Zadran, Nabi warned for breaching code of conduct


Zadran, Nabi warned for breaching code of conduct

Cricbuzz Staff • Last updated on Mon, 03 Apr, 2017, 01:18 AM

Dawlat Zadran was warned for throwing the ball at the Ireland batsman even when the latter wasn’t going for a run © Getty

Pacer Dawlat Zadran and all-rounder Mohammad Nabi have been warned for breaching the ICC Code of Conduct in two separate incidents during Afghanistan’s 172-run win over Ireland in the ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Greater Noida last week.

Nabi, who had appealed and celebrated while taking a catch off Andy Balbirne, was found guilty of ‘conduct contrary to the spirit of the game’ as he had clearly grassed the chance. He was handed one demerit point.

Dawlat, on the other hand, was found guilty after he fired a throw at Ireland’s No 11 batsman Peter Chase even as the latter wasn’t looking for a run. The ball hit the batsman, who was at the crease.

Both players accepted the sanctions proposed by the match referee Graeme La Brooy and no formal hearing was needed.

Four demerit points results in a suspension point. Thereafter, two suspension points against a player’s name results in a ban from either an ICC Intercontinental Cup match, two One-Day Internationals or two Twenty20 Internationals, depending on whichever comes first.

© Cricbuzz



Squads win titles says Luis Enrique as Barcelona win without Lionel Messi

After 4-1 win over Granada, Barcelona trail Real Madrid by two points. After 4-1 win over Granada, Barcelona trail Real Madrid by two points.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique paid tribute to his squad’s strength in depth after they won 4-1 at Granada on Sunday without suspended talisman and La Liga top scorer Lionel Messi to stay on the heels leaders Real Madrid.

The coach rested centre backs Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti and started without captain Andres Iniesta but Barca claimed the points thanks to a tremendous display from Luis Suarez and an impressive showing by little-used striker Paco Alcacer.

“We would obviously like to have every player available all the time but it’s great when you can make up for absent players with the type of squad we have, because it is squads that win you trophies”, Luis Enrique told reporters.

“These games after international breaks are always special and a bit harder but we produced a solid performance from the start. The game became complicated with their equaliser in their only chance of the game but we managed to turn it around quickly and get a big scoreline which I think is a fair result.”

Alcacer was thrown on early after Rafinha was forced off with a knee injury and the former Valencia striker restored Barca’s lead in the second half and laid on the pass for Neymar to complete the scoring and net his 100th goal for the club.

“I’m very happy with Paco, you have to praise his attitude throughout the season as he’s always been at the team’s disposition,” added the Barcelona coach.

“He was superb today, participating in two of the goals as well as scoring one and he was a constant danger for Granada.”

Barca trail Real by two points but will have the chance to climb above their rivals when they visit the Santiago Bernabeu on April 23. Zinedine Zidane’s side have a game in hand.

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Napoli hold Juventus to 1-1 draw amid jeers for Gonzalo Higuain

Higuain, who has not scored in five matches, was largely anonymous. (Source: Reuters) Higuain, who has not scored in five matches, was largely anonymous. (Source: Reuters)

Gonzalo Higuain’s every touch was greeted with whistles and jeers by his former fans but the Argentina forward had little impact as Juventus could only draw 1-1 at Napoli in Serie A on Sunday.

It was Higuain’s first time back at Napoli since his move to bitter rival Juventus for an Italian-record 90 million euros ($100 million) after scoring 36 goals last season to break a 66-year-old Serie A record.

Higuain, who has not scored in five matches, was largely anonymous.

“Higuain had a good game, I’m happy with him,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. “He should be grateful to Napoli for what it gave him and Napoli should be grateful to him for what he did.”

Thousands of blue whistles had been handed out before the match and they were used often by Napoli supporters to vent their hatred toward their former hero.

They will have another opportunity on Wednesday, when the two teams meet again in the second leg of their Italian Cup semifinal, which Juventus leads 3-1.

