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Virat Kohli, footballers

Virat Kohli Opines That Cricketers Learn A Lot From Footballers

Indian skipper Virat Kohli is the co-owner of Football club, FC Goa. The batsman has an interest in football and enjoys the game. During the launch of new Jersey of FC goa, Kohli speaks to Times Of India about what he learns from football.

The skipper has opined that there is a lot to be learned from footballers. The player is a fitness freak and has set a new benchmark of fitness in cricket. He wants that cricketer should learn the routine and diet of footballers to maintain their strength.

Read More: MS Dhoni Plays His First Golf Tournament In America

He is of the view that there is no comparison of the fitness level of cricketers with footballers. Kohli said that football requires more strength which is not obligatory in cricket. But if cricketers improve their fitness, they will perform better.

“If we take our fitness level higher, we will perform at another level. Footballers are way fitter than cricketers”

We always look up to footballers for their discipline – Virat Kohli

Further, Kohli says that the major lesson cricketers need to learn is discipline. This is a key factor and required for every field to make out the best from it.

Read More: Ravi Shastri Remarks Rishabh Pant As World Class And Destructive Player

“We always look up to footballers for their discipline. It’s a requirement of the sport that you need to be at your absolute best to be able to take the field. Football players are very particular about professionalism, in terms of physical preparation, nutrition and rest period. We learn a lot from them.”

Virat Kohli’s favourite footballer is Cristiano Ronaldo. Kohli praises the footballer’s style and observes him. The batsman has supported every athlete and sport through his foundation. Through his football club, he wants to develop the players for future who can represent in nationals.

Read More: Zaheer Khan Remarks Hardik Pandya As A Game Changer

Meanwhile, the Indian national cricket team is ready to face South Africa in the first test match on 2nd October at Vishakhapatnam. The three-match Test series will end at Ranchi.

Hero Super Cup, ISL, I-League
Hero Super Cup Trophy (Image Credit: Google)

Hero Super Cup 2019 Likely To Be Organised At The End Of The Season

The next Hero Super Cup is likely to be organised after the end of India’s domestic football leagues season.

According to Khel Now, the third edition of the Hero Super Cup is likely to begin after the 2019/20 Indian Super League (ISL).

Earlier, Kushal Das, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) General Secretary, claimed that the next Super Cup edition would begin ahead of the domestic leagues season. At that time, they wanted to organise this tournament as a preparatory tournament.

Hero Super Cup, ISL, I-League
Kushal Das (Image Credit: Google)

However, observing the present situation, the AIFF feels that it will be better not to change this tournament’s scheduling at present.

Previous Hero Super Cup was a total disaster

The second edition of the Hero Super Cup (2019) was full of controversies. Just like the inaugural season (2018), the top six I-League and ISL teams directly qualified for that tournament. On the other hand, the next four teams of both those domestic leagues faced the qualification round.

However, just at the beginning of that tournament, many I-League teams withdrew from that tournament. In the qualification round, three I-League teams refused to appear, and those teams were Minerva Punjab, Gokulam Kerala and Aizawl FC.

In the Round of 16 stages, four more I-League teams withdrew from that league. Those teams were East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Churchill Brothers and NEROCA FC. The I-League teams were demanding clarification regarding the future of I-League.

Hero Super Cup, ISL, I-League
East Bengal (Image Credit: Google)

Due to this clutter, the future of the Super Cup came in danger.

Witnessing that disaster, the AIFF was thinking to shift the next edition of the Hero Super Cup to the early of the season.

However, the latest report claims that they are now likely to maintain this tournament in the season end.

ISL team FC Goa won the 2019 Hero Super Cup after beating another ISL side Chennaiyin FC in the final (2-1). Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC won the inaugural edition (2018) of this tournament. In that edition, that ISL team beat the famous I-League club East Bengal in final by 4-1.

ISL: Mumbai, Bengaluru play intense draw

Bengaluru, Dec 9: Bengaluru FC failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage as they were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-men Mumbai City FC in an engrossing Indian Super League battle at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.

