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Women Football: Chelsea thrash Arsenal 3-0 to win FA Cup

London, Dec 5 (IANS) Chelsea thrashed Arsenal 3-0 to win the 2020-21 Women’s FA Cup and complete the English treble for the first time at Wembley Stadium, here on Sunday.

Emma Hayes’ side, who also won the Women’s Super League title and League Cup title earlier this year, won the trophy in front of 40,942 fans at Wembley on the 50th anniversary of the competition.

England international Fran Kirby scored the opening goal after only two minutes and then Sam Kerr’s two braces in the second half (57th , 77th min) to seal Chelsea’s victory.

Kerr became the second Australian to lift the FA Cup after former Matilda Taryn Rockall who won it with Arsenal in 1999.

“It wouldn’t go in in the first half -– it could have been 4-0 or 5-0 but they defended well. We knew that if we kept pushing at some point they would go in and they did,” she told the BBC.

“I’m paid to score goals but our defence was amazing and it was a team effort – I can’t wait to party!” she added.

The victory was Chelsea’s third in an FA Cup final and all three of their titles have come under Hayes’ guidance.



Saudi Arabia GP: F2 racers Fittipaldi, Pourchaire airlifted to hospital after crash

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Dec 5 (IANS) Formula Two racers Theo Pourchaire and Enzo Fittipaldi were airlifted to hospital on Sunday after they were involved in a horror crash at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Both drivers were conscious when they were extricated from their cars before being given medical treatment, the motor racing governing body FIA confirmed.

“The drivers were immediately attended to by emergency and medical crews. Both have been transferred by ambulance and helicopter to King Fahad Armed Forces Hospital, Jeddah,” the FIA said in a statement.

French racer Pourchaire had failed to start his car properly as the lights went out for the F2 feature race, and so was left stationary as all those around him set off. He was third on the grid, so when he stalled he was a sitting duck for most of the field coming up behind him, an express.co.uk report said.

Several drivers managed to get out of the way in time, but the unfortunate Fittipaldi was unable to avoid smashing into the back of Pourchaire’s car.

The race was immediately red-flagged and rescuers were on the scene within seconds to attend to the two drivers.



Argentina bag Junior Hockey World Cup trophy, beat Germany in final (Ld)

Bhubaneswar, Dec 5 (IANS) Argentina lifted the coveted trophy of the Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup after defeating Germany 4-2 in the final match at the Kalinga Stadium, here on Sunday.

Argentina’s forward Lautaro Domene made all the difference in the match with his hat-trick and then in the last minute Agostini sealed the championship trophy with his brilliant goal.

For Germany, Hayner and Phandt scored a goal each, but that was not enough to stop Argentina to win the final.

The final match was a see-saw affair between the two power-house of Hockey. But Argentina in the first and second quarters were very clinical, did not give much space to Germans for their attacking hockey.

Domene scored the first goal in the 15th minute when Germany were down with one player. Germany’s Hayner had to leave the field after getting a yellow card when he clashed with Toscani.

Domene again scored a goal in the second quarter when Argentina got a penalty corner and he flicked it into the German goal post. In counter attack Germany’s Schachner had a glorious chance, but Argentina blocked him successfully.

After succeeding in the two goals, Germany were literally camped in the Argentina half but did not get the chance to break the defence.

Back in the field after a 10-minute suspension, Hayner opened the account for Germany. And Phandt leveled the score for Germany through the penalty corner. However, it was short lived joy for Germany when Domene scored his third goal through a penalty corner. It was Domene’s hat-trick that brought Argentina back in the lead and then in the last minute, Agostini sealed the championship trophy with his brilliant goal.

Earlier, India suffered a crushing 1-3 defeat against France in the bronze medal match.

French captain Timothy Clement converted three penalty corners for France in the 26th, 34th and 47th minutes to lead his side to a podium finish while for India, Sudeep scored only one goal in the 42nd minute.

This match was a chance for India to avenge their 4-5 defeat against France in their tournament opener. However, the European side continued to dominate the hosts.



