Fighting Sindhu loses to Tzu Ying in World Tour Finals opener
Bangkok, Jan 27 (PTI) World champion shuttler P V Sindhu went down fighting against world number one Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan in the opening Group 'B' women's singles match of the USD 1.5 million HSBC BWF World Tour Finals here on Wednesday. A week after a demoralising defeat at the Toyota Thailand Open quarterfinals, Sindhu produced a much improved performance but still lost to Tzu Ying 21-19 12-21 17-21 in a 59-minute match. It was Sindhu's 16th defeat to Tzu Ying in 21 meetings. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the prestigious title in 2018, will next play home favourites Ratchanok Intanon, who had handed her a humiliating defeat last week. The opening game was a close fight as Sindhu and Tzu Ying engaged in an enticing battle. The Taiwanese managed to lead the game for most part but Sindhu kept breathing down her neck before reeling off four points on the trot to claim the game. Tzu Ying led 5-3 early on before grabbing a 11-8 advantage at the interval as Sindhu lost a few points on the net. After the break, Tzu Ying jumped to a 14-10 lead with Sindhu making an error in her judgement at backline and also the Taiwanese producing a backhand cross court return. Sindhu drew parity at 16-16 with a run of points, highlighted by a crisp cross court slice and a backhand return. Tzu Ying again moved ahead but two precise smash helped the Indian make it 19-19 as she grabbed the game point with another precise return that kissed the backline. Sindhu then played a cross court return at the net which her opponent couldn't reach to gain the upper hand in the match. Tzu Ying came out all cylinders blazing to grab a 6-0 lead in the second game. Sindhu managed to reduce the deficit to 3-7 before the Taiwanese unleased a couple of drops and a smash to make it 9-4. Two unforced errors from Sindhu handed a 11-4 advantage to her rival at the break. Tzu Ying continued to exert pressure on the Indian to move to 19-9 before winning the second game with a cross court return to level the match. In the decider, Tzu Ying again led 6-3 but she stumbled to some defensive errors as Sindhu again levelled the score 6-6 with a smash. However, the second seed Taiwanese held a 11-9 lead at the break after Sindhu made another error in her judgement at the backline. After the change of sides, Sindhu managed to keep the two-point difference till 13-15 before a lucky net cord and a weak return at the net by Sindhu gave Tzu Ying a 17-13 lead. Sindhu again narrowed it to 16-18 and then 17-19 before Tzu Ying grabbed three match points with the Indian going to the net. The world no. 1 Taiwanese sealed it with another return from Sindhu going to net. The delayed season finale, with a prize money of USD 1.5 million, features only the top players in men's and women's singles and eight pairs in the three doubles events, divided into group stages. It will be followed by the knockout, with the top two players/pairs from each group making it to the semifinals.
Sindhu, Srikanth lose their opening matches in World Tour Finals
Bangkok, Jan 27 (PTI) Star Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth fought their hearts out before suffering close defeats in their respective group 'B' openers at the USD 1.5 million HSBC BWF World Tour Finals here on Wednesday. A week after a demoralising defeat at the Toyota Thailand Open quarterfinals, World champion Sindhu produced a much-improved performance but still lost to world number one Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan 21-19 12-21 17-21 "It was a good match, there were no easy points. In the third game I came back and it was just one point difference at one stage. I broke my racket strings twice (during rallies) and that made a difference," Sindhu said. "It's a tough group. I have to give 100 per cent." It was Sindhu's 16th defeat to Tzu Ying in 21 meetings. Former world number one Srikanth too squandered an opening game advantage, losing 21-15 16-21 18-21 to world number three Anders Antonsen of Denmark in a gruelling 77-minute contest. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the prestigious title in 2018, will next play home favourites Ratchanok Intanon, who had handed her a humiliating defeat last week, while Srikanth, ranked 14th, will face fourth seed Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei on Thursday. In the women's singles, the opening game was a close fight as Sindhu and Tzu Ying engaged in an enticing battle. Tzu Ying led 5-3 early on before grabbing a 11-8 advantage at the interval as Sindhu lost a few points on the net. After the break, Tzu Ying jumped to a 14-10 lead with Sindhu making an error in her judgement at backline and also the Taiwanese producing a backhand cross court return. Sindhu drew parity at 16-16 with a run of points, highlighted by a crisp cross court slice and a backhand return. Tzu Ying again moved ahead but two precise smashes helped the Indian make it 19-19 as she grabbed the game point with