League leader Juventus moved six points clear of Roma. Napoli remained third, 10 points below the Bianconeri.

“When a team plays like Napoli did tonight, a coach can go home with all sorts of emotions apart from disappointment,” Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri said. “Never in Italy have we seen Juventus in such difficulty.”

It took Juventus less than seven minutes to take the lead when Sami Khedira played a one-two with Miralem Pjanic and slotted past Napoli goalkeeper Rafael, who was standing in for the injured Pepe Reina.

Napoli dominated but Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne sent efforts wide, while Dries Mertens fired straight at Gianluigi Buffon.

Jose Callejon had the ball in the back of the net in the 56th but it was ruled out for offside.

Napoli’s pressure paid off four minutes later as Mertens played in a delightful through ball which Hamsik curled into the top right corner.

Napoli almost doubled its tally four minutes later as Mertens ran onto a woeful back pass from Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah but his effort came off the right post.


Even the best players make mistakes.

Teenage goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has been earning plaudits _ and points for AC Milan _ with fantastic performances this season. Not on Sunday when he gifted Pescara the opening goal.

Gabriel Paletta’s back pass seemed innocuous enough but it bounced over Donnarumma’s foot and into the back of the net in the 12th minute. It went down as the Milan defender’s own goal but exposed Donnarumma’s weakness with his feet.

“They’re mistakes that can happen,” Milan coach Vincenzo Montella said. “He has to remain calm and serene as he showed himself to be during the match. If we had won, we would have laughed about it.”

The 18-year-old `keeper had recovered from his error when he batted away a cross off the head of Jean-Cristophe Bahebeck at full stretch on the half-hour.

Milan leveled four minutes from the break. Gerard Deulofeu went on a rapid counterattack and his effort was parried by Pescara goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo. After a couple of deflections the ball fell to Mario Pasalic, who equalized with an impressive swiveling volley.

The visitors almost snatched all three points but Alessio Romagnoli’s header came off the post.

Milan remained seventh, one point off Inter Milan and the last qualifying spot for the Europa League. Inter hosts Sampdoria on Monday and the two Milan teams face off in the derby on April 15.


Alejandro Gomez netted a hat trick as Atalanta kept up its push for a European spot with a comfortable win at 10-man Genoa.

Genoa forward Mauricio Pinilla, who is on loan from Atalanta, was sent off on the hour for two quick bookings _ the first for a tackle on visiting goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and the second for his protests.

Atalanta moved fifth, two points behind Lazio and six behind Napoli.

Andrea Belotti kept up his bid to finish as the league’s top goal scorer as Torino fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Udinese.

Belotti, who also had a goal ruled out for offside, netted his 23rd goal of the season on his 100th Serie A appearance, moving him level with Edin Dzeko at the top of the scoring charts.

Palermo lost 3-1 at home to Cagliari in a match which saw Han Kwang-Song become the first North Korean to play in Serie A after the 18-year-old Cagliari forward replaced Marco Sau four minutes from time.

Khouma Babacar scored minutes after coming off the bench to help Fiorentina to a 1-0 win over Bologna and leave it three points behind Milan.

Crotone won 2-1 at Chievo Verona to keep its faint hopes of avoiding relegation alive. It moved five points below 17th-placed Empoli and safety.

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Arsenal held 2-2 by Manchester City as Arsene Wenger’s troubles persist

Arsenal now have 51 points and are in danger of missing out on a top-four finish for the first time since 1996. Arsenal now have 51 points and are in danger of missing out on a top-four finish for the first time since 1996.

Arsenal twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Manchester City in a tense Premier League encounter on Sunday and stay seven points behind the fourth-placed visitors.

Against a background of fan discontent over the form of Arsene Wenger’s side as he decides his future, Arsenal were nervy from the start and fell behind in the fifth minute when Leroy Sane rounded keeper David Ospina and finished elegantly.

