Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club, coming from behind twice, drew 2-2 with Dhaka Mohammedan Sporting Club in a Group A match of the Bashundhara Group Federation Cup Football 2022-23 at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni Stadium in Gopalganj on Tuesday. The match was also locked in 1-1 goal in the first half. Local medio Arif Hossain put the traditional black and whites Mohammedan SC ahead in the 28th minute (1-0) while St Vincent forward Stewart leveled the margin for Sheikh Jamal in the 44th minute (1-1). Read more: Bangladesh Championship League: Uttara hold Wanderers to 1-1 draw Another local midfielder Ashraful Haque Asif again put Mohammedan SC ahead in the 71st minute (2-1) while Gambian forward Sulayman Sillah again neutralized the margin in the 76th minute (2-2). In the day's match, coming from behind, Rahmatganj MFS beat Azampur FC, Uttara by 2-1 goal at the Shaheed Dhirendranath Dutta Stadium in Cumilla on Tuesday. Rohit Sarkar scored first for Azampur FC in the very 6th minute.(1-0). But, forwards Velencia and Ashraful Islam scored two quick goals in span of only three minutes (71st and 74th minutes) to win the match (2-1).
Vinícius Júnior had his share of chances to break the deadlock. More than once, the Brazil forward was in front of the opposition goal with only the 'keeper to beat. But Vinicius and his teammates couldn't get the job done on Sunday as Real Madrid was held to a 0-0 draw at home by third-place Real Sociedad to lose ground to Barcelona at the top of the Spanish league. The result left defending champion Madrid five points behind the Catalan rival, which won 1-0 at Girona on Saturday. Sociedad stayed three points behind Madrid, and eight behind Barcelona. Both Madrid and Barcelona have a game in hand. Vinícius played well overall and created some good opportunities for himself, but in the end was thwarted by a great performance from Sociedad goalkeeper Álex Remiro. He made three key saves against close-range attempts by Vinícius, and also saw the Brazilian send the ball wide in a one-on-one situation. “Vinícius played a good match, if he had scored it would have been a spectacular one," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “He has been playing well. Sometimes he will miss, but he is always trying.” Karim Benzema and Rodrygo also couldn't break through the Sociedad defense as Madrid was held scoreless for the first time this season despite more than 20 attempts against Sociedad, which also had its opportunities in an intense match at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Read more: Benzema keeps on scoring, Madrid stays close to Barcelona “We played a very complete game but couldn't score,” Ancelotti said. “We were close. I'm satisfied with the draw because we played well.” Madrid, coming off a home win in the derby against Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey, remains unbeaten against Sociedad since a 4-3 home loss in the quarterfinals of the Copa in 2020, a competition the Basque Country side won. Sociedad was coming off a 1-0 loss at Barcelona in the Copa quarterfinals, a result that ended its nine-game winning streak in all competitions. It had been one of the hottest teams in Spain until the consecutive setbacks against the powerhouses. ATLETICO REBOUNDS Atletico Madrid bounced back from its Copa elimination against Madrid with a 1-0 win at seventh-place Osasuna. Substitute Saúl Ñíguez scored the winner less than 10 minutes after he had entered the match in the 65th. Atletico relinquished a late 1-0 lead against Madrid to lose 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday. The cup was the only competition Atletico realistically had a chance to win as it had already been eliminated from the Champions League and the Europa League, and it currently trails league leader Barcelona by 13 points. “We are out of the Champions (League) and the Copa, but the motivation to play for Atletico remains,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “I’ll always demand that from my players.” Read more: Barça beats Betis to set up Super Cup final against Madrid It was the third win in four games in all competitions for Simeone’s team, while struggling Osasuna remained winless in four straight. Osasuna has only one victory in eight matches overall, though it hadn't lost since last year. Atletico hadn’t won an away match in the league since October at Real Betis. WILLIAMS’ RUN ENDS Iñaki Williams’ absence in Athletic Bilbao’s 1-0 loss at Celta Vigo ended his record of 251 consecutive league appearances. He did not play in Vigo because of injury. Williams had played in every league match for Bilbao since April 2016. Veteran striker Iago Aspas scored Celta's winner in the 71st. The result moved Celta to 16th place, while Bilbao remained eighth. Bilbao is winless in five league games, since a 3-0 home victory against Valladolid before the World Cup. VALENCIA’S STRUGGLES Valencia’s struggles continued with a 1-0 loss at Valladolid, adding pressure on coach Gennaro Gattuso. Valencia has only one win in its last 10 league games, against Real Betis before the World Cup. It dropped to 14th place and one point above the relegation zone. Canadian forward Cyle Larin scored a 90th-minute winner for 17th-place Valladolid, which ended its five-game losing streak across all competitions.