another precise return that kissed the backline. Sindhu then played a cross court return at the net which her opponent couldn't reach, gaining the upper hand in the match. Tzu Ying zoomed to a 6-0 lead in the second game. Sindhu managed to reduce the deficit to 3-7 before the Taiwanese unleased a couple of drops and a smash to make it 9-4. Two unforced errors from Sindhu handed an 11-4 advantage to her rival at the break. Tzu Ying continued to dominate to move to 19-9 before winning the second game with a cross court return. In the decider, Tzu Ying again led 6-3 but she stumbled to defensive errors as Sindhu levelled the score with a smash. However, the second seed Taiwanese held a 11-9 lead at the break after Sindhu made another error at the backline. After the change of sides, Sindhu managed to keep the two-point difference till 13-15 before a lucky net cord and a weak return at the net by Sindhu gave Tzu Ying a 17-13 lead. Sindhu narrowed it to 16-18 and then 17-19 before Tzu Ying sealed the contest with the Indian going to the net twice. Making his fourth appearance at the season finale, Srikanth jumped to 7-1 early on but a few unforced errors helped Antonsen to make it 4-7. The Danish won a long 35-shot rally before Srikanth caught him off guard in the front court before gaining a three-point advantage at the break. Antonsen drew parity at 12-12 with a smash but Srikanth played a magical return to move to 14-13 and then a backhand flick took him to 16-13. A couple of smashes helped Srikanth to reach 19-13 and soon he grabbed five game point opportunities and sealed it with his rival going wide. In the second game, Antonsen erased a 0-2 deficit to make it 5-2 with some superb shots from the front court. The Danish gained a four-point advantage at the interval following Srikanth wide return. Srikanth showed good front court skills to narrow it down to 15-16 before missing the line with his smash. The Indian lost a point at the net and then went wide as Antonsen unleashed a jump smash to grab four game points and converted it with an acccurate shot at the backline. In the third game, Srikanth enjoyed a two-point advantage at the interval but he made too many unforced errors to allow Antonsen level par at 13-13. Two sensational rallies ensued with both the players winning one each before Antonsen reeled off four straight points to grab three match points. Srikanth saved one before hitting one long.
Need to reduce errors despite tough conditions in Torrey Pines - Lahiri
San Diego, Jan 27 (PTI) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri will look to cut down on his errors after enduring mixed fortunes in the last two weeks as he eyes a quick turnaround at the Farmers Insurance Open starting on Thursday.
The Indian made the cut at Sony Open but missed it at the American Express. Both times he looked promising at the start only to throw away that advantage.
Lahiri looked set for a top-10 finish at the Sony Open but crashed to a none-too-happy final round to finish Tied 62 and then last week he started with a solid 68 only to allow errors creep in the second round as he missed the cut by one shot.
"Definitely some lessons to learn from the last couple of weeks. I've mixed too many mistakes with some good golf in there. I am trying to build on the positives, trying to clean up on the big mistakes," said Lahiri, playing his seventh year on the PGA TOUR.
"There's been too many doubles and too many unforced errors so of course this week is a different kind of golf course altogether." Talking about the course, Lahiri said: "Torrey Pines is always nice to come back to especially on a sunny day. It's been freezing cold. We had severe winds and the golf course was closed on Monday because of the winds dangerous conditions. But I got a nice practice and today." Lahiri also warned that the course, which will be the venue for the US Open this year, is set up tough.
"We're going to be back here for the US Open, in about 5-6 months. This one right now isn't set up very differently as there's almost four 4-5 inches of rough.
"With no galleries this week even in the practice round, it took 2-3 minutes to find any golf ball that kind of missed the fairway so it's severe.
"It's quite severe so I think all focus is going to be on keeping it on the fairways and kind of controlling it in the wind." Korea's star Si Woo Kim, who ended a nearly four year winless run last week at American Express, will hope to ride on his new found confidence and keep the momentum going.
The 25-year-old Asian hero is amongst a star-studded field gathered for this week's stop at Torrey Pines in San Diego which includes title holder Marc Leishman, 2019 FedExCup winner Rory McIlroy, four-time PGA TOUR winner Xander Schauffele and World No. 2 Jon Rahm.
Apart from Kim and Lahiri, the other Asian stars in this week's field include Korea's Sung Kang, Seung Yul Noh, Sungjae Im, KH Lee and Byeong Hun An, who finished top-10 in last week, Japanese duo Satoshi Kodaira of Japan and Hideki Matsuyama and China's Xinjun Zhang.