Theo Walcott levelled from close range in the 40th minute at the Emirates Stadium as City lost their intensity, but Sergio Aguero restored the visitors’ lead two minutes later after being picked out by David Silva before finishing with aplomb.

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi again restored parity eight minutes after the break when he rose above Nicolas Otamendi to head Mesut Ozil’s corner past keeper Willy Caballero, but both neither side could find a winner.

The draw takes City, who visit Chelsea on Wednesday, on to 58 points, five clear of fifth-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand, and a point behind Liverpool, who have played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s side.

Arsenal, in sixth, now have 51 points and are in danger of missing out on a top-four finish for the first time since 1996. They will bid to end a three-game winless streak in the Premier League when they host West Ham United on Wednesday.

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India Open Super Series 2017: PV Sindhu crowned Miss India 2017, beats Carolina Marin in final

PV Sindhu beat Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-16 in the final to record her fourth win over the Spaniard in nine matches. PTI PV Sindhu beat Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-16 in the final to record her fourth win over the Spaniard in nine matches. PTI

This will not quite make up for the disappointment of the Rio Olympics final, but will do nicely for now. PV Sindhu was threatening to take over the mantle of India’s shuttle queen for some time now, and over this week, under the most intense pressure, on home turf, the tall girl from Hyderabad ticked all the boxes. In the quarterfinal, she prevailed over Saina Nehwal, who strode like a colossus in Indian badminton for a decade, and on Sunday, put it across her Rio tormentor Carolina Marin — both in straight games.

The baton was well and truly passed on when Marin’s smash hit the net for a 21-19, 21-16 verdict. It is only Sindhu’s second Super Series title, after the China Open triumph late last year, but coming at the beginning of the year with several big tournaments to come, it is one of her most significant triumphs. There were four other finals at the Yonex-Sunrise India Open on Sunday, but there was no doubt for whom the Siri Fort Sports Complex was bursting at the seams. Every available vantage point was taken, with the organisers too catching the mood. A dancing troupe performed on the court with ‘Jai Ho’ blaring from the public address system.

With such a frenzy cultivated, defeat was not an option. And Sindhu did not disappoint. Even the announcement of the arrival of sports minister Vijay Goel at a critical juncture in the match did not distract her. The significance of the occasion could be gauged from the fact that chief national coach Pullela Gopichand was sitting right behind his protégé, along with the specialist singles coach Indonesian Mulyo Handoyo, for the only time in the tournament.

Despite beating Sindhu in the gold medal match in Rio, Marin enjoys great support in India. She was cheered throughout the week, but as Sindhu arrived on court for the final, the noise almost brought the roof down. Both players knew what was at stake. For Sindhu, a chance to become the leading light in contemporary Indian badminton, and for Marin, who has fallen off the pace in recent times, an opportunity to clinch her first title since the Olympics.

Both shuttlers felt the pressure in the early going, but it was Sindhu who was dictating play. She was the more aggressive player on court, with hard smashes at Marin’s body, drives into the corners and deft net play complemented by panther-like speed while going for the kill. The crowd was living every moment of the 47-minute contest. Whenever Marin succeeded in stringing a few points together, one could sense an anxiety in the stands. A Sindhu point, subsequently, brought out a roar of relief.

The first game was a nip-and-tuck affair. After Marin ate into an early 6-1 lead Sindhu had, there were never more than three points between them. Most points were being decided by errors. The Spaniard caught up at 17-all and even led 19-18. It is there that the match turned. Sindhu restored parity with a kill at the net after a smash. Marin helped her out when, out of anxiety, she hit her own kill wide. A smash at the body sealed the opener, prompting a big fist pump.

Sindhu kept her foot on the pedal at the start of the second game, running up a 4-0 lead in the blink of an eye. Though Marin continued to eat into the margin, she could never get back on level terms thereafter.

