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Football Extras: Indian eves beat Indonesia in Olympic qualifier

Last updated on: April 03, 2019 21:51 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

India's women's football team

IMAGE: India’s women’s football team in training. Photograph: AIFF Media

India’s women's football team registered a 2-0 win over Indonesia in its opening match of the Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 in Mandalay (Myanmar) and took a step closer to making it to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Dangmei Grace's goals, in the 27th and 67th minute, proved the difference between the two teams.

 

Maymol Rocky's wards largely dominated the match in terms of both possession and chances created.

"We wanted to start our qualifying campaign on a winning note and we have done so. Indonesia proved to be tough opponents that committed bodies in defence but we found a way to gather three points," Maymol said after the match.

"It is important to keep the winning momentum alive and we were able to do so. We are taking one match at a time and our focus shifts on our next opponents Nepal (on April 6)," she added.

Maintaining the winning momentum after the success of their fifth consecutive SAFF title triumph, the Indian women applied pressure on the opponents from the opening minute.

Some crafty work down the wings by Sanju and Ratanbala Devi wreaked havoc on the opposition defence, which failed to counter the Indians between the lines.

Sanju's cross in the 24th minute caused chaos in the Indonesian defence with one defender almost turning it into an own goal, before clearing the line.

Sandhiya's run in the 26th minute, after she was found by Sanju, left a trail of Indonesian defenders in her wake – sidestepping one and casually rolling the ball into the space to create a shot, beating another.

Her stinger of a shot from inside the box was saved by Indonesian custodian Riska Julianti but Grace applied the finishing touches from close range to give India the lead in the 27th minute.

India’s defence made quick work of any Indonesian counter-attacks as a result of which goalkeeper Linthoingambi Devi was not tested even once.

India continued with their attacking tempo in the second half as well. Ratanbala Devi's shot from a distance in the 56th minute forced an uncanny save from the Indonesian goalkeeper as she fluffed a routine collection. Three minutes later Grace failed to score from close range after Sanju found her with a rasping cross that bewildered the Indonesian defence.

In the 67th minute, India doubled their lead when Grace again applied the finishing touches to a shot from Sumithra Kamaraj, which was haphazardly parried away by Riska Julianti.

Kean racially abused in Juve victory

Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci celebrates after scoring against Cagliari during their Serie A match on Tuesday

IMAGE: Juventus's Leonardo Bonucci celebrates after scoring against Cagliari during their Serie A match on Tuesday. Photograph: Juventus/Twitter

Juventus teenager Moise Kean appeared to suffer racist abuse after scoring a late goal to give the Turin side a 2-0 win at Cagliari in Serie A on Tuesday.

Kean, who had been jeered throughout the game, turned in Rodrigo Bentancur's cross with five minutes left and then stood in front of the Cagliari fans behind the goal and opened his arms.

In response, Cagliari's supporters made the noise which is described by Italian media as "buu" and is regarded as a racist insult in Italian football, although some fans argue it is simply to annoy opposing players regardless of race.

Monkey noises could also be heard among the crowd.

Shortly after the goal, Juve's French midfielder Blaise Matuidi protested furiously to the referee and at one point appeared to threaten to walk off.

Matuidi complained last year that he was subject to racist abuse at the same stadium and Cagliari later apologised.

Play was halted on Tuesday and a warning was broadcast to the crowd -- the first step in the so-called three step procedure which ultimately leads to the teams being led off the field. Play resumed amid more booing and the referee blew the final whistle shortly afterwards.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, scorer of the opening goal in the 22nd minute, said Kean was partly to blame for the incident.

"You celebrate goals with your team mates," he said. "He could have done it differently... I think the blame is fifty-fifty. Moise should not have done that and the Curva should not have reacted in that way."

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said he had been too immersed in the game to notice the abuse.

"As usual at the stadium there are idiots but also normal people," he said. "The uncivilised ones must be identified with the cameras and no longer allowed to enter."

Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini blamed Kean for his celebration.

"I heard mostly boos, if they started making animal noises then we were in the wrong," he said.

"What happened at the end was because of a celebration which was wrong and it would have happened with any other player."

Kean, 19, has scored in each of his last four games -- two for Juventus and two for Italy.

The win took Juventus on to 81 points from 30 games with second-placed Napoli 18 points behind ahead of their game at Empoli on Wednesday.

Juventus were again without Cristiano Ronaldo who is recovering from a thigh injury he suffered playing for Portugal a week ago.

In December, Inter Milan were ordered to play two home games behind closed doors after Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly was racially insulted during a game at San Siro.

In 2017, there was an outcry after Ghanaian player Sulley Muntari was booked and sent off after complaining about racist abuse while playing for Pescara, also at Cagliari.

Udinese hold Milan with classic counter-attack goal

Lowly Udinese held AC Milan to a 1-1 draw at San Siro on Tuesday, equalising on the counter-attack from an opposition corner to hand another setback to Gennaro Gattuso's team.

Kevin Lasagna earned a point for relegation-threatened Udinese after a sweeping move in the 65th minute to cancel out Krzysztof Piatek's opener for the hosts just before halftime.

Milan stayed fourth, the lowest Champions League slot, with 52 points but have taken one point from their last nine and have Lazio lurking four points behind with two games in hand.

Atalanta (48), AS Roma (47), Sampdoria and Torino (both 45) could also close the gap if they win their midweek games.

"We didn't do very much today and in the second half, I saw a soft team," said Gattuso. "We are playing with the handbrake on at both a mental and physical level."

Milan struggled to create chances and lost goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Lucas Paqueta to injury in the first half but went ahead in the 44th minute.

Patrick Cutrone's cross into the middle was met by Piatek whose first shot was saved at point-blank range by Juan Mussu but the Pole headed in the rebound for his 20th Serie A goal of the season -- seven for Milan and 13 for Genoa.

There was a remarkable twist midway through the second half when Milan nearly got a second goal but instead conceded the equaliser.

A Milan corner was missed by keeper Mussu but Nicholas Opoku cleared the ball off the line and started a lethal counter.

The ball was swept out to Seko Fofana on the left and he squared to Lasagna who fired past Pepe Reina from 12 metres.

It could have been worse for Milan as Sebastian de Maio and Lasagna missed further chances for Udinese, who are 15th with 29 points, four clear of the relegation zone.

"We could have scored two or three goals but it’s a valuable point that could prove useful at the end of the season," said Igor Tudor, who is Udinese's third coach of the season.

Neymar back to training on Wednesday: PSG

Paris St Germain's Brazil striker Neymar will return to training on Wednesday for on-field tests after 10 weeks on the sidelines because of a foot injury, the Ligue 1 club said on Tuesday.

".@neymarjr’s recovery from injury is progressing well and he will return to training on Wednesday as scheduled for on-pitch tests," reigning French champions PSG said on Twitter.

"Club specialists will carry out a full medical and radiological assessment in two weeks’ time."

Neymar picked up a foot injury on Jan. 23 during a French Cup game against Strasbourg before undergoing surgery.

Runaway leaders PSG are 20 points clear in Ligue 1 and face Nantes in the semi-finals of the French Cup on Wednesday.

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