NBA and Prasar Bharti announce content partnership
In a press release sent by the NBA, the National Basketball Association and Prasar Bharati (India's public service broadcaster) have announced today about their new partnership that will have Doordarshan (DD) Sports and it's youtube channel Prasar Bharti Sports broadcast classic NBA content along with documentaries, games highlights and public service announcements. The collaboration will feature daily content offerings consisting of Hardwood classics, NBA championship videos, marquee matchups, NBA TV specials and public service announcements. "We are pleased to partner with Prasar Bharti to offer classic NBA programming and highlights," said Sunny Malik, Head of Global Content and Media Distribution, NBA India. "Prasar Bharti shares our vision of growing the NBA's fanbase in India and providing a wide range of content to our fans nationwide.” Fans in India can catch up with the NBA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and download the official NBA app on iOS and Android for daily news and updates. Tags - NBA, India, Basketball, DD sports, Doordarshan, Prasar Bharti
Sean Desai becomes first NFL coordinator of Indian descent
Washington, Jan 26 (PTI) Indian-American Sean Desai has been named new defensive coordinator for Chicago Bears, making him the first National Football League (NFL) Coordinator of South Asian and Indian descent.
Last week, the Chicago Bears promoted Desai, 37, from safeties coach to defensive coordinator.
He replaces Chuck Pagano, who announced retirement early after 36 years in coaching.
"We are very fortunate and excited to promote from within and announce Sean Desai has been named defensive coordinator for our football team," Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said in a statement. "He is a person of high football intelligence, extremely detail-oriented, has a very strong work ethic and I cannot think of someone more deserving to lead our defense. Sean is a family man of high character and the respect he has within our building from coaches, players and staff is unparalleled," Nagy said.
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi welcomed Desais promotion.
As a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, a person of South Asian and Indian descent, and as an American, I am thrilled by the news that the Bears have chosen Sean Desai as their new Defensive Coordinator, making him the first coordinator of South Asian and Indian descent in NFL history, he said.
â€œIâ€™m excited for what this means for the Bears™ chances next year, but also its significance to the league and to the countless young people aspiring to follow in Seans footsteps, Krishnamoorthi said.
According to Chicago Bears, Desai began his coaching career at Temple, his alma mater, in 2006, serving as a defensive assistant and special teams coach for five seasons. As special teams coordinator in 2010 at the age of 27, he was one of the youngest coordinators in college football.
Desai was assistant director of football operations at the University of Miami (Fla.) in 2011 before spending the 2012 season as running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Boston College, it said.
He earned his doctorate in educational administration, with an emphasis in higher education, at Temple in May 2008, serving as an adjunct professor at the school in 2009 and 2010, teaching in the master's and doctoral programs in education administration, Chicago Bears said.
Mushtaq Ali said Impressive Punjab knocks out defending champion Karnataka
Ahmedabad, Jan 26 (PTI) Punjab knocked defending champions Karnataka out from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as their bowlers set up a comfortable nine-wicket win in the first quarter-final, here on Tuesday. Punjab first dismissed Karnataka for meagre 87 and then overhauled the target in 12.4 overs in what turned out to be a lopsided contest at the Sardar Patel stadium. Pacers Siddharth Kaul (3/15) and Sandeep Sharma (2/17) ran through the Karnataka top-order after they were sent in to bat. Karnataka was reeling at 26 for three, after openers Karun Nair (12) and Devdutt Padikkal (11) fell cheaply. Pavan Deshpande (0) was dismissed off his second ball, as Mayank Markande took a diving catch. Kaul dismissed both Padikkal and Deshpande in the fourth over. It soon became 26 for four, as young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh (2/16) dismissed B R Sharath (2), who was caught in the slip cordon. All-rounder Shreyas Gopal (13), who has often come to Karnataka's rescue too could not convert his start as he edged to wicket-keeper Prabhsimran Singh off pacer Ramandeep Singh (2/22) as Karnataka lost its half side for 51. Ramandeep got his second wicket when he sent back J Suchith (8) to leave Karnataka at 72 for six. Leggie Mayank Markande (1/12) then got into the act as he cleaned up a well-set Anirudh Joshi (27). Punjab continued their dominance over their opposition and ran through their lower order. Punjab lost opener Abhishek Sharma (4) early but Prabhsimran Singh (49 not out off 37 balls) and Mandeep Singh (35 not out ) ensured that the chase was walk in the park with their 85-run unbeaten stand for the second wicket. Prabhsimran, who took on the listless Karnataka attack, fittingly finished the game with a six. Brief Scores: Karnataka 87 all out (Aniruddha Joshi 27, Shreyas Gopal 13; Siddharth Kaul 3/15, Arshdeep Singh 2/16) lost to Punjab 89/1 (Prabhsimran Singh 49 not out, Mandeep Singh 35 not out; A Mithun 1/11) by 9 wickets.
