for him and both had reasons to complain after being denied what seemed like legitimate penalty calls.

To be fair, nobody could grudge Pune three points. They knew what they were doing; packing the defence, throttling play in midfield and making life miserable for Goa on the counter. Adil Khan was impressive, and so was Ashique Kuruniyyan, besides of course, Vishal.

For Goa, this will be an important lesson. They lost at home for the first time this season, also failed to score for the first time. But these are still early days in the league, even if, for some, the loss would leave a bitter taste in this mouth this Christmas.

No wonder, everyone is looking forward to the new year.


India bowled a little bit short, Australia pacers could benefit: Border
ISL: FC Goa thrash NorthEast United 5-1
BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma Register Easy Wins To Enter Semifinals
Diving legend says HIV-contracted friend inspired him to Olympic gold
India beat Pakistan to reach final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup
Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri
World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth
Shakhtar prepare for home match 700 kilometres from home
AC Milan let Inter off the hook with Torino stalemate
1st Test: India in cruise control as Australia reduced to 104/4 chasing 323
Over 16000 runners take part in Pune Half Marathon
Kohli booed by Australian fans, Head, Ponting critical of crowd behaviour
Pujara, Rahane put India in driver's seat
Indian Super League: Kerala Blasters' Hopes Hanging By A Thread After Defeat Against Pune City
Start is Good, Need to Carry Momentum in World Cup: Sardar Singh
Man Utd fight back again but Arsenal extend unbeaten run in four-goal thriller
Serena, Nadal and Murray all confirmed for Australian Open
Manchester City top World Cup player pay-out table
Luca Modric wins 2018 Ballon d'Or
Why aren't Dhoni, Dhawan playing domestic cricket? Asks Gavaskar
KERALA NEWS
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim  
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media
 (Washington, Dec 14, 2018):Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is on t
Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign, says his son after court setback
Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN
Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU
NATIONAL NEWS
Rahul Gandhi After Rafale Verdict: "Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani"
 (New Delhi, Dec 14, 2018):Hours after the Supreme Court's clean chit to the government on the
Author Amitav Ghosh Honoured With 54th Jnanpith Award
Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha
Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace
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