New York. Mar 24 (AP/UNB) - The former European champions started their campaigns to qualify for Euro 2020 with wins over Scandinavian visitors on Saturday — but in different fashion.
While a misfiring Spain turned to captain Sergio Ramos to edge Norway 2-1, Italians Nicolo Barella and Moise Kean scored their first international goals to beat Finland 2-0.
The pressure is on Italy to recover from last year's embarrassing failure to not reach the World Cup. Spain likewise wants to use the European qualifying campaign to restore its status as one of the continent's best teams after losing to a less talented Russia in the World Cup last 16.
"When you start from zero there is always excitement," Ramos said. "We have a dream, this goal to do something big. A new quest starts, a new objective, and there is no better way to do so than this."
Spain dominated the first half at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium but only Rodrigo Moreno could convert his scoring chance.
Norway equalized in the 65th minute when forward Joshua King netted a penalty kick after substitute Bjorn Johnsen was fouled by Inigo Martinez in the area.
But Ramos soon got his turn at the spot when Alvaro Morata poached a poor back pass by Harvard Nordtveit and was cut down in the box by goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.
Ramos, making his 162nd appearance for Spain, got the winner when he converted a spot kick in the "panenka" style — waiting for the goalie to move before chipping the ball down the middle — in the 71st.
Also in Group F, Sweden beat Romania 2-1 thanks to goals by Robin Quaison and Viktor Claesson. Substitute Claudiu Keseru pulled one back for Romania.
Malta edged the Faroe Islands 2-1 in the matchup of the group's minnows.
Three-time champion Spain is the favorite to win the qualifying group.
Barella, a 22-year-old midfielder with Cagliari, scored seven minutes in for Italy with a long, deflected shot from a rebound following a free kick from Marco Verratti.
Kean, aged 19, then took advantage of an excellent throughball from Ciro Immobile to find the target from the center of the area in the 74th. He became the second youngest scorer for Italy after Bruno Nicole in 1958.
"He's skillful," Italy coach Roberto Mancini said of Kean. "But he still has a lot of work to do. He's got a huge margin for improvement."
It marked the first time the Azzurri scored more than one goal in a competitive match in nearly two years.
Also in Group J, Greece won at Liechtenstein 2-0 from goals by Kostas Fortounis and Anastasios Donis.
Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Armenia 2-1 as Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko celebrated his 100th appearance.
Switzerland got second-half goals from Steven Zuber and Denis Zakaria to win at Georgia 2-0, ending the hosts' run of seven unbeaten games at home.
Switzerland will play Group D favorite Denmark in Basel on Tuesday.
Ireland's Jeff Hendrick scored to help beat Gibraltar 1-0.
Dhaka, Mar 23 (UNB) - The 13-team Metropolis 2nd Division Football League begins on Sunday at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Shipahi Mohammad Mustafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur here.
State Minister for Youth and Sports M Zahid Ahsan Russell will inaugurate the meet in the afternoon.
Tongi Krira Chakra will play Gouripur Sporting Club in the lone opening day match at 3:45pm.
On the following day (Monday), Purbachal Parishad will face Khilgaon Football Academy at 9am.
Secretary of the league committee Mohidur Rahman Miraj disclosed this at a press conference at the BFF House on Saturday.
The champion team will be promoted to senior division league while bottom team will be relegated to the 3rd division league.
The participating teams are Tongi Krira Chakra, Purbachal Parishad, Azampur Football Club (Uttara), Little Friends Club, City Club, Mugda Samaj Kallayan & Krira Sangsad, East End Club, BG Press SRC, Shantinagar Club, Dilkusha SC, BKSP, Khilgaon Football Academy and Gouripur Sporting Club.
Dhaka, Mar 23 (UNB) – MA Hamid Independence Day Handball (Men’s & Women’s) Tournament began on Saturday at Shaheed Capt (retd) M Mansur Ali Handball Stadium here with Border Guard-Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Police making flying start in the men’s competition.
Acting Secretary of Youth and Sports ministry Dr Mohammad Zafar Uddin inaugurated the meet, organized by Bangladesh Handball Federation (BHF), on Saturday afternoon.
The programme was chaired by BHF President AKM Nurul Fazal Bulbul in presence of its general secretary Asaduzzaman Kohinoor.
In the men’s competition, BGB outplayed Quantum Foundation by 36-20 goals after leading the first half by 15-7 while Bangladesh Police Handball Club beat Bangladesh Ansar by 25-20 goals after dominating the first half 16-11.
