first_imgMohun Bagan were held 1-1 by newbiew Indian Arrows in a historic match at the Maidan ground in Kolkata in their I-League fixture on Friday.Mohun Bagan played their first-ever I-League fixture in their own club ground after they were being forced to play at the Barasat Stadium owing to the unavailibity of the Salt Lake Stadium due to ISL.Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka scored off a penalty in the 27th minute only for Rahul KP to equalise for the Arrows just six minutes later.Arrows captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam was sent off as early as the 65th minute of the match but Mohun Bagan failed to make anything out of the numerical advantage they had.Eze Kingsley made his comeback from a one-game suspension as Rana Gharami, who won the ‘Hero of the Match’ award in the goalless draw with NEROCA, was relegated to the bench. Sony Norde could only sit in the director’s box owing to his prolonged injury as Nikhil Kadam got another start of the season.ALSO WATCHFor the Indian Arrows, overjoyed with their 3-0 win over Shillong Lajong, Luis Norton de Matos made two changes to his lineup. After his wondrous goal, Nongdamba Naorem forced his way into the first eleven. Rahul KP replaced Abhijit Sarkar on the flank with local boy Rahim Ali leading the line.Right after the historic kickoff on the iconic Maidan ground, it was actually the youngsters who pressed hard despite the stiff resistance and the poor ground conditions. The hosts had two chances in the first twenty minutes which Ansumana Kromah failed to convert, the latter which he missed inside the box with only the keeper to beat.advertisementHowever, the deadlock was broken by the Green and Maroon, only through a spot-kick. Nikhil Kadam was brought down by Ashish Rai inside the box in the 25th minute and Aser Pierrick Dipanda converted duly.But, that was ruled out as a Mohun Bagan player had entered the box prematurely. The Cameroonian made no mistake on the second chance as the crowd was sent into a tizzy.While Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Jeakson Singh made life tough from the centre of the park, Mohun Bagan looked out of shape and were not able to exert themselves on the teenagers.Past the half-hour mark, Sanjeev Stalin released Rahim Ali on the left flank as the West Bengal-based forward beat Kinshuk Debnath for pace and Rahul Kannoly Praveen, who had changed flanks by then rushed in between the towering Eze Kingsley and Ricky Lallawmamwma to tap in home.Sanjoy Sen held his cards close to his chests as he made no further changes despite his players failing to impress. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem had to make a double save in the dying moments of the first half as the Arrows held on.As Nongdamba Naorem was stretchered off owing to an injury, Ninthoinganba Meetei was brought on and skipper Amarjit Singh Kiyam was given his marching orders for two yellow cards within fifteen minutes.Mohun Bagan looked listless and could not go anywhere near the opposition box to put them in danger. Second half substitute Manandeep Singh’s freak bicycle kick outside the box landed his studs on young Asish Rai and the fullback had to be taken off to the hospital as the Indian Arrows bench feared a concussion.last_img read more

first_imgATHENS (AP) – Alaixys Romao scored in stoppage time to complete a turnaround for Olympiakos against Rijeka.Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe had scored an emphatic equalizer in the 66th minute to cancel out Heber’s first-half opener for Rijeka.But the Croatian side went down to 10 men when Leonard Zhuta was shown a second yellow card seven minutes from time.And Romao hooked in the winner from close range for Olympiakos, which had also hit the bar moments earlier.Napoli beats 9-man Nice 2-0, closes in on Champions LeagueDries Mertens started this season where he left off the last, setting Napoli on its way to a 2-0 win over nine-man Nice in the first leg of their Champions League playoff on Wednesday.Mertens scored more than 30 goals last season for Napoli, with five of them in the Champions League. And it took the Belgium international less than 13 minutes to open his account for this campaign.Mertens sprung the offside trap to race onto a through-ball, take it past onrushing goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale and slot it into the empty net.The 30-year-old forward was instrumental in Napoli’s second, winning a penalty when he was tripped by Christophe Jallet just inside the area. Jorginho converted the spot-kick in the 70th minute.“Today was a very important match, we told ourselves that. The team played well and gave everything,” Mertens said. “But I think 2-0 is too little. It’s not bad, but if we watch the match again I think it’s too little looking at our performance.”Nice’s night went from bad to worse 12 minutes from time when midfielder Vincent Koziello was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski and teammate Alassane Plea followed him off the pitch after receiving a second yellow for dissent.“We could have avoided the two red cards, but it’s a bit harsh,” Nice coach Lucien Favre said. “It’s regrettable to finish with nine men, but what’s good is that we kept the scoreline the same because at 3-0 down we would have been done for. While now, there’s still hope.”Nice struggled to create anything without injured duo Mario Balotelli and Wesley Sneijder, who both used to play in Italy. The French side will hope to have them back for the second leg on Tuesday.A look at the other playoff first legs:___CELTIC 5, ASTANA 0Celtic will be confident of reaching the group stage for a second successive season after recording the biggest margin of victory for a home side in a Champions League play-off match.The Scottish side knocked Astana out in the third qualifying round last season 3-2 on aggregate and only a remarkable turnaround in Kazakhstan will prevent a repeat.Astana defender Evgeni Postnikov turned Tom Rogic’s strike into his own net shortly after the half hour and Scott Sinclair doubled Celtic’s lead just before halftime.Sinclair scored his second on the hour and further goals from James Forrest and Leigh Griffiths sealed a comfortable victory.___ISTANBUL BASAKSEHIR 1, SEVILLA 2Champions League newcomer Istanbul Basaksehir faces a tough task to reach the group stage after allowing Sevilla two away goals.Under a torrential downpour, Sergio Escudero opened the scoring for the Spanish side in the 16th minute with a low shot into the bottom far corner.Eljero Elia leveled shortly after the hour mark, but Wissam Ben Yedder secured the win six minutes from time.Sevilla reached the round of 16 last season, but lost 3-2 on aggregate to Leicester.___HAPOEL BEER-SHEVA 2, MARIBOR 1There was an early scare for Beer-Sheva in its bid for a first appearance in the group stage.Marcos Tavares took advantage of a defensive error to fire Maribor ahead in the 10th minute, but Anthony Nwakaeme equalized two minutes later with a spectacular volley into the roof of the net.Shir Tzedek converted a penalty in first-half stoppage time to put the home side ahead after Maor Melikson was fouled by Blaz Vrhovec.DANIELLA MATAR, Associated PressTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more