Mind games

The two are good friends off court, and even shared some relaxed moments after the match. It did not prevent them, however, from indulging in some mind games on court. Both players were taking their time between points, wandering around the court, and were spoken to by the chair umpire on more than one occasion. For such a significant victory of her career, it was quite an understated celebration from Sindhu. She raised her arms, turned to all corners of the arena, before running towards ‘Gopi sir.’ It, maybe, shows her growing confidence and maturity as she knows it should be the start of bigger things to come.

“It is a very important Super Series tournament, at home and at the start of the year. I was fighting for every point and am very happy at how I played throughout the tournament,” the Indian star said. Marin was left to rue mistakes at crucial stages of the final, but was impressed with the improvement in Sindhu’s game since Rio. “Errors at the end of the first game hurt me badly. I played well here, but every player is improving by the day, and it is small things that make the difference.” The Spaniard is confident her title drought will end soon. “I am getting better after injury. The confidence is coming back and I am motivated to keep fighting hard,” the Olympic champion said.

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North Carolina seals out Oregon in final seconds to get back to national title game

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The only guy who should think make, Roy Williams says, is the guy shooting the free throw. It is one of the North Carolina coach’s less folksy and far more esoterically practical axioms. He is obsessed with rebounding to a greater degree than many of his peers, yes. But to create a specific teaching point on the thought process of watching a player flip an unguarded standstill shot at the rim …well, that borders on the fanatical. But then comes a night like Saturday, which very much started to feel like a torturous Monday from one year ago. And you realize there is one surefire way to prevent your heart from getting ripped out of your chest: Make sure the other guys don’t even get their hands on it.

North Carolina will play for a national championship for a second straight year, earning the right as 7776 winners over Oregon and survivors of a Final Four basketball game that felt like a long, slow drag through a dense patch of cacti. The end fit the simmering torture that preceded it, both present and past: At the close of an evening full of choppy offense and interminable fouling, the Tar Heels missed four straight free throws in the final 5.8 seconds and still the Ducks couldn’t even muster a chance to win. The best offensive rebounding team in the country (grabbing 41.7% of available offensive boards) secured two more and squeezed Oregon out of the tournament without a last shot to stay in it.

And, as such, the program scarred last April by Villanova’s last-second dash down the floor and the epic, buzzer-beating, title-winning bomb it produced avoided that nightmare choreography again, less than 12 months later. “Not a lot of teams get another shot at it,” Tar Heels forward Theo Pinson said. “Just the way that game ended, for us to finish and dig in and find a way to win-we’ve been through everything now.”

They surely must feel as though they’ve seen everything now, anyway. Normally efficient, occasionally elegant North Carolina won a Final Four game in which it hit a mere 36.8% of its attempts from the field, committed 22 fouls and recorded just three fast-break points. Generously, it could be said the Tar Heels grinded one out and showed some mettle while doing so. Or it could be said this was a sleepy and flat showing from both sides, and that the victors were more or less saved by the guy they dashed on to the raised floor to hug at the very end. Conveniently, Kennedy Meeks provides a lot to hold on to. Saturday night was no different.

The densely packed 6’10”, 260-pound senior scored 25 points on 11-of-13 shooting while also grabbing 14 rebounds in 30 minutes, undoing Oregon’s most significant advantage on its way to University of Phoenix Stadium: 6’9″ junior Jordan Bell tormenting less substantial frontlines. Meeks and Justin Jackson (22 points) represented the extent of the Tar Heels’ offensive hopes for the night. Meeks had accrued just 12 points, total, in the last two NCAA tournament games, but Williams advised him that the national semifinal would be “a man’s game,” as the senior recalled. He responded accordingly. “Of course you always want to be aggressive every game,” Meeks said. “But when things aren’t going your way, you have to figure something else out. Kentucky did a great job of trying to front me in the post [in the Elite Eight] and having another guy in the middle of the lane, so that wasn’t my scoring night. Tonight, you had these opportunities in front of you. It just fell in my favor.”