According to a press release by Sri Lanka Cricket, they will be touring England during the months of June - July 2021. The limited over series tour will consist of 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs. The Lankans will arrive in the UK on 15th June, 2021.
23rd June, 2021 - SL Vs. Eng , 1st T20I at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
24th June, 2021 - SL Vs. Eng, 2nd T20I at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff.
26th June, 2021- SL Vs. Eng, 3rd T20I at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
29th June, 2021 - SL Vs. Eng, 1st ODI at the Emirates, Riverside , Durham.
1st July, 2021- SL Vs. Eng , 2nd ODI at the Kia Oval, London.
4th July, 2021- SL Vs. Eng , 3rd ODI at the Bristol County Ground, Bristol.
SCEB ropes in veteran Subrata Paul for remainder of ISL season
Panaji, Jan 26 (PTI) Indian Super League side SC East Bengal on Tuesday signed Subrata Paul for the remainder of the season, taking the star goalkeeper on loan from Hyderabad FC. Paul, 34, played six matches for Hyderabad with two clean sheets before being loaned out. This will be Paul's second stint with SCEB after the 2008-09 season in which he bagged the Federation Cup. "I can't explain how happy and and overwhelmed I am to be back at SC East Bengal. I know the weight and meaning of the red and gold colours and I consider blessed to be a part of SC East Bengal. I cannot wait to get on the pitch and let them shine," said Paul in a media release. SCEB coach Robbie Fowler was delighted to get the services of the veteran custodian. "Subrata is vastly experienced and has been doing an amazing job between the sticks for a long time now. His signing bolsters our goalkeeping options. Subrata's wealth of experience will also help the other keepers around," SCEB head coach and Liverpool legend Fowler said. SCEB goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms added: "We all know his experience and the quality that he has got. I have worked with him before at Jamshedpur FC and I know what he can bring to the squad. So hopefully he is ready to compete with Debjit (Majumder) for the first team place." Nicknamed the 'Spiderman' for his heart-stopping saves during India's AFC Asian Cup campaign in Qatar in 2011, Paul has donned the India colours 67 times and is one of the few Indian players with European pedigree, having plied his trade for Danish club Vestsjaelland. It was for his exploits against South Korea in the Asian Cup that Paul was nicknamed 'Spiderman' by the international media. Paul has kept as many as 28 clean sheets in his ISL career with 91 appearances with clubs like Mumbai City FC, NorthEast United, Jamshedpur FC, and Hyderabad FC. An Arjuna award recipient, Paul has been part of India's title-winning sides that won the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, 2015 SAFF Championships besides Nehru Cup triumphs in 2009 and 2012.
Sindhu, Srikanth look to turn the tide at BWF World Tour Finals
Bangkok, Jan 26 (PTI) Premier Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth need to shrug off the disappointments of the last two weeks as they gear up for the highly-competitive HSBC BWF World Tour Finals, beginning here on Wednesday. World champion and Olympic silver medallist Sindhu, who had won the prestigious title in 2018, has been clubbed in Group 'B' alongside top-ranked Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and home favourites Ratchanok Intanon and Pornpawee Chochuwong. Sindhu's comeback to international badminton after the coronavirus-induced break was not as good as she would have expected. The Indian, who has been training in London for the last few months, couldn't go the distance after losing a close opening match in Thailand Open, the first of the Asia leg. In the second event last week, Sindhu suffered a demoralising straight game defeat against former world champion Ratchanok in the quarterfinals and she will have to gather herself as she opens her campaign against magician Tzu Ying, who reached the finals in both the Thailand Opens. Former world number one Srikanth, on the other hand, has been clubbed in Group 'B' with Denmark's Anders Antonsen, Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei and Hong Kong's NG Ka Long Angus. Srikanth, who had reached the semifinals of BWF Super Series Masters Finals in 2014, couldn't spend enough time on the court. He had pulled out of the first Thailand Open ahead of the second round due to a calf muscle pull, while he was forced to withdraw after the opening round last week after his roommate