Striker Folarin Balogun equalized deep into stoppage time as Reims earned a 1-1 draw at French league leader Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday, keeping PSG three points ahead of second-place Lens. Balogun, who began his career at Premier League team Arsenal and stood out throughout the game with his movement, latched onto a long pass in the sixth minute of injury time. He easily beat veteran defender Sergio Ramos for pace before confidently shooting past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. It was the 21-year-old forward's 11th league goal of the season and one less than PSG's scorer Neymar. Neymar struck in the 51st to move one behind league top scorer and teammate Kylian Mbappé, before PSG had midfielder Marco Verratti sent off for a dangerous tackle on Japan winger Junya Ito in the 59th. Verratti made his return from a thigh injury when he came on for the second half. Read more: Late goals help PSG beat 3rd-tier Châteauroux in French Cup Midtable Reims extended its unbeaten run to 12 games, which included holding PSG to a 0-0 draw at home in October, and was the better side in the first half. Donnarumma almost gave a goal away after 23 seconds when he hacked a back pass straight to the opposition but got away with it. Balogun went close midway through the first half and teammate Marshall Munetsi — a midfielder with Zimbabwe — also caused problems for PSG's static defense. Referee Ruddy Buquet awarded Reims a penalty shortly after Neymar's goal for a foul on Balogun but changed his mind following a video review. In the end, Balogun had his say. PSG has won only one of its last four league games, losing two, and coach Christophe Galtier acknowledged there is a problem. “We were soporific in the first half, we were quickly split in two and we were on the back foot,” he said. “We abandoned our defense.” Since the World Cup, PSG has won only two of its five league games and both have been against strugglers. PSG needed an injury-time penalty from Mbappé to beat Strasbourg 2-1, and it beat rock-bottom Angers 2-0. With a much tougher test against Bayern Munich approaching in the round of 16 of the Champions League, PSG needs to improve fast. Either side of playing Bayern on Feb. 14, PSG has two away games at bitter rival Marseille, in the French Cup and in the league. Marseille is only five points behind PSG in third spot. Earlier, striker Gaetan Laborde scored the winner as Nice beat Lille 1-0 to end the northern side's six-game unbeaten run. Laborde netted in the 34th minute after Badredine Bouanani intercepted a poor back pass and set him up for a first-time finish. Lille had not lost in the league since Oct. 30. Read more: Leader PSG loses 3-1 at Lens for 1st defeat; Monaco in 4th TEMPERS FLARE Alexandre Lacazette notched his 12th league goal of the season as Lyon won 2-0 at Corsican side Ajaccio to move into ninth place. Tempers flared after the game as Lyon coach Laurent Blanc grabbed Ajaccio coach Olivier Pantaloni's face after they had shaken hands, and shoved him away following a verbal exchange. Pantaloni, who played for Ajaccio as a striker in the 1990s, then walked over to Lyon's bench and clashed with Lyon's goalkeeper coach Rémy Vercoutre. Security officials had to separate them as angry home fans banged on the dugout. Lacazette cut short his post-game television interview when a lighter thrown from the crowd landed near him. Vercoutre had to be escorted away as fans insulted him and some tried to get on the field. The visitors took the lead in the 20th when 20-year-old midfielder Johann Lepenant turned in Bradley Barcola's pass. Lacazette, who re-joined hometown Lyon in the summer after five seasons in the Premier League with Arsenal, scored his 144th goal overall for the club in the 72nd. France's 2018 World Cup winner Corentin Tolisso and Argentina's World Cup-winning left back Nicolás Tagliafico combined to set him up. OTHER MATCHES Dutch forward Thijs Dallinga scored twice for Toulouse in a 2-1 win at struggling Strasbourg. Veteran striker Kevin Gameiro put the Alsace side ahead in the 20th, but Dallinga equalized for Toulouse five minutes later and struck again early in the second half. Strikers Jérémy Le Douaron and Steve Mounie scored first-half goals for Brest in a 4-0 home win against bottom side Angers. Midfielders Franck Honorat and Pierre Lees-Melou scored after the break. English forward Stephy Mavididi scored both goals as Montpellier got a much-needed 2-0 win at 19th-place Auxerre to move away from relegation trouble, and Clermont drew 0-0 at home to Nantes.
