Dhaka, March 4 (UNB)– Defending champions Dhaka Abahani Limited took a solo lead in the 13-team Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football, beating Saif Sporting Club by 3-1 goals in the 10th round match at the Rofiq Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh on Monday.
By virtue of the well-merited victory, the sky-blue popular Dhanmondi outfit again clinched the top slot toppling star-studded Bashundhara Kings, securing 24 points from 10 matches with eight wins and two defeats one each against Bashundhara Kings and Sheikh Russel KC.
Independence Cup champions and big-budgeted Bashundhara Kings followed the leader neck and neck securing 22 points from eight matches, two matches less than Abahani.
In the day’s match, Nigerain booter Sunday Chizoba struck twice in the 28th and 55th minute while local striker Nabib Newas Zibon scoring the match’s first goal in the 9th minute.
Dennis Bolshakov scored the lone goal for Saif SC in the 63rd minute.
In the day’s another match, newcomer NoFeL Sporting Club upset Dhaka Mohammedan SC beating them by 1-0 goal at their home venue — Shaheed Bhulu Stadium in Noakhali in the afternoon.
Guinean booter Ismael Bangoura scored the match decider for NoFeL SC in the 86th minute from a penalty (1-0).
With the day’s win, NoFeL SC improved their position in the league table securing eight points from nine matches forcing Mohammedan SC to suffer 6th defeat in the ongoing league.
The day’s other league match between Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and Chattogram Abahani Limited ended in a goalless draw at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
After Barca losses, Madrid only has Champions League left
Spain, Mar 4 (AP/UNB) — Two demoralizing defeats to Barcelona have left Real Madrid with just one chance to salvage its season by winning a record-extending fourth consecutive Champions League trophy.
But it must do without the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo, the star striker who fueled its title run before leaving for Juventus at the end of last season.
Madrid failed to score against Barcelona in two "clasico" matches at its Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the past week. Barcelona eliminated Madrid from the Copa del Rey semifinals with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday, and three days later left Madrid 12 points adrift in the Spanish league with a 1-0 win.
Madrid could do with rediscovering its scoring form to avoid another calamity when it hosts Dutch side Ajax in the return leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday. The visitors won the away leg in Amsterdam 2-1 thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.
"We gave it our all (against Barcelona) but weren't decisive enough in the box," defender Dani Carvajal said. "On Tuesday, we need to lay it all on the line. They (Ajax) have had a good rest and we saw what they can do in the first leg. I hope the fans back us because we want to give them something to cheer."
Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund also need to overturn defeats by Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham to advance.
Madrid's biggest threat against Barcelona was the speed and dribbling skills offered by Vinicius Junior. But the 18-year-old Brazilian forward failed to finish off his scoring chances and got little help from the team's veterans. Benzema squandered his opportunities and Gareth Bale was jeered by segments of the crowd when substituted on Saturday.
The hosts are without suspended center-back Sergio Ramos, while Ajax has won its last three games by at least three goals.
"Goals come in patches," said Madrid manager Santiago Solari. "We'll keep plugging away. We can't let our teamwork, solidity and commitment slip."
Here is a look at this week's other three Champions League matches:
Psg vs. Manchester United
United faces the daunting task Wednesday of retrieving a 2-0 loss against a PSG side led by the in-form Kylian Mbappe.
The 20-year-old France forward is helping PSG supporters forget all about Neymar. Mbappe scored in the first leg at Old Trafford, and found the net twice on Saturday at Caen. He has now netted in all five domestic league games since the club lost Neymar and Edinson Cavani to injury.
"The coach said we had to win this game to prepare well for Manchester's visit and that's what we did," said Mbappe, who took his tally to 24 goals in 21 French league games.
Mbappe will hope to profit from more open spaces as United chases the game without suspended midfielder Paul Pogba.
PSG can also count on Cavani, who has resumed full training.
Dortmund vs. Tottenham
After such a promising start under new coach Lucien Favre and an overhaul of the squad, Dortmund's season is unraveling.
Its 3-0 first-leg loss at Tottenham came after the side was knocked out of the German Cup and held to two draws in the Bundesliga.