ISL 2021-22: Kerala Blasters record first win of season, get past Odisha 2-1

Goa, Dec 5 (IANS) Kerala Blasters registered their first win of the season as they beat Odisha FC 2-1 in the 2021-22 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, here on Sunday.

Alvaro Vazquez (62nd) and substitute Prasanth Karuthadathkuni (85th) scored second-half goals to hand the yellow shirts their first victory in 11 months. For Odisha, Nikhil Raj – in for Javi Hernandez – pulled one back in second-half stoppage time.

Attacking Adrian Luna was brilliant throughout the game and was instrumental in both the goals.

Courtesy the result, Kerala rise to sixth in the points table with five points from four games. Odisha, meanwhile, remain on third having six points from three outings.

Kerala boss Ivan Vukomanovic went for a 4-4-2 formation while Odisha counterpart Kiko Ramirez opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Kerala started on the front foot, Sahal Abdul Samad warming Odisha keeper Kamaljit Singh’s gloves early on. Minutes later, skipper Jessel Carneiro swung in a delightful ball into the box which was cleared for a corner.

Adrian Luna tried his luck from a free kick in the seventh minute, forcing Kamaljit to dive to his left and deny the Uruguayan. Odisha got their first real chance in the 12th minute when Aridai Cabrera bombed down the left flank and set Javi Hernandez up, but the Spaniard’s effort fizzed over the bar.

Kerala continued to have the upper hand as Thoiba Singh was booked for a challenge on Luna. Against the run of play, Javi almost scored with a long-range effort after spotting Albino Gomes standing well outside his line. Moments after the water break, Vincy Barreto was marginally offside after being through on goal.

For Odisha, who were kept under the cosh by Kerala, full back Hendry Antonay attempted an audacious long-ranger which dipped at the top right corner but Albino was on hand to parry the ball over the bar.

At halftime, both teams were level but the men in yellow bossed proceedings.

The second half started in the same vein with Kerala ruling the roost. Sahal looked in great touch from the off, dancing his way past defenders inside the box only to be thwarted, but the ball fell kindly for Luna whose effort went wide of the bar.

Luna was in the thick of things again just after the hour mark, and this time his through ball found Vazquez who timed his run to perfection. The Spaniard ran 30 yards, rounded the keeper and put the ball in the back of the net.

Three minutes after the goal, Kerala replaced Barretto with Nishu Kumar while Odisha threw in Gaurav Bora for Thoiba. Vazquez could have doubled his and the team’s tally in the 67th minute after being set up beautifully by Sahal, but his low effort was blocked by Kamaljit.

Daniel Lalhlimpuia replaced Jerry Mawihmingthanga as Odisha looked for an equaliser.

Kerala suffered a setback when Albino went down after taking the goal kick and had to be taken off. India U-23 custodian Prabhsukhan Gill replaced him as Sahal also went off after a stellar show, with Prasanth Karuthadathkuni replacing the national team midfielder.

Midfielder Prasanth’s moment to saviour came five minutes to the final whistle when he dinked a perfectly weighed Luna ball past the keeper after a lovely run off the Uruguayan. Raj scored a late goal for Odisha but it did not matter in the end.



PKL 8: UP Yoddha leave home base to enter bio-bubble in Bengaluru

Greater Noida, Dec 5 (IANS) Gearing up for the eighth season of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), the GMR sports-owned UP Yoddha on Sunday left for Bengaluru to enter a bio bubble there, ahead of the start of the tournament on December 22.

The team that includes the players, support staff & management paid their visit to the Delhi Aerocity GMR Hanuman temple at the International Airport, New Delhi before boarding their flight for Bengaluru.

The team would enter the mandatory seven-day quarantine on reaching Bengaluru. As per COVID-19 protocols, a mandatory RT-PCR test will be conducted on each member every 72 hours during the league.

UP Yoddha, led by Nitesh Kumar, who also is a product of their state-of-the-art UP Yoddha BK Kabaddi Academy, are all set to kick off their 4th season in red and blue. Kumar earlier has led the team to finish third in the 7th PKL.