In an end-to-end affair till the last minute, Udanta Singh gave Bengaluru the lead in the 23rd minute. Modou Sougou equalized in the 31st minute and the teams could not be separated for the remainder of the match as Bengaluru maintained their unbeaten record and Mumbai took their unbeaten streak to seven matches.

The point preserves Bengaluru’s three-point advantage at the top while Mumbai City are second with 21 points.

Sunil Chhetri’s vision to thread a through-ball into the box to pick out a clever run by Chencho Gyeltshen almost resulted in the hosts taking an early lead in the sixth minute.

The Bhutanese forward latched on to his captain’s pass but drove a low shot across the face of goal that failed to test Mumbai custodian Amrinder Singh.

The hosts’ intent in the final third helped them take the lead in the 23rd minute. Chencho Gyeltshen played a through ball to release Rahul Bheke into space down the left flank.

The full-back’s cross found Udanta Singh perfectly positioned in the centre of the box and the Indian winger managed to beat the tall figure of Lucian Goian to a header into the net.

Mumbai City attempted to punish the home side’s high line and Modou Sougou was tasked with exploiting the space behind the Bengaluru backline.

After three offside calls, Sougou’s persistence paid off in the 31st minute. Arnold Issoko dribbled infield from the right flank and played a delightful cross into the centre for the Senegalese striker whose diving header left Gurpreet Singh rooted to the spot.

Gurpreet was troubled again in the 36th minute when Issoko produced another brilliant ball towards the far post. Nishu Kumar lost track of Rafael Bastos but the striker’s header was well kept out by the Indian goalkeeper.

Bengaluru were in the ascendancy soon after the break. Substitute Xisco Hernandez found Sunil Chhetri in space just outside the box in the 49th minute and the striker’s swerving strike that took a minor deflection off Goian forced an excellent finger-tip save from Amrinder Singh.

Mumbai were reduced to 10 men two minutes later. With the game on an equal footing, Sehnaj Singh’s foolhardy challenge on Dimas Delgado at the halfway line was punished with a second yellow.

But despite the numerical disadvantage, Mumbai kept on pushing and in the 64th minute, quick footwork helped Rafael Bastos get the better of Albert Serran near the byline and tease a cross towards the near post where Sougou’s header flew just wide.

The sending off did nothing to impact the pace of the game as both sides looked for a match-winning goal.

A scramble inside the box in the 73rd minute resulted in Xisco Hernandez finding the ball at his feet but the Spaniard’s shot was saved by Amrinder. Erik Paartalu’s header from the resulting corner-kick struck the crossbar and went out.

Despite frantic passages of play towards the end, there were no victors in what was a closely-fought tie.

Tim Cahill, ISL
Tim Cahill has joined ISL side, Jamshedpur FC. Image Courtesy: Getty

Australia Legend Tim Cahill Joins ISL Team Jamshedpur FC

Former Australia captain and country’s record goalscorer, Tim Cahill has joined Indian Super League (ISL) side, Jamshedpur FC.

Tim Cahill announced retirement from international football recently.

The 38-year old forward struggled to get playing time for Melbourne City in A-league. Then he moved to his former club, Millwall in last December. With career almost at the end, the forward has decided to try something new.

Cahill announced, on Sunday, he’s joining the ISL side, and he wants to help grow the game in India.

“I’m excited to announce that I’m signing for Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League. I’ve been really impressed in my conversations with the club by their professionalism and goals for what they want to achieve. I know I can help the team on and off the park with my leadership and experience. I want to help grow the game and encourage young kids to play football. I’m looking forward to beginning this next adventure, meeting my teammates at training camp in Madrid.”

Australian football legend Tim Cahill, ISL
Tim Cahill.

However, Jamshedpur FC still didn’t reveal the details of the contract. They are a side that was formed 14 months ago and joined the ISL, as part of its expansion to ten teams last season. They managed to become fifth in their maiden tournament.

Cahill is Australia’s record goalscorer with 50 goals under his belt. He played for the men in yellow for 14 years, and his career finally came to an end when he announced his retirement this year. At club level, he played for Premier League club, Everton, New York Red Bulls, Shanghai Shenhua and Melbourne City.