NoFel Sporting Club defeated Swadhinata Krira Sangha 3-1 in the Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) Football 2022-23 at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Shipahi Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Dhaka's Kamalapur Saturday. Elias opened the winners' account in the 12th minute; Abid struck twice in the 40th and 47th minutes. Sagor scored the lone goal for Swadhinata in the 70th minute. Also Read: BCL Football: Brothers Union beat Uttara FC by 2-0 goal In the day's other match, BFF Elite Academy outplayed Little Friends Club 3-0 at the same venue. After a barren first half, Mirajul made a hat-trick, scoring in the 68th, 70th and 83rd minutes.
Defending champions Bashundhara Kings continued their unbeaten run in the eleven-team Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Football Saturday after beating Sheikh Russell Krira Chakra 3-1 at the Bashundhara Sports Complex. Star-studded Kings topped the league table with 21 points from seven straight matches; second-placed Dhaka Abahani earned 15 points from as many encounters. Sheikh Russell remained in the fifth spot with 12 points from six matches. After a goalless first half, Brazilian forward Robson Robinho put the Kings ahead in the 65th minute from a penalty (1-0); Uzbek midfielder Asror Gafurov doubled the lead in the 73rd minute (2-0). Also Read: BPL Football: Sheikh Jamal DC beat Russell KC 3-2 Nigerian striker Sunday Udoy pulled one back for Sheikh Russell in the 82nd minute (2-1). Robinho sealed the fate of the match by scoring his second goal for the Kings in the fifth minute of the stoppage time (3-1). The day's other match between Bangladesh Police FC and Fortis Football Club ended in a 1-1 draw at the Muktijoddha Smriti Stadium in Rajshahi. Sakhawat Hossain found the back of the net for Fortis in the 37th minute. Edward equalised for Police FC just three minutes later. After the day's match, Police SC remained in the fourth spot on the table with nine points from seven matches. Fortis stayed in sixth place with seven points from six encounters.
Both the semifinals and final of the 32-team Kool-BSJA six-a-side Media Cup Football Tournament'2023 will be held on Wednesday (January 25), the closing day of the five-day meet at the Artificial Turf of Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) here. Boishakhi TV will play Kalbela in the first semifinal at 9:30 am while Channel i will face DBC TV in the other semifinal, also at 9:30 am on Wednesday. Read more: Kool-BSJA Media Cup Football moves to quarter-finals The final match will commence at 11:30 am on the same day at the same venue. In the day's quarterfinals, Kalbela beat RTV 2-0; Boishakhi TV defeated Bangladesh Tribune 1-0; DBC eliminated Daily Star 2-0 while Channel i outplayed Jagonews 3-1 Tuesday morning.
Goal after goal, Karim Benzema keeps putting his World Cup disappointment behind him. Benzema scored for the sixth time after being dropped from France’s World Cup squad because of an injury, leading Real Madrid to a 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Sunday. “He came back with the same quality,” Madrid coach Carlos Ancelotti said. “He helps us a lot in attack.” The goal allowed Benzema to join former Madrid great Raúl with 228 league goals with the club — second to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 311. It also helped Madrid get back within three points of league leader Barcelona, which earlier Sunday had defeated Getafe 1-0 at the Camp Nou. Read more: Benzema posts tweet indicating international retirement Toni Kroos sealed the victory for Madrid with a low shot from outside the area in the 90th. Benzema’s sixth goal in six matches since the World Cup came with a left-footed volley from inside the area in the 24th minute at San Mames Stadium. “It’s incredible. Karim has been spectacular,” Madrid defender Nacho said. “He continues to help us with his goals, just like he did last season.” Benzema won the men's Ballon d’Or award after a great season and had high expectations heading into the World Cup, but he was dropped from France's squad because of a thigh injury sustained in training just days before the team’s debut. The only game in which he had not scored after the World Cup was in Madrid's 3-2 come-from-behind win at Villarreal in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Thursday. Eighth-place Athletic had advanced past Espanyol in the Copa but remains winless in three consecutive league games. It lost the Basque Country derby to Real Sociedad in the previous round. Madrid had not won a league game since December. BARCELONA'S WINS ANOTHER Barcelona defeated relegation-threatened Getafe to extend its winning streak to three matches in all competitions. Pedri scored a first-half winner for the