Indian national team created a record of winning eight consecutive official international matches as they beat Mauritius 2-1 in the opener of the Tri-nation series on Saturday but coach Stephen Constantine maintained that qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 is the target.”It (winning eight matches on a trot) will mean nothing unless we qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. That’s where my goal lies and it will be so. I’m not a person who goes by the history,” Constantine said.”Be it 9, 10, 11, it matters little for me unless we achieve our target. Obviously, it’s important to win matches to continue the momentum. But, our main aim is to get into the right shape before taking on Macau and it’s still the same,” he added.It was from 1962 to 1964 that the Indian national team had won seven international matches on the trot.Constantine’s boys, though, have surpassed though winning eight games since the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Playoff Round 1 match against Laos on June 2, 2016.Constantine shared the credit of the success with all the backroom staff saying their role is as important as the coach and the players.”It’s not only about me or the players. The doctor, physio, media manager, equipment manager, masseur — everyone is part of the job and they deserve due credit. All of them play their respective parts to keep the best players on the pitch.”Mauritius began brightly and stunned the home team in the 15th minute when Jocelyn struck a beautiful volley through the Indian defence to put his team ahead.advertisementIndia, though, equalised in the 37th minute through Robin Singh who rightfully slotted home Rowlin Borges’ defence-splitting pass. Collecting the ball inside the box, Robin calmly sent the ball at the back to the net to restore parity for India.Goals from @robin_singh_23 & @Balwant_Singh17 sealed the comeback for the @IndianFootball team against Mauritius.#INDvMRI #BackTheBlue pic.twitter.com/GgD7kJvUNL- Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) August 20, 201717 minutes into the second half, Balwant scored his first goal for the Indian national team in only his secong outing for the senior team and put the home team up front. Eugeneson Lyngdoh put through a delicious pass to Jeje Lalpekhula who smartly flicked it to Balwant and the substitute make no mistake in tapping the ball home.With five minutes of stoppage time added, Mauritius applied immense pressure on the Indians but the home team resisted and survived that to come out victorious.India will next lock horns with St. Kitts & Nevis at the same venue on August 24.
Doha, Nov 27 (PTI) Ace Indian cueist Pankaj Advani dished out another superb performance to outclass Irans Amir Sarkhosh in the finals and claim yet another title at the IBSF World Snooker Championship here today.His deadly attacking game coupled with phenomenally tight safety play helped Advani to secure his 18th World Championship title with a 8-2 win over Amir at the Al-Arabi Sports Club.The best-of-15 frame final witnessed Amir pocketing the first frame rather comfortably.The Iranian looked strong and focused in the second frame too, progressing well and nearing a 2-0 scoreline, but a missed green pot gave a lifeline to Pankaj as he seized the opportunity with both hands and drew parity.Pankaj never looked back from there as he raced to a 5-2 lead. He, however, survived a scare in a close battle in the 4th frame.A massive break of 134 by Amir in the 6th did not faze the Indian as he immediately widened the lead to 5-2 before going into the 1st session break.A long red pot against the nap with a perfect position for blue saw him draw first blood after the interval with a break of 45.Couple of safety exchanges later, Pankaj once again trapped Amir with a perfect snooker to extract an opening. Another long red pot spectacularly executed saw him make another useful break of 17 points to increase the margin leaving the cue ball in an unplayable position.A hapless Amir couldnt do much as his wild shot in frustration saw Pankaj come back to table once again to seal the frame with another break of 41 points and take a commanding lead of 6-2.advertisementThough Amir got the first opening in the 9th, a missed red pot saw Pankaj unfold his vast repertoire of strokes to compile a magnificent frame-winning break of 77 points with only 4 reds remaining on the table.Placing himself just one frame away from winning another world title Pankaj once again established his stronghold in the 10th frame by scoring the first 22 points.However, an unexpected miss saw Amir open his account in the frame and score 30 points to take a slender lead of 8 points.However, a calm and composed Pankaj patiently waited for his opportunity and soon brought the score to 47-47, before clearing the remaining colours, the frame and the match to lift his 18th world title.Result:Pankaj Advani (India) beat Amir Sarkhosh (Iran) 8-2: 19-71; 79-53; 98-23; 69-62; 60-05; 0-134; 75-07; 103-4; 77-13; 67-47. PTI ATK ATK