Still, the decisive sequence of an uneven evening revolved around what people didn’t do, which figured. With 5.8 seconds remaining, Meeks stepped to the line after snaring a defensive board and taking a foul from Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey. The 63% free throw shooter left his first attempt decidedly short. It was a cue for Pinson, who was positioned on the left side of the lane, to take an aggressive line when Meeks’ next attempt was in the air.

And it, too, missed. But Bell didn’t so much as brush Pinson with a box-out. So Pinson leapt and reached and batted the ball back out to the top and into the waiting hands of Tar Heels point guard Joel Berry II. “Jordan just stepped, he didn’t make contact,” Pinson said. “Got a hand on it. I guess he underestimated my bounce.”


Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson lead North Carolina past Oregon

North Carolina is back. Back to where it was a year ago. Back to the doorstep of a national championship. Barely.

The Tar Heels let a double-digit lead dwindle to one in the final 10 seconds of Saturday’s national semifinal against Oregon, but they held on for a 77-76 victory to secure a Monday date with Gonzaga.

They advanced on the backs of Kennedy Meeks and Justin Jackson, two upperclassmen who were here last year, and two upperclassmen who seized the stage of the Final Four. Meeks had 25 points, and sealed the win with a monstrous offensive rebound, his eighth of the game, on a missed free throw with only a few seconds left. His teammates mobbed him at the final horn.

“If it wasn’t for Kennedy Meeks, we wouldn’t have been in the basketball game,” North Carolina head coach Roy Williams told CBS after the game.

Meeks had 14 rebounds overall, and the Tar Heels had 19 second-chance points. They were the difference in the game. Many of them came from Meeks, who bullied an undersized Oregon front line all night.

Jackson also excelled in the second half, and helped North Carolina pull away before the Ducks stormed back to make things tight late. Jackson poured in 22 points, and with Joel Berry struggling, perhaps hampered by the ankle injury he sustained in the Elite Eight against Kentucky, all 22 of them were necessary.

Every single one of North Carolina’s 17 offensive rebounds was necessary, too — especially the final two. Meeks went to the line with six seconds remaining, and missed two free throws, but Jordan Bell failed to box out Theo Pinson, and Pinson’s back-tap eluded the Ducks. Berry also missed both of his free throws after he was fouled with three seconds remaining, but Meeks powered his way around Bell and sealed the win.

The two biggest rebounds of North Carolina’s season. #FinalFour #GoHeels — NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 2, 2017

The game at times turned into a track meet, but began with both teams out of sync. No Oregon player outside of Payton Pritchard and Bell made a field goal in the opening nine minutes. The Ducks turned the ball over seven times in those nine minutes, and coughed it up 16 times on the night.

Their offense was also hindered by the ineffectiveness of Dillon Brooks. To combat the potential mismatch that Brooks presented, North Carolina put power forward Isaiah Hicks on 6-foot-2 guard Dylan Ennis instead of on Brooks. Pinson and Jackson handled Brooks for much of the game, and held Oregon’s star to just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting.

Oregon did stay neck and neck with the Tar Heels early on, though, because North Carolina came out of the gates ice cold. It made only four of its first 18 shots, and was sputtering offensively despite pulling down five early offensive rebounds.

Isaiah Hicks, even with a smaller defender on him, started 0 for 5. Bell blocked two shots in the opening stages, and affected many more. Meeks was the only effective Tar Heel; he had 10 points and three offensive boards in the first 15 minutes.

Meeks’ ninth and 10th points cut Oregon’s lead to two, but with the UNC center out of the game, Oregon made a quick move. Ennis hit two 3-pointers from the corner, and suddenly Oregon was up eight. The sixth-year senior paced a balanced Ducks attack with eight points in the first half.