In the women’s group, BJMC outplayed Quantum Foundation by 48-10 goals (first half 28-5), Bangoladesh Ansar defeated Jamalpur Sports Academy by 33-15 goals (first half 15-10) while Bangoladesh Ansar again beat Police Handball Club by 30-22 goals (first half 12-8) at the same venue.
Dhaka, Mar 23 (UNB) – Eyeing on semifinals, a 17-member Bangladesh National Archery team will leave here for Thailand on Sunday (March 24) to compete in the Stage-1 competition of the 2019 Asia Cup World Ranking (Archery) Tournament beginning in Bangkok on Monday (March 25).
Bangladesh team will fly for Bangkok on Sunday, in two batches, the first batch at noon and the 2nd at night.
The City Group, the main sponsor of Bangladesh Archery Federation, is also the major sponsor of the tour under its “Teer Go For Gold” project. National Sports Council and Bangladesh Army are also the partial sponsor of the tour.
Bangladesh Archery team comprises of 12 archers including six men and six women will compete in 10 events--men’s team, women’s team, men’s singles, women’s singles and mixed doubles of both the recurve and compound divisions in ranking and elimination rounds.
In a pre-tour press conference at the Dutch-Bangla Auditorium of BOA on Saturday, the head coach of Bangladesh Martin Fedrick said, “We have prepared our team focusing on World Championship and Asian Championship this year and our initial target is to reach the semifinals of the Asia Cup World Ranking meet.”
General Secretary of Bangladesh Archery Federation Kazi Razibuddin Ahmed Chapal, Executive Director of the meet’s sponsor City Group Zafaruddin Siddique and Deputy Secretary General of BOA Asaduzzaman Kohinoor also spoke on the occasion.
Federation Vice-president Anisur Rahman Dipu, Joint Secretary Rashid Serniabad and convener of the federation’s media committee Rafiqul Islam Tipu were also present on the occasion.
Bangladesh Archery team has secured two gold, eight silver and eight bronze medals from the meet since 2009.
Members of Bangladesh Archery team are Ruman Shana, Imdadul Haque Milon, Hakim Ahmed Rubel, Beauty Boy, Nasrin Akhter, Diya Siddiqui, Sheikh Sajib, Ashim Kumar Das, Abul Kashem Mamun, Sushmita Bonik, Bonnya Akhter and Shymoly Rai
Team Officials: Kazi Razibuddin Ahmed Chapal (team leader), Rubaiyet Ahmed, Shaila Sharmin (officials), Martin Fedrick (head coach) and Mohammad Zaiul Haque (assistant coach).
Dhaka, Mar 23 (UNB) - Saif Hassan’s back-to-back-century in the ongoing Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPDCL) helped Prime Doleshwar to beat Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity on Saturday by seven wickets in Savar.
Prime Doleshwar won the toss and decided to bowl first. Khelaghar posted 257/9 in 50 overs with the fifties of Mahidul Islam Ankon and Sadikur Rahman.
Besides, Robiul Islam Robi (17), Ashok Menaria (21), Amit Majumder (18) and Moinul Islam (21) also struck double-digit.
Farhad Reza, the captain of Prime Doleshwar, bagged three wickets while Abu Jayed and Shykat Ali took two wickets each.
In reply, Prime Doleshwar won the game in 46.4 overs (258/3) with seven wickets hand. Saif Hassan, the right-handed top-order batsman, hit unbeaten 132 with nine fours and three sixes and won the award of man of the match.
Along with Saif, Marshall Ayub (40) and Saad Nasim (34*) also contributed with the bat.
It was the fourth win of Prime Doleshwar in five rounds of the league while Khelaghar suffered the fourth loss.
In the other match of the day, Shinepukur Cricket Club beat Uttara Sporting Club by eight wickets in a low-scoring affair in Fatullah, which was Shinepukur’s first win of the season while Uttara suffered the fourth loss.
Shinepukur won the toss and opted to bowl first. They have restricted Uttara for 145 all-out in 44.4 overs.
Minhazul Abedin was the only batsman of Uttara to offer some batting prowess as he hit 51. Besides, Tanzid Hasan (25) and Mohimenul Haque (21) contributed with the bat.
For Shinepukur, Sabbir Hossain bagged three wickets and Rakibul Hasan took two.
In reply, Sabbir was out for 99 off 72 balls to help Shinepukur register a big win of eight wickets. He failed to record a ton but helped his team to a comfortable win (149/2 in 15.1 overs).
Sabbir was adjourned Man of the Match.