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Sports Shorts: BFC knock Kerala Blasters out of ISL

Last updated on: March 01, 2018 20:41 IST

A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Thursday


IMAGE: Bengaluru FC post 2-0 win. Photograph: ISL Media

Bengaluru FC knocked Kerala Blasters out of the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) with a convincing 2-0 win here today, the double strikes coming in the second-half injury time.


Kerala, who were looking to keep themselves in contention for a play-off berth before the match, could not convert the chances that came their way.

Miku struck the first goal in the 91st minute and Udanta Singh found the net in 94th.

The top-scorer for Bengaluru, Miku scored his 14th goal of the season after he charged into the box and slotted past Kerala goalkeeper Rachubka.

Udanta scored after cutting into the box off Dimas Delgado's pass from the right, before sending a powerful kick into the corner of the net.

With this win, Bengaluru remained table-toppers with 40 points in 18 matches.

There were some anxious moments too, especially when Bengaluru head coach Albert Roca kicked the ball away in anger as referee gave a throw-in to Kerala Blasters.

The coach was warned by the referee in the 44th minute.

One of the best chances for Bengaluru came in the 75th minute when Udata headed the ball wide after Dovale picked the Indian winger.

In the 45th minute, Bengaluru FC called for penalty, but was denied by the referee after Miku had cut onto his left foot before falling over.

In the 11th minute, Sunil Chhetri picked up the ball in midfield and dribbed past a couple of rival defenders before curling a powerful kick, which went wide.

In the 23rd minute, Bengaluru had another chance to score but the rival defender shot the ball over after Nishu Kumar failed to reach the ball, which was deflected into his path off Chhetri's foot.

Haokip then pierced a powerful long ranger, which was wonderfully saved by Rachubka.

Even the rivals had their chances, especially in the 37th minute when Milan aimed a freekick towards Jhingan, who got his head to the ball but was unable to direct it towards the goal.

In the 33rd minute, Prashanth, who came in for the injured Jacki, mistimed his jump at the far post after Jhingan whipped a teasing cross into the box.

In the 62nd minute, Dovale slipped in Chhetri and the skipper blasted his shot over from a tight angle.

Malayali flavour came into play in the 71st minute as Rino Anto whipped in a teasing cross into the box from right for Vineeth to head, but not before Gurpreet Singh Sandhu jumped higher than the forward to palm the ball away to safety. 

Advani guides India to semis at IBSF World Team Snooker

Multiple World billiards and snooker Champion Pankaj Advani led Indian team to the penultimate stage at the IBSF World Cup Team Snooker being held in Doha.

His teammate, multiple national champion Manan Chandra successfully supported the Indian effort in the knockout stages to ensure a bronze medal.

First up in the elimination rounds, up against the China team, Pankaj and Manan handed them a thrashing with a 3-0 whitewash in the last-16 round followed by a 3-1 victory over Ireland, the top seeds of the knockouts.

In the last-4 stage, India will be up against the Iranian team.

Pouille battles past Khachanov to reach Dubai quarters

Lucas Pouille is seeded second at the Dubai tournament

IMAGE: Lucas Pouille is seeded second at the Dubai tournament. Photograph: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Lucas Pouille overcame Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Wednesday to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and avenge his defeat by the Russian in last weekend's final in Marseille.

Second seed Pouille served seven aces and converted three break points to prevail in an hour and 39 minutes. Up next for the Frenchman is a first career meeting with Yuichi Sugita, who beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(4) 6-4.

"I knew it would be a tough one," Pouille, who won the Montpellier title earlier this month, said.

"In the final in Marseille, he won just three points more than me. I knew it was very close. I had to play some good tennis... I'm just very happy that I got my revenge today."

Pouille, the highest seed remaining in Dubai after Grigor Dimitrov's shock loss to Tunisian wildcard Malek Jaziri on Tuesday, broke world number 41 Khachanov in the ninth game before cruising to a one-set lead.

Khachanov hit back in the next set to drag the contest into a decider, before Pouille saved two break points in the third set and upped his game to advance.

Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, seeded third, also reached the quarter-final after a 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-1 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in windy conditions. He next faces Borna Coric, who eased past Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4.

Greek wildcard Stefanos Tsitsipas dumped out sixth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

US Olympic chief resigns after sex abuse scandal, health cited

US Olympic Committee Chief Executive Scott Blackmun is resigning for medical reasons, the organization said on Wednesday, following months of sustained criticism stemming from the sex abuse scandal involving former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

In a statement, the USOC cited Blackmun's "ongoing health issues" related to prostate cancer, for which he has been receiving treatment. As part of the same press release, the group also outlined new reforms aimed at protecting its athletes from abuse.

The Colorado Springs, Colorado-based USOC, which announced the change less than a week after the Winter Olympic Games ended in Pyeongchang, South Korea, had resisted calls to fire Blackmun over the Nassar case. Blackmun, 60, did not attend the Games.

The scandal prompted the entire board of directors at USA Gymnastics, the sport's governing body, to resign, along with the president and athletic director at MichiganStateUniversity, where Nassar also worked. It also spawned lawsuits and criminal and civil investigations.

A number of critics, including athletes who said they were abused and two U.S. senators - Iowa Republican Joni Ernst and New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen - had called for the ouster of Blackmun and USOC board members, accusing them of failing to promptly act on complaints raised against Nassar and fostering a culture of silence.

“Scott Blackmun’s resignation as CEO of the US Olympic Committee is long overdue," John Manly, a lawyer representing 120 of Nassar's victims, said in a statement. "Under his leadership, USOC has focused nearly all its efforts on money and medals while the safety of our athletes has taken a back seat."

Shaheen also welcomed the resignation, citing Nassar's years of abuse. "It's clear that the culture at the US Olympic Committee desperately needs to change," she said in a statement.

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an advocate for female athletes and member of the Committee to Restore Integrity to the USOC, said in a Twitter post that Blackmun "didn't enact basic #ChildProtection policies or educate the membership about how to prevent it."

"His legacy will be that he failed athletes," she added.

Vinesh enters final of Asian Wrestling Championship

Vinesh Phogat

IMAGE: File Photo of Vinesh Phogat of India (red). Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Vinesh Phogat assured herself and India of at least a silver medal at the Asian Wrestling Championship as the Commonwealth Games gold medallist entered the final of the 50kg category with win over Japan's Yuki Irie in Kyrgyzstan.

The 2014 CWG champion earned the win by taking a bigger point as she locked the score 4-4 with her move.

The Asian Games bronze medal winner will now fight out with China's Chun Lei for the gold medal.

Another Indian woman wrestler, who is in medal contention is Sangeeta, who will fight for a bronze with Korea's Jieun UM in the 59kg category.

Sangeeta had lost her quarter-final 5-15 to Uzbekistan's Nabira Esenbaeva.

Lalita though had no luck going her way as she was outplayed 0-5 in the 55kg quarterfinal against Mongolia's Davaachimeg Eekhembayar.

Meanwhile, India's two Greco-Roman wrestlers have already won bronze medals.

Harpreet Singh grabbed bronze in the 82kg when he outclassed Uzbekistan's Khashimbekov 11-3, winning on technical superiority.

Rajendra Kumar had won bronze in the 55kg as he beat Uzbekistan's Mirakhmedov after declared winner. He also got victory by points after levelling the score 3-3.

To miss out on a bronze medal was Kuldeep Malik (72kg), who lost the bronze medal bout 0-11 to Japan's Inoue Tomohiro and Manishm who was edged 4-6 by Uzbekistan's Rakhmatov Mirzobek.

Naveen, competing in the 130kg, lost his bronze medal round 1-3 to China's Xiaoming Nie. Naveen had reached the medal round after winning his repechage round 10-0 against Sonoda Arata from Japan.

Others who were ousted at earlier stages were Vikram Krushnath(63kg), Sunil Kumar (87kg) , Hardeep Singh (97kg).

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