Dhaka, Jan 19 (UNB) – Chattogram Abahani Limited and Saif Sporting Club made good start in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football, beating their rivals in two separate venues on Saturday.
Abahani managed a 1-0 goal victory over Muktijoddha Sangsad KC at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in the afternoon. Ugochukwu Awala Magalan scored the winning goal in the 50th minute.
In the day’s other match, Saif Sporting Club earned a 2-1 victory against Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society at their home venue — Rafiquddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh.
Saif SC, being led by national footballer Jamal Bhuiyan, took the lead in the 37th minute with a goal from Javed Khan. Hasan Nayon doubled the lead a minute later.
Faisal Ahmed reduced the margin for Rahmatganj MFS in the stoppage time (91st minute).
Dhaka Mohammedan SC will play Team BJMC at 4pm at the Bangabandhu National Stadium while Arambagh KS will face Sheikh Russel KC at 3pm at the Rafiquddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh. Both matches will take place on Sunday.
Zurich, Jan 19 (AP/UNB) — FIFA's task force studying options to revamp the Club World Cup and create a global Nations League in a joint $25 billion deal got together on Friday in Morocco, and will meet again next month in Brazil.
World soccer's ruling body says the panel of officials from six continental governing bodies was "updated on parallel discussions" with other groups, including representatives of clubs, leagues and player unions.
Friday's meeting was in Casablanca and the next is scheduled for Feb. 21 in Rio de Janeiro.
FIFA has a $25 billion offer from investors led by SoftBank of Japan to manage the new competitions for 12 years from 2021.
European soccer officials have opposed the plan, citing FIFA secrecy about investors. A proposed Club World Cup worth $3 billion every four years could also challenge UEFA's Champions League.
FIFA's ruling council is set to decide on the revamp at a March 14-15 meeting in Miami.
Madrid, Jan 18 (AP/UNB) — Barcelona earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday, but its continued participation in the tournament remains under threat.
Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele led Barcelona to a comfortable 3-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou Stadium, helping it advance 4-2 on aggregate. However, the Catalan club could be disqualified for allegedly using a suspended player in the first leg.
Levante said it will make a formal complaint to the Spanish soccer federation on Friday, ahead of the draw for the quarterfinals.
The four-time defending Copa champion has denied any wrongdoing for using youth player Juan "Chumi" Brandariz in last week's match in Valencia.
"We don't have any doubts," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. "We believe we will be in the draw tomorrow. We did everything right and we won on the field, which is where we had to win."
Levante said Chumi should not have played because of an accumulation of yellow cards with Barcelona's "B'' team, arguing that his suspension applied to the senior team as well, including in Copa matches.
"We prefer to win on the field, but the regulations exist and everyone needs to follow them," Levante coach Paco Lopez said. "Let's see what happens."
The Spanish federation is expected to rule on Levante's complaint before Friday's draw.
Real Madrid was eliminated in the tournament's round of 16 in 2015 for using striker Denis Cheryshev while he was suspended.
"We are surprised, we found out about it by the press," Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives said. "We analyzed the situation and concluded that Chumi's participation was legal."
With Messi back in the lineup after being rested in the first leg, Barcelona easily reversed the 2-1 deficit from the first match. The Argentine playmaker set up goals by Dembele in the 30th and 31st minutes, then sealed the victory by scoring in the 54th.
Barcelona has made it at least to the quarterfinals in the Copa in nine straight seasons. It won the title five times in the last seven years.
Earlier Thursday, Espanyol defeated Villarreal 3-1 at home with two goals by striker Borja Iglesias to advance 5-3 on aggregate, while Real Betis salvaged a 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad to reach the last eight on away goals after a 0-0 first-leg draw.
Real Madrid, Girona, Valencia, Getafe and Sevilla also made it to the quarterfinals. Atletico Madrid was eliminated by Girona on Wednesday.
Madrid , Jan 17 (AP/UNB) — Antoine Griezmann's late goal couldn't save Atletico Madrid as its defense faltered in a surprising elimination to Girona in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.