The team have James Kamweti, Pardeep Narwal, Shrikant Jadav, Surender Gill, Gulveer Singh, Ankit, Sahil Om Prakash & Mohammed Taghi in their attacking lines while the likes of Ashu Singh, Aashish Nagar, Nitesh Kumar, Gaurav Kumar & Sumit along with all-rounders Gurdeep & Nitin Panwar will be defending the fort.

The team will be guided by Jasveer Singh as the head coach and Arjun Singh as the assistant coach.

UP Yoddha are scheduled to take on defending champions Bengal Warriors in their opening match of the eighth Pro Kabaddi League on December 22.



Argentina lift Junior Hockey World Cup trophy

Bhubaneswar, Dec 5 (IANS) Argentina defeated Germany 4-2 in the final match of FIH Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium, here on Sunday.

Argentina’s forward Lautaro Domene made all the difference in the match with his hat-trick and then in the last minute Agostini sealed the championship trophy with his brilliant goal.

For Germany, Hayner and Phandt scored a goal each, but that was not enough to stop Argentina to win the final.

Earlier India suffered a crushing 1-3 defeat against France in the bronze medal match.



West Indies captain Kieron Pollard out of Pakistan tour due to hamstring injury

St John’s (Antigua), Dec 5 (IANS) Cricket West Indies (CWI) said on Sunday that captain Kieron Pollard is out of the white-ball tour of Pakistan later in the month due to not recovering from a hamstring injury which he sustained during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman. It also announced Devon Thomas and Rovman Powell as Pollards replacements in the ODI and T20I squads respectively.

“Pollard will undergo rehabilitation work in Trinidad, under the supervision of CWI’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Israel Dowlat, and will be reassessed in a few weeks ahead of the upcoming home tours against Ireland and England in January 2022,” said a statement by the CWI.

In Pollard’s absence, Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope will be captaining the T20I and ODI teams respectively. “With Pollard ruled out, Nicholas Pooran will lead the team in the T20Is. He was stand-in Captain when West Indies beat Australia 4-1 in the five match CG Insurance T20I Series in St. Lucia earlier this year. Shai Hope will Captain the team in the ODIs for the first time. Pooran is Vice Captain for the ODIs and Hope the Vice Captain for the T20Is,” further said the statement.

West Indies will touch down in Pakistan on December 9 and will feature in three T20Is and as many T20Is, all to be played at the National Stadium in Karachi from December 13 to 22. The three ODIs are a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, which acts as securing direct qualification spots for the top seven teams plus hosts India for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

West Indies are currently at eighth place out of 13 teams, with four wins and five losses, while Pakistan are only a ranked above them at seventh place with same number of wins and losses.

West Indies Squads

ODIs: Shai Hope (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice Captain), Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr.

T20Is: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice Captain), Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas and Hayden Walsh Jr.



ITF World Tour C'ships: Pranjala beats Sowjanya to clinch women's singles title

Bengaluru, Dec 5 (IANS) Pranjala Yadlapalli clinched the KSLTA ITF World Tour Championships women’s singles title after beating Sowjanya Bhavisetti, here on Sunday.

Yadlapalli, who played two back to back three setters in her quarterfinal and semifinal matches and suffering cramps, dreaded yet another three setter in the title clash against statemate Sowjanya.

After being 3-5 down in the first set, she went all out to claim the set 7-5 and breezed through the second after initial hiccups to win the Championships. This was Pranjala’s fourth ITF title of her career.

Battling with a nagging shoulder injury that saw her out of the action for almost two years, the 22-year-old had last won the ITF Lagos title three seasons ago.

“I am thankful to be playing again and making my comeback with a victory feels great,” said the champion as she pocketed the winner’s cheque of USD 2352 and more importantly 10 world ranking points that will help her to move up the ranking list.

The finals began on a fiery note with both the players testing each other’s corners. Sowjanya, with a renewed confidence of having felled the top seed Rutuja Bhosale on Saturday, was in an attacking mode but at times, it proved to be her disadvantage.

