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LISTEN: Full script of Episode 53 of Spodcast where we discuss India-South Korea AFC U-16 QF, Mayank Agarwal's selection to Test team and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

The Indian under-16 football team that had qualified for the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championship for the first time in 16 years, lost to South Korea in their quarterfinal match.

In a hard fought match, the South Koreans scored a solitary goal in the 67th minute. India had lost to the same opponent in the quarterfinals 16 years ago. In that match, they were outclassed 3-1. Yesterday’s match was a closely fought contest, with India defending well against a side that had scored 12 goals in the tournament before the quarterfinal.

The Koreans dominated ball possession and looked like scoring a goal on more than one occasion but the Indian defence managed to thwart them for most of the match.
In the 52nd minute, India nearly took the lead as Ridge De'Mello almost scored off a pass from Vikram Partap. However, he failed to score, and South Korea eventually went up 1-0 as Jeong Sangbin scored from close range. India tried to score an equaliser but were held off by the Korean defence.

On day three of the Indian Super League, NorthEast United FC and FC Goa battled in a riveting match that ended in a 2-2 draw.

Ferran Corominas of FC Goa scored in the 14th and 38th minute while Federico Gallego and Bartholomew Ogbeche scored for NorthEast.

After a somewhat slow start, the home team, NorthEast United, scored their first goal in the 8th minute thanks to an error from 18-year-old FC Goa goalkeeper Mohammad Nawaz in his debut match. He walked out of the box assuming Bartholomew Ogbeche was offside, and handled the ball. That resulted in a free kick to NorthEast United for a handball and Federico Gallego chipped the ball into Goa’s net.

To Goa’s relief, the home team’s goalkeeper TP Rehenesh also committed an error that resulted in an equaliser. Rehenesh failed to collect a floated cross from Jackichand Singh and Spanish sharpshooter Ferran Corominas was quick to seize on the error, sending the ball into the net.

By the 14th minute, the scoreline read 1-1. Goa then took the lead when Corominas evaded two tackles with body feints and managed to score past Rehenesh with a perfectly placed shot. NorthEast United came back with another goal in the second half. Their forward Bartholomew Ogbeche found the net with a header off a great cross from Keegan Pereira and the home fans roared in delight as the home team levelled the score.

Manu Bhaker, the teenage shooting sensation, was yesterday named the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent at the 3rd Youth Olympic Games that will be held in Argentina from 6-18 October.

Narinder Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association, announced during the send-off that the 16-year-old shooter would lead in the opening ceremony. The Indian contingent comprises 68 members, including 46 athletes who will compete in 13 sports at the Youth Olympics. This is the largest contingent from India to participate in the event.

General Rajeev Mehta, secretary of the IOA, said, “Youth Olympics is a good platform for athletes to familiarise with the Olympic values and the Olympic Games environment at an earlier stage. I urge our young team to see the Games as a medium for sporting and cultural exchange whilst giving their best performances.”
Sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said, “Gone are the days when Indians participated in big multi-sport events just for the sake of participation. I know you all will give your best and bring medals for the country.”

Bhaker, who won gold in 10m air pistol at the Guadalajara World Cup as well as this year’s Commonwealth Games, is among the top medal contenders for India at the event. She said, “It is a great honour for me. I never expected to be the flag-bearer for the Indian contingent.”

The Central Information Commission, or CIC, ruled yesterday that the BCCI is covered under the Right To Information act. The commission ruled that the cricket board is answerable to the people of the country under this Act.

The CIC, which is the top appellate body in matters pertaining to the RTI, came to the conclusion that the status, nature and functional characteristics of the BCCI fulfill required conditions of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act. Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu wrote in a 37-page order, “The SC has also reaffirmed that the BCCI is the approved national-level body holding virtually monopoly rights to organise cricketing events in the country.” He gave the board 15 days to put in place online and offline mechanisms for receiving applications for information under the RTI Act.

This matter was presented to the CIC following the lack of a satisfactory response from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to an RTI enquiry. Geeta Rani, the applicant, enquired about the provisions and guidelines under which the BCCI has been representing India and selecting players for the country.

Mayank Agarwal, who has had a prolific Ranji season this year, has earned a place in the 15-member squad for the test series against the West Indies. He said, “I am looking forward to it. I was not thinking about it all the time. I am just going to continue with whatever has been working for me…I plan to take it day by day.”

After being ignored for the Asia Cup, Agarwal scored a 90 for the Board President's XI against West Indies on 29 September which swung matters in his favor. A Firstpost report stated that the presence of the India 'A' coach Rahul Dravid also ensured he was in the right frame of mind. Mayank told Firstpost, “He told me...all a player can do is score runs, put in the performances and leave the rest. I decided not to spend my energies on things that I can't control. We spoke...about batting and technique...on how to approach batting. He told me to stay in this mind set and keep working hard…and the rest will take care of itself."

Mayank’s childhood coach, Murali, also played a part in his comeback. Agarwal said that prior to the 2017-18 Ranji season, Murali trained him to work within a "one-ball zone". The coach explained, “Once you understand and figure out the cause of your nervousness, anxiety, excitement or happiness, you learn to figure out the way to handle those emotions...This game is about playing one ball at a time, and he started training himself to stay in that one-ball zone….repeating that for 400-500 balls...helped him score runs.”

Agarwal said, “I am not thinking about the pressure of playing international cricket...what is in my control is to go out there, give my best, bat to the best of my abilities.”

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Updated Date: Oct 02, 2018 11:48:59 IST