Mumbai City FC goalkeeper Phurba Lachenpa was among four new faces India head coach Igor Stimac named Tuesday.
Phurba was not part of the national team roster, but Vishal has been with us for two years, so we know him and we wouldn’t rule out calling him up for the next training camp. I wanted to use this opportunity to see how Phurba would fit in, Stimack told HT in an interview Tuesday. Kite is among 11 substitutes.
Kite hasn’t had a great start to the season, but he has 12 clean games in Saturday’s ISL finals. His save from Javier Saviero’s penalty kick in the semifinals helped ATK Mohun Bagan reach his second final in three seasons. He was named best player of the match on Monday in the return match of the semifinals against defending champion Hyderabad FC.
In 2022, Stimack kept ISL Gold Glove winner Prabsoohan Gill in his lineup for friendlies against Belarus and Bahrain, but started both games with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Rohit Kumar and Sivasakti Narayanan of Bengaluru FC, Mehtab Singh of Mumbai City FC are other debutants in the 23-player roster. The team will hold a five-day training camp here starting Wednesday before flying back home on March 21. Those taking part in the ISL finals will join the team March 19, the All India Football Federation said in a press release.
Since this is a short training camp, I didn’t want to interfere with the main squad. So I couldn’t call up too many new players, Stimak said.
Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan are the other teams competing in the March 22-28 tri-nation meeting. These will be India’s first international matches since a 1-1 draw with Singapore and a 0-3 loss to Vietnam last September.
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Phurba Lachenpa, Amrinder Singh.
Defenders: Sandesh Jhingan, Roshan Singh, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra, Chinglensana Konsham, Rahul Bheke, Mehtab Singh, Glan Martins.
Midfielders: Suresh Wangjam, Rohit Kumar, Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Yasir Mohammad, Ritwick Das, Jixon Singh, Lalianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh.
Forwards: Manveer Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Sivasakti Narayanan.
Head coach: Igor Stimac.
A cooking gas cylinder in a Liverpool player’s garden was too heavy for burglars to steal, officials said. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymityand, as they had no right to talk to the media. Authorities were called to the house after a close family member noticed Saturday night that one of the windows was open, officials said.
The burglary investigation is ongoing; no arrests have yet been made. Salah became the first Egyptian to win the English Premier League since joining Liverpool in 2018 from Roma. Salah, a native of the Jordan Delta city of Nagrig, is Liverpool’s top scorer in the league.
The French striker’s season is regularly interrupted by injuries, and while Vinicius Júnior is a deadly threat on the left, without Benzema the defense can focus on shutting down the Brazilian winger.
His future at Madrid is also unknown – his contract expires in June, and neither the player nor the club has made a public decision on his extension.
Legends of this club should stay at Madrid, Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said, hoping the forward will remain at his disposal next year.
Benzema missed Saturday’s La Liga match against Espanyol because of an ankle problem, but he is expected to return for the match against Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in the return leg of the 1/8 final.
The 35-year-old has been sidelined frequently, including a hip problem that caused him to miss the World Cup against France.
There is something wrong with Benzema, never in his entire career has he spent so much time in the emergency room, Madrid newspaper AS complained last week when Benzema was sidelined for the eighth time.
The forward has missed 34 percent of Madrid’s games in all competitions this season, totaling 14 games, but has scored 18 goals in the 27 games in which he has been involved.
It’s been months of frustration and a huge mystery regarding Karim, AS continues.
Captain and champion
Benzema is aging like a fine wine, playing his best soccer at a more mature age, freed from playing on the back foot when Cristiano Ronaldo left Madrid in 2018 and becoming a high-class striker.
Benzema led Madrid to Champions League glory last season, and his 1-0 win over Liverpool in the final secured his record 14th triumph.
Benzema played a crucial role in Madrid’s wild win in Paris, scoring a remarkable hat-trick in the 17th minute in the last 16 to knock out Paris Saint-Germain.
The striker made another xA hat trick at Stamford Bridge in the quarterfinals to put Chelsea in a stalemate, and made a draw for his team, winning in extra time in the second match.
Manchester City suffered the same fate in the semifinals, with Benzema scoring twice at the Etihad in the first leg before converting a penalty in extra time at the Santiago Bernabeu to propel Madrid to the final.
Benzema was last season’s top scorer with 15 goals and scored 44 goals in 46 games in all competitions.
That magic has not been as abundant this season, although Liverpool tried it at Anfield in the first leg when Madrid won 5-2, with Benzema scoring twice, his first goals of the season.
It was a display of deadly finishing, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s team in shock after they took a two goal lead.
Thanks to Benzema’s double, the forward scored the 88th goal of his career in the Champions League and hopes to surpass Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski (91 goals) to become the third all-time leading scorer in the competition.
Both players are nearing the end of their illustrious careers, and their eyes are on the future.
While Benzema’s fate has yet to be decided, PSG’s exit from the Champions League last week has allowed some Spanish news outlets to renew their ties with Kylian Mbappe.
If you want to win the Champions League, you already know…, Marca’s front page read next to a photo of the French striker.
Madrid fans are also excited about young prospect Alvaro Rodriguez, although it is too early to expect the 18-year-old to make a significant contribution on the European stage.
The club’s hopes of retaining the trophy this season are tied to Benzema, who causes concern every time a new setback befalls him.
Some believe he is deliberately saving himself for the team’s most important matches and key European dates, and it is affecting his form.
I see a very motivated Benzema and I think you will see a different Benzema from now on, in 2023, Ancelotti said in late December, but so far that has not happened.
For Madrid to succeed in Europe again and win a fifth Champions League trophy in 10 seasons, Benzema’s return to his best is paramount.