Nothing has happened since to suggest Dortmund can recover on Tuesday. It has only one win from seven games across all competitions and has allowed Bayern Munich to draw level on points atop the Bundesliga after surrendering what was once a nine-point lead.
"We're scoring goals against ourselves," Marco Reus said after the side's shock 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday.
Harry Kane scored a late penalty to salvage Tottenham a 1-1 draw with Arsenal on Saturday.
Fc porto vs. Roma
Roma and FC Porto are in crisis before they meet on Wednesday, with the Italian visitors holding a slim 2-1 advantage.
Roma was beaten 3-0 by city rival Lazio in the derby on Saturday to seriously damage its chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League.
"We really need to focus on Porto so we can get through to the quarterfinals," Roma captain Daniele De Rossi said. "If we do that, it will also change our vision of the season and our current form."
Porto is also reeling after losing 2-1 to Benfica on Saturday, a defeat which let its fierce rival take the lead at the top of the Portuguese league.
Rio De Janeiro, Mar 4 (AP/UNB) — Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar was battling back from two injuries, not one, at last year's World Cup.
In a 2-hour interview with TV Globo on Sunday, Neymar said a problem in his right ankle was affecting his recovery in Russia, as well as the metatarsal fracture in the same foot that he had previously described.
"Besides the metatarsal, I had an ankle problem. I ruptured the ligament and the recovery was crazier because of this," the PSG striker said.
Neymar said the metatarsal injury did not unduly trouble him in Russia, but the ankle did. "It is very annoying with the ankle, it takes a long time to get back to normal," he said.
Brazil was eliminated by Belgium in the quarterfinals, and Neymar failed to deliver his best performances during the tournament.
Neymar is currently recovering in Brazil from another metatarsal injury in his right foot that he sustained in January, and is expected to return to action next month.
The former Barcelona forward talked about speculation he could one day join Real Madrid.
"It is one of the biggest clubs in the world, any player that Real Madrid seeks would be drawn into playing there. I am very happy at PSG. But no one knows the future," he said.
Recent videos have shown Neymar dancing at a party in Salvador, which has led to criticism about the way he is handling his recovery, but he said he would not be changing his ways.
"When people say Neymar's life off the pitch troubles him on the pitch ... No. You are completely wrong, it doesn't trouble him in any way. I am a man that takes care of himself. I know when I can go out," he said.
Dhaka, Mar 3 (UNB)– Bangladesh women’s football team finished Group B runners-up in the qualifying round-2 matches of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship losing to stronger China by 0-3 goals in their 3nd and last group affairs at the Mandalar Thiri Stadium in Mandalay, Myanmar on Sunday.
Despite the day’s first defeat in their 3rd group encounters , Bangladesh U-16 Women reached the eight-team final round of the prestigious AFC U-16 Women’s Championship for the second successive time securing six points from three group outings with two wins and one loss.
As one of the best eight teams in Asia, Bangladesh junior women’s team have an opportunity to play in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as three top teams of the AFC Championship to be entitled to play in the World Cup.
With the day’s feat, PR China emerged Group B champions with all-win record to book a seat for the final round of the AFC U-16 Championship alongside Bangladesh.
In the day’s match, Dai Xinyao put China ahead in the 29th minute, Shao Ziqin doubled the margin in the 46th minute while Wang Xinling sealed the fate of the scoring the 3rd goal in the 53rd minute to win the match comfortable by 3-0 goals.
The eight-nation final round of the AFC U-16 Championship scheduled for Thailand next September, which is also a qualifying meet of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2020.
Six nations of the eight-team final round, defending champions North Korea, runners-up South Korea, 3rd ranked Japan, hosts Thailand, China and Bangladesh (Group B) have already confirmed their participation.
Four teams of Group A—Australia, Laos, Vietnam and Iran—are battling in Laos for the remaining two seats of the final round. Australia beat Iran by 3-0 goals in the opening Group A match at the News Laos National Stadium on Sunday (March 3).
On way to final round, Bangladesh eliminated hosts Myanmar 1-0 in their second Group B match on Friday after a dream start, crushing the Philippines by 10-0 goals on Wednesday.
China emerged Group B champions beating Myanmar by 5-0 goals, the Philippines 7-0 and Bangladesh 3-0 on Sunday.
