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Japan fans, players show big heart after FIFA WC exit; clean dressing room & stands

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Moscow :Japan showed immense grit in their FIFA?World Cup 2018 Round of 16 match against Belgium before going down 2-3. The result was particularly disheartening for the fans and the Japanese players alike as till early second half, they led 2-0.
Nonetheless, the loss did not deter Japanese fans from displaying exemplary behaviour. After the match ended in Rostov-on-Don, Japanese fans could be seen cleaning up the stands and filing up all the trash in plastic bags.
Their football team was not behind either as it cleaned the dressing room and even left a ‘Thank you’ note behind.
However, most of the fans were teary-eyed after the result. The Samurai Blue looked on track to reach their first quarter-final in three last-16 attempts, only to see the Belgium national football team roar back and snatch a 3-2 win with an explosive counter-attack deep into stoppage time.
“When we took the lead I thought we were going to win,” said 21-year-old university student Nao Okada, who burst into tears at a Tokyo sports bar as the final whistle sounded.
“It hurts but it was a really good game and I feel moved. I want Japan to keep playing hard next time,” she said.
The 61st-ranked Japanese were given little chance of making an impact at the tournament, but their gritty group stage display and last-16 match versus Belgium won over the fans.
“This was a really good team, their passing and scoring and teamwork,” said 39-year-old hairdresser Kenichi Okegami.
“At 2-2 I thought we were heading for a penalty shootout… it’s crushing,” he said.
Belgium became the first side to win a World Cup knockout game from two goals down since 1970, making the loss all the more gut-wrenching for Japan and their supporters.
“Just a little bit more… it was a harsh result,” said Kenta Saito, 61, a former school football coach and a qualified referee. “They had chances at the end but they couldn’t grab them,” he said.


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Team India relishing the experience

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Mumbai : India’s ASC Boys Sports School from Bengaluru are gearing up to play the FC Bayern Munich Youth Cup 2019 World Finals at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Drawn alongside Thailand, FC Bayern Kids Club and China in Group B, the Indian side will have their first taste of competition in two friendlies against two of Group A opponents Singapore and Nigeria at the Bayern Munich training grounds on the eve of the event.
The boys have so far enjoyed the priviledge of training under the expetise of FC Bayern youth coaches.
Following a complete session with the boys, Bayern Munich coach Christopher Loch told Goal , “They are a good bunch of players with really good technique. They play together, which is very important because football is a team sport.
“I’m really excited to see them play on Sunday. I hope they go through.”
Speaking on the road ahead for these players, Loch commented, “It’s a long way. You have to train nearly everyday and work hard on even individual things. Then you need luck, like have the right coach who brings you to the first team.”
“I am very excited to be here. The most interesting thing is to see (meet) the coaches, see the Bayern Munich training grounds and learn more about football,” The Indian team’s captain C. Ronald Singh said in an interview with Bayern TV.
the teams were also involved in the Munich freestyle tour where each side were required to perform the ‘around the world’, the head stall and the header challenge.
Tondon Meitei, who then participated in the freestyle play-offs, enthralled the assembled crowd at the Marienplatz in Munich and was thereafter crowned the Freestyle King.
At the intercultural party that was held at the team hotel, the boys performed a Manipuri dance and entertained all while the other teams staged their own performances.
An unique opportunity to catch the live action of the Bundesliga’s title deciding clash between FC Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena also awaits the participants.

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World Cup winner to get Rs 28cr prize money

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LONDON: The winners of the upcoming ICC ODI World Cup will earn a cash award of Rs 28.12cr ($4 million), the highest prize money on offer in the history of the tournament. The winners of the 10-team tournament will also get a trophy that they will lift at the historic Lord’s on July 16. The total prize pot of Rs 70.31cr ($10 million) will see the runners-up take home Rs 14.06cr ($2 million) and the losing semifinalists $800,000 each at the end of the 46-day tournament being played across 11 venues in the UK from May 30. There are prizes for each league match won, in what promises to be a competitive tournament with the world’s best teams playing each other in a round-robin format.

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Hope to play under a big coach like Igor Stimac soon: Gahlot

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Mumbai :Narender Gahlot is among the finest young defenders in Indian football at the moment. The young centre-back was an integral part of Floyd Pinto’s Indian Arrows side in the 2018-19 season of the I-League.
The young boy who grew up playing cricket took up football as a serious sport much later. Belonging to a family which encourages sports, Gahlot’s uncle inspired him to pursue a career in football.
Speaking to Goal about his inclination towards sports, Narender said, “I used to play cricket earlier. My uncle used to play cricket and he was a sports fanatic. So he wanted me to play a sport. Then after some time I grew an interest in football and started playing. My uncle was my biggest support and inspiration.”
The youngster informed that he used to play as a midfielder initially and idolised Indian football icon Bhaichung Bhutia but later on taking advice from a local coach, he decided to change his position.
“I was a very big fan of Bhaichung Bhutia as a child. I used to play in midfield but later one of our local coaches asked me if I could play as a defender and I agreed to change my position. Among international players, I am a big fan of Sergio Ramos,” said Narender.
The Indian Arrows star joined the Chandigarh Football Academy at age of 15 before moving to Sports Authority of India (SAI) Dehradun. It was during his stay at SAI that he caught the attention of then India U16 coach Nicolai Adam.
“With SAI I had played against the India U16 team at that time which was coached by Nicolai Adams. After that match, I got a call from the India U16 side.
“Unfortunately I could not take part in the U17 World Cup as I was injured. I suffered an ACL injury a few months prior to the World Cup when we were in Brazil.
“After the World Cup Abhishek (Yadav) Sir told me that they are making a team (Indian Arrows) and then he had called me for trails there. Luis Norton de Matos liked me and kept me in the side,” said the 18-year-old player on his journey so far.

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