The defenders will go home because gold glove winner Vishal Kite spJavier Saviero’s ace, and Bartolomeu Ogbeche’s shot kissed the inside of the post and rolled out of bounds. On such fine lines the semifinal between two defensively adept teams was decided. Demetri Petratos, Federico Gallego and the excellent Manvir Singh scored, while Kotal and Brendan Hamill missed. Joao Victor, Rohit Danu and Reagan Singh all took penalties for Hyderabad FC.
On a foggy Monday, when the smog cleared, ATK Mohun Bagan took the field with their lights on. They were at the helm in this semifinal match, but they were not completely in control. So, Petratos’ shot flew off on a night when a pass to Kiyan Nassiri would have been a better option. Moments earlier, Glan Martins couldn’t get the ball into the top corner. In the 22nd minute, Manvir, who caused Akash Mishra to fail to cover the left defender until the 77th minute, shot horizontally. This came after he served a corner kick too close to Gurmeet Singh.
But for all the variety of attacks ATK Mohun Bagan failed to score in a game that traditionally has few goals — both league stage matches ended 1-0 before Thursday’s 0-0 draw — Hyderabad FC did not get out of the game. They were disciplined defensively, with Sahil Tavora in the center and Odey Onahindia at the back being first among equals. Still, playing back-to-back, the home team was better, and when Ashish Rai broke free in the 57th minute, Hugo Bumus struck first, which Gurmeet blocked. And 50,000 people in unison despaired.
By then ATK Mohun Bagan had replaced Nassiri’s rampage with Liston Colaco’s experience, but instead got a lot of bad first touches. Nevertheless, they could have scored, but Slavko Damjanovic couldn’t handle Petratos’ free kick properly. Then Carl McHugh kicked off Petratos’ corner kick. In the 120th minute, Kotal’s header from a Federico Gallego corner kick was off target. But on the back of a great season, Kotal got a chance at redemption. This time he didn’t miss.
Gabriel Magallaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard scored first-half goals at Craven Cottage to secure a fifth straight league victory for Arsenal.
Leandro Trossard assisted on all three goals.
Second-place Manchester City put pressure on Mikel Arteta’s team with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday, briefly closing the gap to two points.
Arsenal and City each have 11 matches remaining.
There were other good novA highlight for Arsenal: Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus came off the bench in the 77th minute, making his first appearance since undergoing surgery on December 6 for a medial collateral ligament injury sustained during the World Cup.
By the time Gabriel headed the ball into the left corner from Trossard in the 21st minute, Arsenal already had a goal cancelled due to offside after video review.
The Belgian midfielder created a second goal five minutes later, digging in for a pass from the left flank that Martinelli nodded, beating Fulham defender Anthony Robinson.
Trossard completed his hat trick of assists in the second minute of the first half, but the goal owed more to the technical skill of Odegaard, who completed a pass into the area, broke inside and shot past Bernd Leno, former Fulham goalkeeper from Arsenal.
Tosin Adarabiojo headed the ball into the crossbar from a corner as Fulham entered the game in the second half.
Man Utd drew with Southampton
Manchester United survived Casemiro’s second red card in their last three Premier League games and played to a 0-0 draw with last-place Southampton on Sunday.
The Brazilian midfielder was sent off in the 34th minute for tripping Carlos Alcaraz, for which he received a yellow card. The referee replaced it with a red after VAR advised him to review the incident again on a monitor near the pitch.
Casemiro must now serve a four-match suspension, as it was his second suspension of the season. The second time he was suspended was on February 4 against Crystal Palace.
Southampton had more chances in Casemiro’s absence, hitting the box twice through James Ward-Prowse – from a trademark free kick – and Kyle Walker-Peters, and seeing United defender Aaron Van Bissack knock the ball off the line.
At the other end, Bruno Fernandes struck a long-range shot that was cleared away.stopped by Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazounou.
Third-placed United are two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with a game to spare.
Southampton remain in last place, with the last nine places in the league – up to and including 12th-placed Crystal Palace – separated by just five points.
Sandesh Jhingan made a comeback and brought Bengaluru FC to victory on penalties in the semi-final second leg, despite the visitors leading 2-1 in regulation time. Beng’s goalluru in the 1-0 victory in Mumbai proved decisive in the end.
While Bengaluru reached its first ISL final since 2018-19, Mumbai City’s shield-winning hopes of repeating the double in the 2020-21 season ended anticlimactically.
Ironically, the goalkeepers’ evening began with Gurpreet rather sloppily hooking Jorge Diaz’s leg in the penalty area. Captain Bengaluru made sure his team’s lead in the first game wasn’t erased eight minutes later when he one-handedly blocked Greg Stewart’s shot into the right corner.
Bengaluru doubled their lead in the 22nd minute, Javi Hernandez poked his head out after a great ball from Siva Narayanan and headed it into the left corner of Mumbai keeper Phurba Lachenpa.
Mumbai City was stunned, but not silenced. Bipin Singh, bouncing off Gurpreet’s leg, fended off Rowlin Borges’ shot at the half-hour mark.
What followed over the next 30 minutes was a goalkeeping clinic. Had it not been for Phurba’s quick reflexes, Spaniard Xavi might well have scored three more goals. Had it not been for Gurpreet’s airborne save, Mumbai City might well have led 2-1 after Bipin’s header in the 65th minute.
The visitors got theirs a minute later thanks to Mehtab and his header. Super substitute Sunil Chhetri, who came on as a substitute in the first match, and Bipin, limping off the field as the game went into extra time. Diaz missed two big chances to nullify the score; Phurba again denied Roy Krishna, and Murtada Fall nearly gave Bengaluru a goal off the rebound.