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Croatia keeper ties WC record with 3 penalty shootout saves

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Nizhny Novgorod (Russia): Croatia goalkeeper Danijel Subasic entered the World Cup record book in Nizhny Novgorod, becoming only the second man in the history of the tournament to save three penalties in a shootout.
Subasic stopped Denmark’s Christian Eriksen, Lasse Schone, and Nicolai Jorgensen in the round of penalty kicks after the teams ended 120 minutes deadlocked at 1-1.
Danish keeper Kasper Schmeichel was likewise impressive, but stopped just two of the five Croatia shooters, allowing the Balkan side to win the match and advance to the quarterfinals.
With his performance, Subasic equaled the feat of Portugal keeper Ricardo Pereira, who thwarted England’s Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Jamie Carragher in a shootout to decide a quarterfinal clash in the 2006 World Cup.
Croatia’s Luka Modric must have felt joy tinged with relief here Sunday when his side bested Denmark on penalties after he failed to convert from the spot in extra time in the battle for the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals.
Stymied by Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the dying minutes of the second extra period, the Real Madrid midfielder made no mistake on his second effort.
While Schmeichel continued to impress in the shootout, Croatian counterpart Danijel Subasic went him one better, saving three shots to the Dane’s two. History weighed on both teams ahead of Sunday’s round of 16 contest in Nizhny Novgorod.
The Croatians hoped to at least equal the achievement of the country’s 1998 squad, which finished third at the 1998 World Cup in France. For Denmark, the bar was also set by their 1998 side, who reached the quarterfinals in France.
But the Croatians, especially the 33-year-old Modric, seemed to feel the pressure more and they conceded just two minutes into the match. Jonas Knudsen’s throw-in reached Mathias Jorgensen in the box and his shot found the back of Subasic’s net after careening off a pair of Croatian players.
Two minutes later, however, the sides were level at 1-1 thanks to a Mario Mandzukic strike from inside the box. Then began the real match, as the promise of the exciting start gave way to a grinding duel that saw the Danes largely neutralize Croatia’s skill players.
Yet the Danish approach also left their own best player, Christian Eriksen, marginalized for long stretches. The torpor continued into the second half and both squads seemed more interested in conserving energy than attacking as they contemplated extra time.
But with the clocking ticking down on the second extra period, Modric threaded a great ball to Ante Rabic bearing down on Schmeichel and Jorgensen resorted to a foul to stop the attacker. The referee awarded the penalty and Modric stepped to the spot. The Danish keeper – with proud dad and predecessor Peter Schmeichel watching from the stands – denied Modric and the match went to a shootout.
In the end, three Danish players failed to convert, including Eriksen, to deliver the victory to Croatia, who will face host nation Russia in the quarterfinals.


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Would be sitting at home if I think like people from outside: Kohli

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Mumbai: Virat Kohli said he would be “sitting at home if he thinks like people from outside”, responding, in his trademark combative style, to Gautam Gambhir’s recent jibe at him, but without taking the former opener’s name.

Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, recently said that in a result-oriented franchise environment, Kohli has been “lucky” to have survived despite Royal Challengers Bangalore never winning the coveted title in his eight years as skipper.

Asked about it, the batting maestro said, “Obviously, you want to win the IPL. I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this (not winning IPL) or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

 

“We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision making in pressure situations. If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home,” Kohli said.

According to Gambhir, one can’t say Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the same breath, as India’s current captain has not won the IPL even once in comparison to his predecessor’s three. Gambhir also compared Kohli with his national team deputy Rohit Sharma, who too have three IPL titles to his credit.

“I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team.

“We all are motivated to do so. It has not happened and that’s the reality. No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six semi-finals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things,” Kohli added.

The Indian captain was speaking on the eve of the IPL 12 opener between his team and Chennai Super Kings.

To a question if he felt RCB were the underdogs against CSK at home, he said every team that comes here has to be considered so, with the home team being led by Dhoni.

“MS knows exactly what he wants from his team in these conditions. We all have seen that and are aware of it. We are going to be backing our skills and then find ways to come out on top.

“It’s very easy to be overawed by the support that CSK are going to get. In the IPL, people can get carried away by the support that a team like CSK gets at home but we have to focus on our basics.”Kohli also said RCB’s focus this year would be on being consistent and scratching their way to wins.

“It again boils down to how much composure you have in crunch situations. If you see all the teams that have won, they have had players who have stood up and done the job.

“In the past, when we have been close to winning the title, we have just expected things to go our way instead of standing up. That is something we want to correct this season. If we look ugly, we look ugly. It doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a side just playing flamboyant cricket. We want to be a consistent side,” Kohli said.

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AIFF deny I-League clubs’ request to reschedule qualifiers

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Mumbai: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has denied the I-League clubs’ request to restart the 2019 Super Cup, Goal can confirm.

Nine I-League clubs had earlier informed the Indian FA that they are willing to take part in the Super Cup 2019 after AIFF president Praful Patel reached out to the clubs on Thursday and assured them that he will hold a meeting with them in mid-April.

After initially deciding to withdraw from the competition citing AIFF’s unfair treatment towards the clubs, the I-League clubs’ unison expressed their willingness to take part in the knock-out competition if all the clubs are allowed to take part.

 

However, as Goal reported earlier, matches given as walkovers cannot be replayed according to the regulations of the national cup competition. The AIFF has made it clear to the clubs that the regulations must be adhered to and that it would be unfair towards the opposing teams – Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC – that took the field for the matches which did not take place.

Minerva Punjab, Gokulam Kerala FC and Aizawl FC failed to turn up for their Super Cup qualifiers on March 15 and March 16.

Due to the I-League clubs’ absence on the match days, the AIFF awarded Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC wins by virtue of walkovers.

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Neymar charged for ‘insulting’ referee in Man United defeat

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London: Paris St Germain forward Neymar has been charged for “insulting and/or molesting” the referee following his post-game rant after the French side were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Manchester United, UEFA said.

Neymar, who was sidelined by injury, was investigated for lashing out and labelling the video assistant referee (VAR) system a “disgrace” after United won a controversial penalty in the dying stages to advance on away goals.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United FC (1-3), played on 6 March in France,” UEFA said in a statement.

 

“Player Neymar Junior – insulting / molesting acts against match official (statements made by the player following the above-mentioned match) – Art. 15 (1) (d) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.”

If the Brazilian is found guilty, he could be suspended for three matches in the competition for insulting match officials.

UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will look into the case and a date for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel had said after the game that he understood Neymar’s anger and defended his comments, saying they were made in the heat of the moment.

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