B Sai Praneeth tested positive for COVID-19. Placed 17th in the Road to Bangkok Final ranking after the first event, Sindhu jumped to number 10 after a quarterfinal finish last week and qualified for the season finale due to two rules laid down by the BWF. First, only two players from a nation can make it to the singles draw, which ruled out Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan as higher-ranked Rathchanok and Pornpawee made the cut. The second one was the week-long mandatory quarantine period for players, which ruled out Chinese and Japanese players as they had withdrawn from the Asia leg due to COVID-19. Srikanth was rewarded for his quarterfinal finish at Denmark Open Super 750 last October as he sneaked into the top-8 and managed to maintain his position, despite playing just the first rounds in the last two events. The Indian duo will have a tough task taming their rivals in the tournament, going by their recent performances and head-to-head records. Sindhu has a dismal 5-15 record against Tzu Ying, who beat the Indian in their last two meetings, while Ratchanok humiliated her last week in a lop-sided quarterfinal to enjoy a 5-4 record. Against Pornpawee, her third opponent in the group, Sindhu has a 3-1 record but the Thai had defeated the Indian in their last clash in 2019. In men's singles, Srikanth has beaten his first-round opponent Anderson in 2017 but the Danish is a far more improved player now, having reached the world number three. Against Wang, whom he plays next, Srikanth has a 3-0 record, while he holds a 2-2 head-to-head count against Angus. The delayed Season finale, with a prize money of USD 1.5 million, features only the top players in men's and women's singles and eight pairs in the three double events, divided into group stages. It will be followed by the knockout, with the top two players/pairs from each group making it to the semifinals. The draw for the group stage was conducted in Bangkok on Tuesday by BWF and Badminton Association of Thailand (BAT) officials while observing COVID-19 protocols.
Former Rugby league boss appointed Australian Cricketers Association chief
Sydney, Jan 25 (PTI) Former National Rugby League chief executive Todd Greenberg was on Monday appointed as the new chief of Australian Cricketers Association (ACA).
The 50-year-old's name was also doing the rounds for the Cricket Australia (CA) chief job after Kevin Roberts quit last year.
Greenberg's appointment was ratified at ACA's board meeting on Monday.
"I would like to thank the ACA board and the players for the opportunity to advocate for them.
"I have a long history with cricket â€“ it's the game I first fell in love with â€“ and am looking forward to the opportunity to work closely on their behalf in partnership with Cricket Australia and the state associations for the good of the game," Greenberg was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
He had resigned from his role in the National Rugby League in April last year after the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the sport financially.
According to a press release by New Zealand Cricket, the Canterbury Magicians have qualified in the top three in this edition's Dream 11 Super Smash beating the Wellington Blaze by 9 wickets. They became the second team to do so after Wellington Blaze. The defending champions Blaze suffered a rare rough day at work as the Magicians restricted them to 132/9. Gabby Sullivan had an exceptional day with the ball, taking the wicket of Melie Kerr and sparring just 14 runs in her four overs. Magicians' Mackay got out early however Satterthwaite's 71* off 50 balls and Nat Cox's 48* off 49 got them through the finish line with 9 wickets in hand and 10 balls to spare. The win lets the Magicians surpass Auckland Hearts on the points table while the Hearts remain in third spot. The Northern Spirit still stand a chance of overtaking them for the last spot in the finals.
BBL 10 | Sixers announce a squad for their clash against Stars.
In a press release by the Sydney Sixers, they announced a 19 member squad for their final league game against the Melbourne stars at the MCG on Tuesday. The squad will be shortened to 13 players with the final 11 to be announced at the bat flip. Squad - Sean Abbot, Justin Avendano, Jake Ball, Nick Bertus, Jackson Bird, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Moises Henriques (C) Daniel Hughes, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Hayden Kerr, Ben Manenti, Stephen O'Keefe, Josh Philippe, Llyod Pope, Gurinder Sandhu, Jordan Silk, James Vince.