Hosts Myanmar and the Philippines were eliminated from the meet after suffering two successive defeats, will face each other on Sunday for a face saving victory.
In the final round of the last AFC U-16 Women’s Championship in 2017, also a qualifying round of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Bangladesh suffered 0-9 goals defeat against North Korea, conceded 0-3 defeat against Japan and 2-3 defeat against Australia.
Earlier, hosts Bangladesh U-16 Women’s team reached the round-2 of the AFC qualifiers as the unbeaten Group F champions crushing Lebanon 8-0, United Arab Emirates 7-0 and Vietnam 2-0 in Dhaka in September last year.
The team scored a whopping 27 goals without conceding any single in the four group matches in the preliminary round-1 in Dhaka in September last year.
After the day’s match, Head Coach of Bangladesh Golam Rabbani Choton said, “We came here to qualify for the final round and we have achieved this. I am so proud. Not only this we are now competing against quality oppositions.”
Bangladesh Captain Maria Manda said,“I am proud of our performance against China, we have improved much.”
Madrid, Mar 3 (AP/UNB) — With Real Madrid on the ropes in front of its own fans, Barcelona showed no mercy.
The Catalan club threw the knockout punch on Saturday, leaving Madrid reeling from a second consecutive demoralizing home loss by its biggest rival in less than a week.
Three days after winning 3-0 at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, Barcelona followed up by defeating Madrid 1-0 to virtually end its hopes of winning the Spanish league title.
Ivan Rakitic scored in the first half and Barcelona held on for its third straight victory at the Bernabeu.
Barcelona, which has also now become the first team to win four in a row at the Bernabeu in the league, is 12 points ahead of Madrid with 12 matches left. The defending champions are 10 points in front of second-place Atletico Madrid, which visits Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Winning coach Ernesto Valverde remained cautious, though.
"We are not yet considering Madrid out of the title race," he said. "Atletico is not our only rival, absolutely not. We all know Madrid is capable of winning several matches in a row and getting back in contention."
Madrid is in crisis, with the Champions League the only trophy it can win this season. Coach Santiago Solari will be under pressure when his side hosts Ajax on Tuesday to defend a 2-1 first-leg lead in the round of 16.
"We have to see how we can improve," Solari said. "There is no doubt it's a significant distance to the lead in the league, but we are not going to give up. We will keep fighting until the end, in the Spanish league and Champions League."
Barcelona is gunning for three titles — the league, the Copa del Rey and the Champions League — and its players celebrated in front of the away fans after the match, while some Madrid supporters jeered their side at the end.
Madrid is winless against Barcelona in six matches in all competitions, and has lost 11 of 18 matches played against its rival in the Spanish capital.
Barcelona won 3-0 the last time the teams met in the league at the Bernabeu, and routed Madrid 5-1 at Camp Nou Stadium in their first league game this season.
After dominating in the first half on Wednesday only to collapse in the second, Madrid never looked in control on Saturday.
Barcelona created most of the chances and struck in the 26th minute. Sergi Roberto sent a pass behind the Madrid defenders for Rakitic and the midfielder chipped the ball over goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from inside the area.
Madrid pressed forward after conceding and came close to scoring a few times, but Barcelona kept threatening on the counter.
Lionel Messi was quiet for Barca. His most notable moment came when he and Sergio Ramos squared up before halftime, with the Argentina forward upset at the Madrid captain for leaving his arm high and hitting his face in a challenge.
It was the third meeting between the teams in less than a month. They also drew 1-1 in the first leg of the Copa semifinals at Camp Nou. They can only meet again this season in the Champions League. Barca drew with Lyon 1-1 in its first-leg match in the round of 16.
Japanese midfielder Takashi Inui scored a second-half winner as Alaves defeated relegation-threatened Villarreal 2-1 to move into fourth spot, the final Champions League position.
Sevilla wasted a chance to go fourth by losing 2-1 at bottom club Huesca after conceding eight minutes into second-half stoppage time. Defeat extended Sevilla's winless streak to five league games, dropping it to sixth place.
Wu Lei became the first Chinese player to score in the Spanish league when he struck in Espanyol's 3-1 win against Valladolid.