The former Aussie striker has also set his sights on coaching. He had recently undertaken studies for his UEFA B licence.

The fifth edition of the Indian Super League will begin on 29th September.


Chennaiyin rope in goalkeeping duo of Sanjiban, Nikhil

Chennai, June 7: Indian Super League holders Chennaiyin FC on Thursday announced the signing of goalkeepers Sanjiban Ghosh and Nikhil Bernard on a two-year and one-year deal respectively.

Sanjiban, 26, arrives on a free transfer after spending the 2017-18 season with Jamshedpur FC while 28-year-old Nikhil Bernard joins the two-time ISL champions following the expiry of his contract at I-League outfit Gokulam Kerala FC.

The duo joins the experienced and two-time ISL winning custodian Karanjit Singh, who had signed a two year deal in July 2017.

“Joining the ISL champions is a huge achievement for me. I would like to thank the Chennaiyin management for bringing me onboard.

I’m eagerly looking forward to joining the squad in pre-season and help the club retain the title,” said an excited Sanjiban, who deputized for Subrata Paul at Jamshedpur FC last season, making one appearance in the ISL.

Nikhil too is relishing the challenge and said: “I am very happy to join Chennaiyin FC. They are a fantastic club with a brilliant coach and management. I am really excited for this next chapter in my career.”

Head Coach John Gregory welcomed the arrivals, reiterating the importance of competition for places in the squad.

“Sanjiban and Nikhil are solid custodians with very good potential and attitude. It is going to be the biggest season in the club’s history as we are also going to be involved in the AFC Cup so healthy competition is required in each position including the goalkeeping department. I look forward to working with them,” Gregory said.

Sanjiban recently received a call-up to the 30-man preliminary India national squad for the four-nation Intercontinental Cup that got underway in Mumbai on June 1.

The Bengali shot-stopper started his career with local Kolkata club Southern Samity before playing in the I-League for Mumbai FC. In the ISL he was part of the Delhi Dynamos squad that reached the playoffs in the second and third editions.

He was Jamshedpur FC’s star in their penalty shootout victory over I-League champions Minerva Punjab in the Super Cup last season.

Bengaluru-born Nikhil started his career with local club HAL, for whom he played in both the National Football League and I-League. He then had a spell at Shillong’s Royal Wahingdoh and was instrumental in their third place finish in the 2014-15 I-League.

After short stints with Bengaluru FC and Ozone FC, Nikhil joined I-League newcomers Gokulam Kerala FC last season and made seven appearances for them in all competitions including a heroic display in the win over ISL outfit NorthEast United in the Super Cup.


MatchPreview: Goa, Jamshedpur face-off in playoff spot decider

Jamshedpur, March 3: FC Goa and Jamshedpur FC will clash in an all-important match which will decide the final playoff spot in the Indian Super League.

A draw will be enough for Goa since they are already a point ahead of the hosts. If they lose, then Steve Coppell’s side will seal a remarkable achievement in their first season at the JRD Tata Sports Complex here on Sunday.

“In a strange sort of way, I am happy that we have to win to go through because that way there is no doubt in our mind. If we would have been able to qualify with a draw, all of a sudden human nature means you try and protect what you have and I don’t think that really suits us,” Jamshedpur head coach Coppell said.

“The results midweek mean that we have only one goal in mind and we have only one way we can play. We simply have to win to qualify.”

The Englishman left no doubt that his team aim for victory. The previous fixture between the two sides ended 2-1 in favour of Goa at the Nehru Stadium at home.

“Do we need to get better in front of the goal? Obviously, that has been the case all season. More potential and more fire-power in front of the goal. It’s not the strikers’ fault, but the team’s responsibility to create chances and score goals and we have to correct that for tomorrow,” Coppell said.

Meanwhile, Goa are back in form, having scored nine goals in the last two matches, trouncing impressive FC Pune City 4-0 away before beating defending champions ATK 5-1 at home.

“I know a draw is enough for us but once we try and play for a draw, we end up losing the game. So we will do our best to try and win the match,” Goa head coach Sergio Lobera said. If Goa win, they can finish second due to their record against Pune City.

