Tuesday, 3 March 2015

I-League: Bottom of the table Sporting Goa travel to Pune to face Bharat FC!

Bottom of the table Sporting Clube de Goa take on new entrants Bharat FC in round nine of the I-League at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mhalunge-Balewadi in Pune on Wednesday evening. The kick-off time is 7pm.

This is the final round before the I-League club's take a two week break to accommodate the Indian National team's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and so both teams would be looking to sign off on a high.

In their last match Bharat FC were defeated by Mumbai FC 0-2 and will be relieved to have the services of Vignesh Gunashekar and Dharmaraj Ravanan who come back from suspension. Bharat FC's New Zealand striker Kris Bright is in good form with three goals to his credit so far and with his height possesses an aerial threat. Bharat FC can also count on goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya who has already picked up two HERO-of-the-match awards this season.

In their last game, the Flaming Oranje lost out 1-3 to Bengaluru FC. Sporting Goa Coach Mathew D'Costa knows he has a talented squad at his disposal which has started to find their form, but it is the killer instinct in front of goal which has been the biggest challenge.

In their last game, Marquee player Anthony Wolfe netted his first I-League goal of the season and in the previous match against Pune FC, Goan striker Victorino Fernandes got off the mark and so the tide looks to be turning slowly in the right direction for the Flaming Oranje.

Bharat FC is currently tenth in the standings with five points from six games, while Sporting Goa is eleventh with only three points from seven matches.

WATCH LIVE - I-League Livestream: Mumbai FC vs Bengaluru FC!

Here is the link to the 'Hero' I-League 2014/15 Livestream of today's match on TenAction! In tonight's match Mumbai FC take on Bengaluru FC at the Cooperage Stadium in Mumbai. Watch & enjoy!

The Kick-off is at 19.00 IST (14.30 CET | 13.30 GMT)

India Women's Team: Teenage Fantastic Five learn from their Elders!

Hard work and dreams often go hand-in-glove. The sacrifices compliment the dreams which leads one to success. Ask the young contingent within the Indian National Women's Team and you will understand better.

The Fantastic Five, Pyari Xaxa, Margaret Devi, Sangita Basfore, Panthoi Chanu and Sanju are part of the 31-member Indian National Women's Football Team which will participate in 2016 Olympic qualifiers later this month. The average age stay 17.6 years but their Football dismisses age as just another number. Although they have represented India at the AFC Under-19 level in November 2014, making it to the National Team was a "dream come true" for each of them.

At the practice session, as they get ready, from a distance Bembem "didi" watches; or rather, all the "didis".

The girls consider Bembem as their icon. And the icon adds, "We have a very good contingent now. I am very happy that the girls have adopted Football as their first love. They have worked hard for it. And they deserve to be here. These Players are gifted and with time they will evolve into better ones."

A career of 19 years! The girls always look up to Bembem. Who doesn't?

Head Coach Sajid Dar seconds Bembem to add, "Here is a group of young and talented Footballers. When youth, talent and hard work mix together, a Footballer can achieve anything. And these Players have the ability to do that."

You turn to the Fantastic Five. A lot sacrifices have been made. Staying away from home at a tender age, sacrificing the comforts of life just to focus and get into an affair with Football stay their driving force.

Since the girls are an integral part of the National Team they get to brush shoulders, share experiences and learn something new from their role models like Bembem and also Bala Devi.

"We learn from them each and every day. They have helped us a lot to gel with the squad," says Panthoi. "Initially I was a bit scared. But with time it vanished. I am thankful to the Senior Players for making me feel like home," she states.

"The Didi's helps a lot. They guide us through each and every obstacle. Moreover, the Coaches are always there to guide us," states Margaret.

"The level of hard work that we have put into achieving this is immense. But we are happy that we are here and we plan to sustain this," says Sangita.

Pyari agrees. "This is a dream come true for me. After sacrificing a lot I have finally achieved something that I am very proud of."

Goalkeeper Panthoi got into an affair with the ball and asserts that, that affair has only intensified with time. Nevertheless, the five joust in unison and agree that the experience was all worth it in the end.

"The experience of being in the National Camp has completely changed me as a person. I believe that I can accomplish anything now if I work hard for it. The level of passion is what matters," expresses Margaret.

"It was, and is worth it. There were torrid times when I used to think of giving up but I am happy that I did not. I am reaping the benefits now," Sanju goes on.

At the Shiv Nadar University Campus in Dadri, the Players train hard. Going down the flanks, at one juncture, Pyari takes a tumble. Bembem, close by, goes up and lends a helping hand to Pyari to get up. And then it continues again.

"We are a one big family which is built on love."

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

VIDEO - Focus Bangla: Mohun Bagan travel to Goa for Dempo away match!

As Focus Bangla reports high flying Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan AC travelled to Goa on Monday for their I-League away match against Dempo SC on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Renedy Singh Interview on first few days at CSKA Sofia!

Long-time Indian international Potsangbam Renedy Singh on Thursday, February 26, 2015 signed for Bulgarian giants and league leaders CSKA Sofia for the rest of the 2014/15 season on loan from his Indian Super League team Kerala Blasters FC.

I spoke to him yesterday about his stay in Sofia so far and the aims for the upcoming three months. Here is the interview!