I-League: Gokulam scores comprehensive win against Aizawl
It may have come a bit late in the day, but Gokulam Kerala produced one of its finest shows of the season on Saturday. Gokulam, the champion of the I-League for the last two seasons, defeated Aizawl FC 3-0.
For a side that has struggled to score, the big margin should be a relief. With the win, Gokulam has reduced the gap with the two leaders, Sreenidi Deccan and RoundGlass Punjab.
Those sides are on 40 points, while Gokulam has 33. Gokulam should thank P.N. Noufal for the three points against Aizawl. His name wasn’t on the scorers’ list, but he was a constant menace on the right wing for the Mizoram club and he set up Gokulam’s first two goals, netted by Rahul Raju and Sergio Mendigutxia. Substitute Jijo Joseph scored the other goal, right at the end off an assist from another substitute, Joby Justin.
After squandering a few chances, Gokulam opened the scoring with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. A long ball from Farshad Nood found Noufal, who beat the defence before a superb pass back to Rahul.
Another fine assist, early in the second half, was driven hard into the net by Mendigutxia to make the score 2-0.
The result: Gokulam Kerala 3 (Rahul Raju 35, Sergio Mendigutxia 57, Jijo Joseph 90) bt Aizawl FC 0
Indian junior women’s hockey team holds South Africa ‘A’ to a 4-4 draw
The Indian junior women’s hockey team rallied to hold South Africa ‘A’ to a 4-4 draw and remain unbeaten on its tour of the Rainbow Nation.
Friday night’s game was the visitors’ first of the tour against the South Africa ‘A’ team.
Prior to this, the Indian side defeated South Africa’s U-21 team in all three matches.
The ongoing South Africa tour is part of the team’s preparations for the Asia Cup U-21, which serves as a qualifier for the upcoming FIH Women’s Junior World Cup.
The match began with Quanita Bobbs (1’, 31’) and Biamca Wood (6’) taking an early lead against the Indians but quick replies from Neelam (7’) and Deepika Sr. (8’, 30+’) restored parity before Taranpreet Kaur (25’) and Deepika scored to put the Indian team in a commanding position.
The lead was squandered in the second half through goals from Quanita Bobbs and Tarryn Lombard, paving the way for a stalemate.
The Indians are slated to play their next match against South Africa ‘A’ later Saturday.
It’s Maharashtra vs MP in women’s national hockey final
Maharashtra overcame Haryana 2-1 in a penalty shootout, while Madhya Pradesh blanked Jharkhand 2-0 to set up a summit clash in the 13th Senior Women’s National Hockey Championship here on Saturday.
Haryana took the lead after Devika Sen (18’) converted her penalty corner.
In response, Player of the Match Bhavana Khade (43’) scored the equaliser for Maharashtra, leaving the game tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
H Lalruatfeli and Akansha Singh scored in the shootout to secure Maharashtra’s place in the final.
In the other semifinal, Karishma Singh (56’) and Diksha Tiwari (58’) stepped up in the closing minutes to ensure Madhya Pradesh’s passage to the final.
Maharashtra and MP will fight it out in the final on Sunday, which will be preceded by the third-place playoff match between Haryana and Jharkhand.
Ankit Gulia claims bronze medal
Greco-Roman wrestler Ankit Gulia (72kg) claimed a bronze medal in the Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series in Alexandria, Egypt.
Ankit, who lost 9-0 to Georgian Otar Abuladze, beat Nurzhigit Keneshbek Uulu of Kyrgyzstan 9-0 in the repechage round.
The Indian benefitted when Iranian 67kg Olympic champion Mohammadreza Abdolhamid Geraei withdrew from the bronze medal match due to an injury.
Jeevan-Balaji pair loses to top seeds in Marseille semifinal
N. Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan were beaten by the top seeds, Santiago Gonzalez and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 4-6, 7-5, [10-7] in the doubles semifinals of the ATP250 tournament in Marseille, France, on Saturday.
The Indian pair collected 90 ATP points and €11,730.
- Team Sportstar
Sub-junior Nationals: Assam, TN enter under-15 boys final
Assam and Tamil Nadu entered the under-15 boys inter-State team final of the UTT 84th National sub-junior table tennis championships at the YMCA’s N.C. John Memorial Arena in Alappuzha.
Assam thrashed Maharashtra 3-0 to book its maiden berth in the final while Tamil Nadu edged past West Bengal 3-2.
- Stan Rayan
Rowers Salman, Dattu enter finals
Army rower Salman Khan and the returning Dattu Bhokanal of Maharashtra produced brilliant performances to reach the finals of the men’s single sculls event in the 24th Open Sprint Nationals here on Saturday.
Haryana-born Salman, standing tall at 6 feet 5 inches, pushed out a 1 minute 36.8 seconds effort to cut short Satnam Singh’s (1:40.8s) run over the 500-metre sprint in the first semifinal.
In the second semifinal, Dattu registered the best timing of the two semifinals clocking 1:31.7s to give Maharashtra hope on Sunday. Dattu pushed aside the challenge of Tokyo Olympian Arvind Singh (Services) who managed 1:32.7s to set up an interesting final that will determine the fastest of the meet.
In the women’s section, Kerala, Manipur and Haryana occupied places in three finals each to make it an open section.