Goa have a few niggles but Lobera would not elaborate on which players were doubtful for the crunch match.

“They are a defensively well-structured team and comfortable with their style of play. They deserve to be in a situation where they can fight for the semifinals,” Lobera said about Jamshedpur.


Delhi knock out Mumbai from ISL

New Delhi, Feb 28: Delhi Dynamos continued to surprise everyone as they slayed Mumbai City FC 5-1 in an Indian Super League match that saw both teams being reduced to 10 men at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Tuesday.

This was Delhi’s second successive victory after the incredible 4-3 comeback against defending champions ATK. They have now remained unbeaten in their last five matches, winning three of them.

Had Delhi started in a similar fashion, they would have been today challenging for a place in the playoffs. Instead, they are now placed eighth with 18 points from 17 matches and can at best finish in the same position.

The defeat has knocked out Mumbai from the qualifying race. They are seventh with 23 points from 17 matches and with just one match left to be played, they can reach a maximum of 26 points.

Fourth-placed Jamshedpur FC already have 26 points, and since they play FC Goa (24 points) in their last league match, one of the team will have more points than Mumbai.

Mumbai’s loss also means Chennaiyin FC have now become the third team to qualify for the semi-finals with 29 points.

Delhi took the lead in the fifth minute through Nandhakumar Sekar and led 1-0 at the breather.

In the second session, Everton Santos equalised for Mumbai City in the 49th minute but what followed next was incredible.

Matias Mirabaje made it 2-1 in the 74th minute, then saw teammate Pratik Chowdhary get sent off for a double booking in the 77th minute.

Despite having a player sent off, Delhi increased their lead through Manuel Arana’s penalty in the 81st minute and also saw Mumbai midfielder Sahil Tavora being sent off for the tackle that led to the penalty.

With both teams reduced to 10 men, Delhi found their touch again and hammered two late goals through substitutes Kalu Uche (81st minute) and Lallianzuala Chhangte (90th minute).

Delhi are having an incredible run and they proved they have a quality bench strength too.

Coach Miguel Angel Portugal made six changes to the team that defeated ATK yet they started strongly and moved ahead in the fifth minute through Nandhakumar Sekar who was set beautifully inside the box by Seityasen Singh.

Mumbai capitalised on a poor collection from the Delhi goalkeeper as Santos got the equaliser in the second session.

They were in a strong position to surge ahead as Balwant Singh and substitute Leo Costa went incredibly close but once Mirabaje made it 2-1 with a thunderous strike from outside the box, there was no stopping Delhi Dynamos.

Arana won and converted a penalty in the 80th minute and then Kalu Uche and Lallianzuala Chhangte came off the bench to score perfect team goals as Delhi celebrated their most satisfying victory of the campaign.


ISL: Bengaluru defeat NorthEast to go top

Bengaluru, Jan 27: Bengaluru FC returned to the top of the Indian Super League table after a hard-fought 2-1 victory over NorthEast United at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Friday.

Spanish defender Juanan scored the opening goal to give BFC the lead before Marcinho equalised for the visitors from the spot.

But it was BFC skipper Sunil Chhetri who scored the winner to take BFC to the top again.

The victory means BFC are a point above Chennaiyin after the same number of games. The Blues have now won four of their last five matches.

Seminlen Doungel, still fresh from his hat-trick against Chennaiyin FC, tried to go for the spectacular when he went for a back-heeled effort early on.

He was in the thick of the action again, but this time his high-boot led to an innocuous looking free kick for Bengaluru.

Edu Garcia aimed straight for the danger area and Juanan somehow flicked it into the net to give the home side the lead. They almost doubled their lead but Chhetri’s low effort was saved by the goalkeeper’s foot and then a well-worked free kick was easily defended by NorthEast.

The two chances came immediately after BFC had taken the lead and could have really hurt the visitors. Lenny Rodriguez then set up Garcia with one of the passes of the league but the finish was very poor and didn’t do justice to the precise pass.

Juanan had another shy on goal with a header but this time it was just wide. Then Bengaluru gave away a penalty and allowed NorthEast to score completely against the run of play.