Pranjala with an alarming calmness, was careful of her serving shoulder and trusted more on her backhand. After both the players had broken each other’s serve twice in first four games, Pranjala held hers to go 3-2 up. But her opponent won the next three games to lead 5-3.

Serving to survive in the set, Pranjala came up with some great down the line backhand shots and a few unforced errors by Sowjanya helped her win four games in a row and wrest the first set.

The second set saw both the players going for broke and held their respective serves until the fourth game. Pranjala then took control of the match as she played some quality tennis and didn’t give a fumbling Sowjanya any chance of a comeback and won four games on a trot to wear the singles crown.

“When I was 3-5 down, I thought I should give my best and try to win in two sets as she is a good player and could have made a comeback anytime. I was taking it easy and putting the ball on the court and going for big shots when I felt confident,” said Pranjala.

“I dedicate this success to my grandfather who passed away due to COVID-19 and many others who lost their loved ones due to the Pandemic,” said an emotional Sowjanya who, apart from being the runner-up in the singles, had won the doubles title on Saturday.



Karnataka Police get off to winning start, defeat Haryana Police 5-3

Bengaluru, Dec 5 (IANS) Hosts Karnataka Police got off to a rollicking start here at the ongoing 70th All India Police Hockey Championship 2021 on Sunday. Led by NB Pradeep, Karnataka Police defeated the formidable Haryana Police 5-3 in a thrilling pool D encounter.

Playing in front of a packed home stadium, which also included Olympic hero and Dhyan Chand awardee Manuel Frederick, Karnataka Police made an attacking start with Skipper Pradeep fetching an early 1-0 lead with a brilliant goal in the 10th minute. Although Haryana Police equalized in the 29th minute via captain Nirmal, Karnataka Police showed resilience in the third quarter as they scored important goals in the 36th and 48th minute through Rajeshekhar Shivanagutti and Pradeep respectively.

The final quarter was tense as Haryana pulled a goal in the 54th minute through Mukesh Kumar, thus narrowing the lead to 2-3. But the spirited hosts scored their fourth goal in the 57th minute through Pradeep who was exceptional in leading the team’s attack. Karnataka’s fifth goal came in the 59th minute through Paramesh. A defence lapse, however, in the 60th minute saw Karnataka give away a goal but they rode on their captain Pradeep’s hat-trick, securing a 5-3 victory from their opening tie.

Earlier in the day, CRPF Delhi beat Odisha Police 7-1 in the women’s pool A match. CRPF Delhi dominated the match with strong attack scoring goals in each quarter. It was Bharti Takur who opened the score board in the 12th minute followed by Puja Yadav’s goal in the 21st minute. Pragya Mourya extended the lead to 3-0 in the 39th minute through a penalty corner and Susma Kumari scored in the 41st minute to continue CRPF Delhi’s fine show. Pinki Ekka scored a double in the 43rd and 44th minute while Bharti struck again in the 47th minute. Odisha Police did score a consolation goal in the 58th minute via penalty stroke by Rashmita Minz as they were poised to win 7-1.

In another accelerating match, Odisha Police held Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to a 4-4 draw in their pool C clash. It was Odisha Police who began on a strong note with an early goal in the 9th minute through Janerious Tirkey. But SSB were quick to respong with an equalizer in the 15th minute through Bikash Lakra’s goal and ended up taking a 2-1 lead in the 24th minute when Francis Toppo struck a fine field goal. Both teams dropped the tempo in the 3rd quarter as they played rather defensively. But Odisha found a golden opportunity in the 45th minute when their forwardline created space in the attacking circle making way for Janerious Tirkey to convert his second goal and equalize 2-2.

The last quarter was most thrilling as SSB overcame the setback to score back-to-back goals in the 49th and 54th minute through Joychandra Lisham and Agandeep Singh respectively. This 4-2 lead by SSB hardly put the Odisha Police, who won the third place in the previous edition, under the pump as they stayed calm to create scoring opportunity with Naveen Kumar. He scored a fine double in the 58th and 60th minute to end the match in a draw and splitting the points.