Catalan club, which has won four of its last five matches, with its only setback a draw against Real Betis in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, where it advanced in a penalty shootout before eventually winning the title in a final against Madrid. “We didn't play well but it was an important victory," Barcelona coach Xavi said. Getafe players did the guard of honor before the match at the Camp Nou because of Barcelona's Super Cup title. Captain Sergio Busquets also was honored for having surpassed 700 appearances with the Catalan club. Barcelona defeated Getafe despite playing without suspended striker Robert Lewandowski, the league’s leading scorer. The Poland player was serving the second of a three-game suspension for disrespecting a referee in a league game last year. Forward Ferran Torres also wasn't available for Barcelona coach Xavi because of a red-card suspension. Pedri scored the winning goal from close range after an assist from Raphinha in the 35th minute. Getafe has lost four in a row, including three consecutive in the league. The Madrid club has only four league victories and sits in 16th place, just outside the relegation zone. Read more: Brilliant Benzema and His Road to Ballon d’Or Glory LATE PENALTIES FOR VILLARREAL Villarreal converted one penalty kick and missed another in stoppage time in a 1-0 home win over Girona. Striker Gerard Moreno had his spot kick saved four minutes into added time, but playmaker Dani Parejo converted his attempt in the final play of the game in the 111th minute. The late win left Villarreal in fifth place, tied on points with fourth-place Atletico Madrid, which holds the final qualification spot for the Champions League. Mid-table Girona played a man down from the 78th as defender Santiago Bueno was sent off with a second yellow card. Villarreal was coming off a 3-2 home loss against Real Madrid in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, when it squandered a two-goal first-half lead. It had beaten Madrid 2-1 two rounds ago in the league, then drew 1-1 at Celta Vigo. Last-place Elche drew 1-1 with seventh-place Osasuna at home to remain the only team yet to win after 18 Spanish league games this season.
Grimacing in pain from his bruised cheekbone, Cristiano Ronaldo steadied himself before scoring from the penalty spot for his first goal in Saudi Arabia against a Paris Saint-Germain team featuring old foe Lionel Messi. Messi had already scored early in Thursday's exhibition game when Ronaldo was flattened boxing-match style by PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas after about 30 minutes in Riyadh, the city which gained sporting prominence for hosting a world heavyweight championship boxing bout in 2019. It wasn't Anthony Joshua but Navas who caught Ronaldo flush in the face with his forearm under a high ball. Read more: The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award 2022 Power Ranking Both went down like felled boxers. Ronaldo held his head, got back up, did a wide yawn as if to test his sore left cheek, and sent his former Real Madrid teammate Navas the wrong way. By the end of the first half Ronaldo's cheekbone was bright apple red but he was all smiles after netting his second goal, smashing in a rebound when his header came back off the post. Poking his tongue out, Ronaldo wheeled away in delight and was mobbed by teammates at the corner flag. When PSG star Kylian Mbappé checked on the state of Ronaldo’s cheek just before the second half, Ronaldo milked the attention from France's World Cup star and pointed to the red mark. Mbappé smiled at him as if to say “You’ll be fine” and Ronaldo raised his arm in triumph like a heavyweight champion. Messi’s Qatari-backed PSG won 5-4 against a combined XI of Saudi Arabian teams Al Nassr and Al Hilal, captained by Al Nassr’s new signing Ronaldo, in front of 68,000 fans at King Fahd International Stadium. Although his team lost, Ronaldo edged perhaps the final instalment of Ronaldo vs. Messi as one of the greatest rivalries in soccer history resumed in an unusual location. Messi's shot led to a handball and PSG's fourth goal, scored by Mbappé from the penalty spot. Ronaldo came off to a huge ovation just after the hour mark followed by Mbappé and Argentina's World Cup-winning star Messi, who was warmly hugged by countryman Marcelo Gallardo, coaching the combined Saudi Arabian team. Ronaldo’s bruise darkened with the night sky as he collected his man of the match award. He was locked in conversation with ex-Madrid teammates Sergio Ramos and Navas before the medal ceremony. Then he spoke to Portugal teammates Renato Sanches and Danilo, who play for PSG. But Ronaldo was nowhere near Messi, almost like they avoided each other. They couldn't do that earlier on the field, when