It was a soft penalty where Subhasish Bose’s arm struck the ball after a sliding tackle. Marcinho blasted the penalty past Gurpreet Singh. The second-half saw Garcia get another chance – but he made things difficult for himself and his attempt to curl the ball into the net went begging.

Minutes later, a cross from Harmanjot Khabra eventually bounced at an odd angle for Chhetri, but he brilliantly scored at the far post – an impeccable finish. Doungel and Cezario were then through on goal with a fine combination but somehow didn’t even hit the target.

Most of the final quarter of an hour was about substitutions and a flurry of yellow cards.

Until the 81st minute, when Nirmal Chhetri found John Mosquero who’s header went over. NorthEast was creating half chances, but not finishing them.

They would regret that – as the whistle soon went off after the last highlight of the match – when NorthEast could only force a sharp save from Gurpreet.


Bengaluru FC partners with Boost

Bengaluru, Jan 17: Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC have partnered with health food drinks brand Boost to develop grassroots football in Bengaluru, the city-based football club announced on Tuesday.

The association also marks Boost’s coming on board with BFC as the club’s ‘official energy partner’, it was announced by Bengaluru FC COO Mustafa Ghouse. Vikram Bahl, Area Marketing, Lead, of Boost’s parent company GSK Consumer Healthcare was also present at the event.

Bengaluru will kick-off the partnership with the Boost-BFC Inter-School Soccer Shield — a flagship event of the club that enters its third edition.

The tournament will feature 60 school teams across the U10, U12 and U14 age groups and will be held at the Bangalore Football Stadium, from January 23.

While the tournament will be the anchor of the association, it also includes several development initiatives like the coach education program where coaches from participating teams are handed the opportunity to take part in the AIFF ‘D’ and AFC ‘C’ licence courses, which will be conducted in the city for the first time.

This apart, the association includes seminars educating the children and parents on various aspects of the sport like nutrition and psychology, along with a referee education programme in a bid to cover all aspects of the game.


Delhi play 2-2 draw with Chennaiyin FC in ISL tie

Chennai, Jan8: A goal seconds before end of regulation time by substitute Guyon Fernandez earned Delhi Dynamos a 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League encounter at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai here on Sunday.

The draw ended Delhi’s woeful six match losing streak. They are still rooted to the foot of the table with four points from eight matches while Chennaiyin FC are now right at the top with 17 points from nine matches.

Chennaiyin FC looked set to take all three points from the game and secure the top spot, thanks to a brace by Jeje Lalpekhlua.

But a lapse in concentration in the dying moments of the game cost John Gregory’s men two important points after David Ngaihte had given the visitors the lead.

Delhi Dynamos started the game on the front foot. Miguel Portugal’s men dominated possession and had the home side cornered for much of the early part of the game.

The pressure came to tell in the 24th minute when David Ngaihte gave Delhi the lead. Fullback, Nandhakumar Sekar put in a delightful ball for Ngaihte in the box and his header flew past Chennaiyin goalkeeper Karanjit Singh.

Jeje Lalpekhlua equalised for the home side late in the first half. A free-kick from almost the halfway line into Delhi Dynamos box found its way to Lalpekhlua who put his header past the keeper.

Having lost their lead, Delhi responded well. Karanjit Singh had to make a couple of quick saves to stop Delhi from regaining the lead just before the referee decided to blow the whistle for halftime.

After having being outplayed for much of the first half, Chennayin improved their game in the second half and deservedly took the lead.

In the 52nd minute, Germanpreet Singh’s pass found Lalpekhlua inside the box. The striker turned beautifully to get past his man and fired his shot in the top right corner of Xabier Iruetaguena’s goal to send the home supporters into a frenzy.

The goal took the wind out of the visitors and Chennaiyin FC took control of the game. The home side had better chances to increase their lead but failed to make them count. It cost them dearly in the end.

Fernandez, who had come on as a substitute for Lallianzuala Chhangte, made the home side pay. A deep cross from Jeroen Lumu found Kalu Uche inside the box, who cushioned his header for unmarked Fernandez, who in turn tapped the ball home to give his side a much-needed point.

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