But North Carolina finally found its offense over the last four minutes of the half. After scoring 22 points in the first 16 minutes, it exploded for 17 and went into halftime with a three-point lead, 39-36. Nate Britt was the catalyst of one crucial sequence. The senior guard drilled a 3, contested one well on the other end, then ran a fast break and slipped a pass to Meeks for a layup that gave North Carolina the lead. Meeks led all scorers at halftime with 14.

The second half began as the first did: With Meeks, offensive rebounds and put-backs. The 260-pound senior beat Oregon to the boards twice, first for a tip-in and again for a tip-slam.

Nothing meek about this put-back! #FinalFour #GoHeels — NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) April 2, 2017

He scored a third time inside to give North Carolina a seven-point lead. It was Meeks’ ninth field goal of the game, and all nine came in the paint. He would finish 11-for-13.


Gonzaga, N Carolina feature beastly bigs in NCAA title game

Their pedigrees are different, but both teams are loaded with veterans. Both have some heft in the middle.

When Gonzaga meets North Carolina for the NCAA national championship on Monday night, it could be quite a brawl.

“They’re big just like us and they match up with us pretty well,” North Carolina’s Theo Pinson said. “Their guards are really good. We just got to play the game and execute.”

The centers are beastly.

Gonzaga (37-1) brings 7-foot-1, 300-pound Przemek Karnowski. He will have 3 inches and 40 pounds on the Tar Heels’ 6-10, 260-pound Kennedy Meeks, who may have had the best game of his career in Saturday night’s 77-76 win over Oregon.

Meeks matched his career high with 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, the last to preserve the victory after the last of North Carolina’s four missed free throws in the final 6 seconds.

“Kennedy, I thought, was awesome,” Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said. “I thought he controlled everything inside — 25 points, 14 rebounds, 11 of 13 (shooting).”

Karnowski will be a load, as he is with every opponent. He was one of the main reasons that Gonzaga regrouped after blowing a 14-point second half lead to beat South Carolina 77-73.

But the Zags also have 7-foot, 230-pound Zach Collins, whose 3-pointer gave Gonzaga the lead. Collins had 14 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots to help propel Gonzaga — in its first Final Four — into the title game.

“I’m really happy for him,” Karnowski said. “His work ethic is awesome. He’s been playing well for us the entire season. Whenever I go to the bench he gets in, and basically our team doesn’t drop a bit. So he’s been huge for us.”

North Carolina (32-7), the No. 1 seed in the South, will be seeking its fifth national title. Gonzaga, the No. 1 seed in the West, finally has made it after knocking on the door so many times under coach Mark Few.

“I’ve had some really, really tough teams,” Few said. “I’ve had some really close teams. I’ve had some teams that have been crazy efficient on the offensive end and ones that have been pretty darned good on the defensive end that probably didn’t get credit for it. These guys are all of that. All of it.”

North Carolina comes at opponents in waves, and Williams — in search of his third NCAA crown, has a veteran bunch. He starts two seniors and three juniors.

Both teams, coincidentally, scored 77 points in their rollicking semifinal wins in front of a crowd of 77,621 at University of Phoenix Stadium, the second-largest ever for a Final Four semifinal.

On the perimeter, North Carolina will have to deal with Nigel Williams-Goss, the big, athletic guard who sat out a year after transferring to Gonzaga from Washington.

Williams-Goss left the sputtering Huskies program for just this sort of opportunity.

“I feel blessed, blessed to be part of something so special,” he said. “The journey we’ve been on has just been unreal, and we just never stopped believing and we’ve had the utmost confidence in ourselves the entire season long.”

Gonzaga doesn’t generally get one-and-done elite stars, so it’s an experienced group, too — two seniors, two juniors and a redshirt sophomore.

In many ways it’s a throwback to those days when the best of the best would stick around in college for a little while.

And it’s a big leap for Gonzaga, a mid-major school with an enrollment of about 7,400 facing the big dogs from the ACC.