Ronaldo tackled Messi in the second minute. Moments later, Messi smiled as he scored from Neymar’s lofted pass. Ronaldo looked annoyed with his teammates for letting Messi ghost into space. Harsh, because few defenders have ever tracked Messi’s runs, let alone stopped them. The World Cup proved that, if it was ever in doubt. There was scant interaction between former Madrid star Ronaldo and Messi, his arch rival during Barcelona's glory days. It was Ronaldo who tentatively approached an impassive-looking Messi at the center circle seconds before the whistle blew to start perhaps their final game as opponents. There was a polite exchange, the briefest handshake. Messi stared at Ronaldo late in the first half, after PSG defender Juan Bernat had been sent off, and Ronaldo seemed to look away from Messi. It was a different mood in the tunnel beforehand, when a grinning Ronaldo hugged Ramos, who now plays alongside Messi, and joked with Ramos that he’d forgotten to remove an ear stud. The laugh was on Ramos later, when he air-kicked a loose ball on Ronaldo’s second goal. PSG's Neymar also missed, from the penalty spot. Read more: Rashford scores again as Man United beat Man City 2-1 The atmosphere built before the start as fans waved Argentina flags while others held up the yellow jersey of Al Nassr, pointing proudly to Ronaldo’s No. 7 on the back. The ticker tape poured from the stands as Ronaldo led his team out. He smiled and winked when he got a loud ovation. Ronaldo could end his storied career in Riyadh after signing a deal worth a reported $200 million a year, swapping Europe’s elite club competition for the Asian Champions League. He makes his Saudi league debut for Al Nassr on Sunday against Ettifaq, far from the fields where he shone for Manchester United and Madrid. INTENSE RIVALRY The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry has been among the greatest ever. Between them they have 12 Ballon d’Or awards — Messi a record seven, Ronaldo five — and have won a combined 56 major trophies. Ronaldo won the Champions League five times, compared to Messi’s four. Messi is the all-time “El Clasico” top scorer with 26 goals for Barca, eight more than Ronaldo for Madrid. Ronaldo won the European Championship in 2016 but Messi was brilliant in Argentina’s Copa America win in 2021 and its 2022 World Cup success. Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in men’s international soccer with 118 goals, while Messi’s seven at the World Cup took him to third overall with 98.
Wari Club and Fortis Academy split points Thursday after their Bangladesh Championship League (BCL) Football 2022-23 clash in the capital ended in a 1-1 draw. At the Birshreshtha Shaheed Shipahi Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur, Riaz put Wari in front in the 48th minute (1-0) after a barren first half in the day's only BCL match. Read more: Bangladesh Championship League: Wanderers overpower Little Friends 4-1 Sabbir found the back of the net for Fortis Academy in the 79th minute (1-1). The eighth-round matches of the BCL will begin Friday at the same venue. Gopalganj Sporting Club will play Swadhinata Krira Shangha at 10:30am; BFF Elite Football Academy will face NoFel Sporting Club at 3pm.
The Kool-BSJA Media Cup Football Tournament 2023, organised by the Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association (BSJA), will begin Saturday at the artificial turf of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) in the capital's Motijheel. Thirty-two teams from print and electronic media, split into eight groups, will take part in the first phase of the six-a-side tournament on a knock-out basis. Later, eight group champions will play in the quarterfinals. BSJA President ATM Sayeduzzaman disclosed the details of the competition at a press conference at the Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Wednesday. Assistant Manager (Marketing) of tournament sponsor Square Toiletries Tehsina Khanam, BSJA General Secretary Anisur Rahman, tournament convenor Raihan Al Mugni and tournament secretary M Robiul Islam also spoke. The champions of the competition will get Tk30,000 as prize money; the runner-ups will get Tk15,000. Also, the best player of the tournament and the best player of each match will be awarded. Read more: BCL Football: NoFel SC beat Gopalganj SC 2-1 Participating teams Group A: Boishakhi TV, Ekushey TV, Janakantha, Desh Rupanthar Group B: Channel i, T Sports, Daily Sun, Ekhon TV Group C: Maasranga TV, Channel 24, Bangla Tribune, Samoyer Alo Group D: Jagonews, GTV, Jugantor, Ajker Patrika Group E: Independent TV, Rtv, Dhaka Post, Deepto TV Group F: Daily Star, ATN Bangla, Bangladesh Pratidin, BTV Group G: Banga Vision, News 24, Samakal, Kalbela Group H: Dhaka Tribune, DBC, Kaler Kantho, bdnews24.com