BSF Jalandhar, meanwhile, registered another fine win as they trounced Uttarakhand Police 5-0. Naveen Kumar Tirkey starred in this match scoring two goals in the 44th and 50th minute while Amarbir Singh (9′), Kanwarpal Singh (34′) and Kamaljit Singh (54′) scored a goal each.

In the Pool E match, Puducherry Police beat Jharkhand Police 1-9. Ayub Mundu (13′, 16′) scored the opening two goals followed by goals from Surendra Tirkey (19′), J Sunil Lugun (24′), and Captain Robart Dodray (36′). Although, Puducherry scored a goal by V Karthi Keyan (45′), it didn’t dent the Jharkhand Police as they scored four more goals by Sunit Ekka (47′, 59′), Sunil Lugun (48′) and Sunil Dhanwar (52′).



IND v NZ: The track is slowing down a bit, says Axar Patel

Mumbai, Dec 5 (IANS) Though India have left New Zealand with a mountain to climb on the next two days with only five wickets in hand in the second and final Test, left-arm spinner Axar Patel said the bowlers will have to show lot of patience as the pitch has slowed down considerably, and wickets could be possible only if the baters make mistakes.

India closed in on a memorable win on Sunday, the third day of the Test, by reducing New Zealand to 140/5 in 45 overs, the visitors still needing 400 runs to save the match with only five wickets in hand on the third day of the match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday. Henry Nicholls (36 not out) and Rachin Ravindra (2 not out) were at the crease at stumps and will resume New Zealand’s attempts to save the Test on the fourth day.

Axar Patel said things could turn difficult for India on the fourth day but felt the Indian bowlers have a lot of experience of such situations.

“Two days back, due to the underlying moisture, the ball was turning fast and as time is progressing, the track is slowing down a bit, so today, even when there was turn, the batter had enough time to go on the back-foot and negotiate it. Only if the batter is making mistakes, then it’s a bit difficult for him. We have been in umpteen situations like these and we know what needs to be done in these circumstances. It won’t always be the case that batters will get out quickly so one needs to have patience,” Patel said during post-match virtual press conference here on Sunday.

New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell proved Patel right as he scored a valiant half-century to boost his country’s score and delay the inevitable. Patel said India did not delay the declaration on Sunday. Despite a handy lead of 263 runs after bowling out New Zealand for a paltry 62 in their first innings, India batted till 30 minutes before tea, scoring 276/5 in their second innings to take an overall lead of 539 runs and set the visitors a mammoth target to chase.

“I won’t call it a delay as there is so much time left in the game. The idea was to bat as long as possible in this kind of situation, which you don’t get every day, so the plan was to make the most of it. We were trying to explore variation options and check out. ‘What if we have to chase on this kind of a track on the last day’, trying to express ourselves in a different situation,” Patel explained.

Patel, who blazed to 41 off 26 deliveries as he helped India push for a big lead, said the team management have enough confidence to allow him to explore his potential as an allrounder.

“The batting coach (Vikram Rathour) and team management have faith in my batting abilities, and they have always told me that ‘You can do it’. Just that earlier, when I got chances, I couldn’t convert my starts. But this time when I got the chance, I was able to convert. My batting is benefitting my team and if you see that myself, Jaddu and Ash bhai play as all-rounders, it releases a bit of pressure on our batters, so it’s a good sign. As long as I keep contributing it’s good for both me and my team,” he said.

Asked whether they have any special plans for Rachin Ravindra, who had denied them victory in the first Test at Kanpur by holding fort for nearly 10 overs with last man Ajaz Patel, Axar said they will plan something and that unlike Kanpur, they have a lot of time on their hands.

“Obviously, no special plan (as of now). The pitch that we, is giving lot more assistance. After talking to the bowling coach, we will have plans for him. Last time in Kanpur we had less time to get him but this time, we have a lot of time,” he said.