Real Madrid and Sevilla lost their matches but both had big first-leg leads and advanced to the tournament's quarterfinals.
Atletico's usually stout defense struggled in a 3-3 draw and allowed an 88th-minute equalizer that kept Diego Simeone's team from reaching the last eight for the first time since the coach took over in 2012. It was the first time Atletico conceded three goals at home since it moved to Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in 2017.
Griezmann came off the bench to score an 84th-minute goal that looked set to send Atletico to the quarterfinals, but substitute Seydou Doumbia netted four minutes later and Girona advanced on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate score. The teams drew 1-1 in the first leg last week.
"It was a classic Copa match," Simeone said. "Girona was very efficient with its chances and in the end it got the result it needed. We have to congratulate them."
Atletico won the Copa for the last time in 2013, and it had made it at least to the last eight every time since then.
Girona is in the quarterfinals for the first time.
"The players did an incredible job to send us through," Girona coach Eusebio Sacristan said. "It's very important for our club to be able to advance. We know the importance of the feat that we have achieved."
Atletico started well and striker Nikola Kalinic opened the scoring in the 12th with a close-range shot after a long pass from Diego Godin. Girona equalized through Valery Fernandez after the hosts couldn't clear a cross into the area in the 37th, and it took the lead with a header by striker Cristhian Stuani in the 59th to leave Atletico in need of two goals to advance.
Angel Correa got the first from inside the area in the 66th after being set up by Griezmann, and the French forward — who entered the match in the 61st — scored the second with an angled left-footed shot into the top of the net.
Atletico fans were still celebrating at the Metropolitano when Doumbia, who came off the bench in the 68th, redirected the ball into the net after a low shot by Borja Garcia.
Simeone was back on the bench for Atletico after serving a three-game suspension for a rant in a Copa match against Sevilla last season.
MADRID GOES THROUGH
Madrid advanced 3-1 on aggregate despite a 1-0 loss at Leganes, which played better and had most of the chances at Butarque Stadium.
Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas, one of the many second-stringers in the lineup, made several difficult saves to keep the hosts from scoring more goals.
The local crowd gave Leganes a standing ovation after the final whistle. It was the team's first home win ever against Madrid.
Leganes had eliminated the Spanish powerhouse in the quarterfinals of last year's Copa with a win at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Newly signed striker Martin Braithwaite scored the game's lone goal in the 30th.
"We lost the match but advanced," midfielder Casemiro said. "We had it under control."
Sevilla, a Copa finalist in two of the last three seasons, advanced to the quarterfinals despite a 1-0 home loss to Athletic Bilbao. It had won the first leg 3-1 in Bilbao.
Gorka Guruzeta scored Athletic's winner in the 77th.
Four-time defending champion Barcelona hosts Levante on Thursday to try to reverse a 2-1 first-leg loss.
Southampton, Jan 17 (AP/UNB) — Derby came from two goals down for the second time against Southampton to eliminate the Premier League club from the FA Cup on Wednesday, winning a penalty shootout following a 2-2 draw in their third-round replay.
Derby captain Richard Keogh converted the decisive spot kick to secure a 5-3 win in the shootout after Nathan Redmond missed the only penalty for Southampton by shooting wide.
Southampton, which also led 2-0 in the teams' first 2-2 draw on Jan. 5, looked to be headed for the fourth round after Stuart Armstrong and Redmond scored in the 68th and 70th minutes to put the Premier League side in control. But Harry Wilson pulled one back with a free kick in the 76th and Martyn Waghorn equalized six minutes later to send the game to extra time.
Redmond also missed a good chance to restore Southampton's lead in the 111th minute, shooting straight at goalkeeper Kelle Roos after being slipped in by Oriol Romeu, before his off-target spot kick in the shootout proved decisive.
It was the Championship club's second penalty shootout win against a Premier League side this season after stunning Manchester United in the League Cup in September, giving first-year manager Frank Lampard another memorable cup victory.
Derby's preparation for this game was dominated by the fallout from Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa admitting that he had sent a staff member to spy on Lampard's team in training ahead of their meeting last week in the Championship.
Lampard refused to comment on the matter before kickoff.