Indian Women's Hockey Team suffers its 2nd Consecutive loss on the tour
Buenos Aires, Jan 25 (PTI) The Indian women's hockey team suffered its second consecutive loss on the tour of Argentina, going down 2-3 to the hosts' B side in a thrilling clash here. Salima Tete (6th) and Gurjit Kaur (42nd) scored for India while Sol Pagela (25th), Constanza Cerundolo (38th) and Agustina Gorzelany (39th) registered their names on the scoresheet for the home side. In the first quarter, it was India who got off to a flying start winning a Penalty Corner in the first minute. An intentional foul by Argentina while defending the PC led to the visiting side being awarded a penalty stroke. Unfortunately for India, the goal was saved. Without letting this missed opportunity slow their rhythm, the tourists struck in the 6th minute through the in-form Tete to take the lead. "We had a very good start to the match and though we couldn't score off the penalty stroke, we were able to convert after a good interception in the 6th minute. In the first quarter, we were in control and kept a check on Argentina but the second quarter, they upped their game," said chief coach Sjoerd Marijne. A slump in India's defence in the second quarter was well-capitalised by the experienced home team. Pagela's 25th minute goal equalized the score line to 1-1. But the game tilted in their favour when India gave away two goals in the 38th and 39th minute. "I believe these two goals could have been stopped. We had restricted their circle entries to just 5 in this quarter but allowed them to convert twice in those five attempts," Marijne said. "Though Gurjit scored in the following minutes to reduce the lead by one goal, we missed some good scoring opportunities thereafter. I feel we were a bit too rushed in our pursuit to convert. We must do much better to win from Argentina in the next following matches," he added. Indian has tested their core group in the past four matches where they secured two draws (2-2,1-1) and suffered two narrow loss (1-2 and 2-3) in the ongoing tour. In their upcoming matches this week, the Rani-led side, will face the formidable world no.2 Argentina squad. "In the upcoming four matches we will field our best side to see what we can create against the World No.2 team. There have been good learnings from these four matches, and I want to see how our main team performs against them," he said.
According to a press release by the Melbourne Renegades, the Melbourne Renegades have announced their squad for the game against the Hobart Hurricanes tomorrow at the MCG. The final playing 11 will be declared at the Bat flip. Melbourne Renegades - Aaron Finch (c),Brody Couch, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Sam Harper, Beau Webster, Jack Prestwidge, Peter Hatzoglou, Jon Holland, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Brayden Stepien, Will Sutherland, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mitch Perry, Imad Wasim.
Churchill beat Sudeva to extend lead atop I-League table
Kolkata, Jan 25 (PTI) Churchill Brothers blanked debutants Sudeva Delhi FC 2-0 here to consolidate their position at the top of the Hero I-League standings, here on Monday. By virtue of their win, Churchill steered four points clear of second-placed TRAU FC after the Goan outfit steamed past Sudeva at the Mohun Bagan Stadium. In a match largely dominated by Fernando Varela's men, first-half strikes by Luka Majcen (19th minute) and Bryce Miranda (36th) proved enough as Churchill grabbed their third win of the season. In what was perhaps the best opportunity for Sudeva to stun the title contenders early on, Sairuatkima was given a free header after Kean Lewis found him with an accurate freekick in the fourth minute. The lanky defender, however, failed to even test the opposition goalkeeper. Shaking off a nervous start, Churchill began dominating the proceedings and came close to taking the lead several times. In the 17th minute, Richard Costa played a through ball for Clayvin Zuniga, but the ball, a bit overhit, was saved by the goalkeeper who came out to collect. Two minutes later though, Churchill took the lead in a quite extraordinary fashion. Off a corner kick, Zuniga held up play and used his physical prowess to shield the ball, before laying a pass for Luka Majcen who smashed the ball home. Next, a classic counter-attack goal for the Red Machines gave them a two-goal advantage. In the 35th minute, Kean Lewis ran clear on the right flank and cut inside to release a curling effort that went out of bounds. Immediately after, Churchill cleverly used the right flank and Luka Majcen ran clear towards the goal before releasing a pass for Bryce Miranda, who bundled the ball into the net. Sudeva got a chance to reduce the lead in the dying minutes of the first half when Shaiborlang Kharpan's thunderous header off a Mahesh Singh corner was saved heroically. Sudeva came out with purpose in the second half and two minutes into play, Kharpan had a half-chance. The forward broke clear of the defensive line and chased a long ball towards goal. However, he tried to chip the opposition goalkeeper, who had come out to clear the danger, but placed his effort wide in the process. Bazie Armand, who commanded the midfield and robbed possession off Sudeva time and again, tested his luck in the 64th minute when he shot from distance. His shot lacked power and was saved easily by the opposition goalkeeper. Nine minutes later, Bazie was once again given an opportunity when he was found by Luka Majcen, right outside the box. This time, as well, the midfielder dragged his shot wide of the goal. Despite the valiant efforts of Sudeva, Chenco Dorji's team were held at bay for most parts of the second half. In the 81st minute, a well-timed tackle by Gursimrat Singh saw him deny a clear chance for Zuniga.