“I guess they were making comments that we were the most nervous team in the tournament,” Williams-Goss said. “And, you know, we just heard everything this year. We’ve heard the conference (West Coast), we’ve heard we haven’t played tight games, that we’re not tough, we’ve heard everything.”


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Katsumi Yusa, Sony Norde star as Mohun Bagan blank Bengaluru 3-0

Mohun Bagan now have 26 points from 13 games while Bengaluru FC have 18 from 14 matches. (Source: Express Photo) Mohun Bagan now have 26 points from 13 games while Bengaluru FC have 18 from 14 matches. (Source: Express Photo)

Katsumi Yusa struck a double while Darry Duffy scored once as Mohun Bagan hammered reigning champions Bengaluru FC 3-0 to revive their I-League title hopes in Kolkata on Saturday.

Captain Yusa was in his element as he slammed on both sides of the break, while Duffy struck in the 25th minute to hand the team its first win in four matches.

The 2014-15 champions are now four points shy of leaders Aizawl FC with a match in hand.

A day after he returned from Haiti following a long flight, Sony Norde assisted in all the three goals as the visitors, without India captain Sunil Chhetri, proved to be no match in their third game on the trot.

Mohun Bagan played out a goal-less draw in their away round against Bengaluru FC, and the two sides then met on March 14 in an AFC Cup group match, which the Mariners lost 1-2.

But the green and maroon looked a transformed side with Man of the Match Yusa stealing the show to secure their first win since February 18 when they defeated Shivajians 3-1.

There title aspiration in the I-League all but over, the defending champions started without their star forward Chhetri and midfielder Eugenson Lyngdoh and they had four players from U-22 squad.

Early on, Bengaluru FC had a few passes played on the left flank with CK Vineeth cutting through but Mohun Bagan defence put up a solid effort with Pritam Kotal thwarting his India teammate.

Mohun Bagan had their first opportunity in the sixth minute with Kotal setting up Duffy but the Scot’s mistimed header did not help their cause.

However, they did not have to wait long as Yusa utilised the room on the edge of the box after being set up by Norde and the captain’s grounded shot from right put Mohun Bagan ahead in the 14th minute.

A diving Amrinder Singh got some hands on to the ball but Yusa’s shot had the power to beat the Bengaluru custodian.

Duffy headed home a free-kick from Norde to double the Mariners’ lead inside half an hour, notching up his seventh goal of the ongoing I-League.

After the changeover, Yusa brilliantly placed the ball deceiving Nishu Kumar to complete their tally with a goal that was again set up by Norde, who won the ball and ran about 50 yards.

Mohuna Bagan now have 26 points from 13 games while Bengaluru FC have 18 from 14 matches.

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Hull City get relegation lifeline as Andrea Ranocchia downs West Ham United

West Ham are on 33 points and will hope to secure their first league victory since early February at Arsenal. (Source: Reuters) West Ham are on 33 points and will hope to secure their first league victory since early February at Arsenal. (Source: Reuters)

Hull City’s Andrea Ranocchia headed home a late winner as they beat West Ham United 2-1 at home on Saturday to boost their Premier League survival hopes and extend the visitors’ winless streak to six matches.

Ranocchia met a corner from substitute Kamil Grosicki and flicked his header past Darren Randolph in the 85th minute to take 18th-placed Hull up to 27 points, provisionally level with Swansea City in 17th, ahead of the Welsh side’s home game against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

West Ham striker Andy Carroll opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Hull centre back Curtis Davies misjudged Aaron Cresswell’s ambitious cross and the towering forward controlled the ball on his chest and finished calmly past Eldin Jakupovic.

Hull had never lost a Premier League home game against West Ham and Andrew Robertson dragged them level with his 53rd-minute equaliser against the run of play, firing low past Randolph after fine interplay with the impressive Grosicki.

West Ham are on 33 points and will hope to secure their first league victory since early February at Arsenal on Wednesday when Hull host Middlesbrough in a relegation six-pointer.

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