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UEFA Nations League: Croatia edge past Spain 3-2

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Players of Croatia
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Zagreb, Nov 16: Croatia battled to the final whistle and prevailed with a 3-2 over Spain to stay alive in the UEFA Nations League.

Spain, with six points from four matches, retain the lead in League A Group 4, while Croatia go level on points with England at 4 after three matches, though the Three Lions have the advantage on goal difference, reports Efe news.

After beating England in the opener in London and routing Croatia at home, Spain looked set to cruise into the final stage until they lost 2-3 to the Three Lions in Seville last month.

That was the backdrop for La Roja’s visit to Zagreb to face the 2018 World Cup runners-up, anxious to dispel the memory of their abysmal performance two months ago in Spain.

The hosts, physical on defence and direct on the attack on Thursday, largely dictated the flow of play until the final seconds of the first half, when Spain’s Saul Ñiguez and Isco Alarcon threatened the Croatia goal.

With the score 0-0 and both teams needing a win, the 36,000 spectators at Maksimir stadium were treated to a second-half offensive display involving some of the most talented players in the game.

Just as Spain seemed to be getting the upper hand, a giveaway by Sergi Roberto left Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric alone in front of goal and he beat keeper David de Gea to put the hosts up 1-0 in the 54th minute.

Spain reacted furiously and the equalizer was not long in coming. Iago Aspas sent a deft pass to Isco behind the Croatia defence and the forward relayed the ball to midfielder Dani Ceballos for an easy goal in the 56th.

The visitors stepped up the pace and would have taken the lead if Aspas hadn’t hit the cross-bar with a strike from close range.

Instead, the next goal went to Croatia thanks to a rare mistake by De Gea, who had a chance to grab the ball before Tin Jedvaj headed-in after a corner to make it 2-1 for the home side with 20 minutes left.

But a blunder at the other end in the 78th minute let Spain get back into the game, as Sergio Ramos converted from the spot after a hand ball by defender Sime Vrsaljko.

The final stretch was all Croatia and Jedvaj completed the brace with a goal in the 93rd minute.

With the outcome, Spain, who have played all four of their matches, need Croatia and England to draw at Wembley next Sunday to be assured of advancing directly to the final stage.

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Cricket Club of India covers Pak PM Imran’s portrait following Pulwama attack

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Mumbai, Feb 17 : The Cricket Club of India (CCI) has covered a portrait of former cricketer and current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at its premises following the terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

CCI Secy Suresh Bafna said,’We called a meeting on the very next day of the attack & to condemn the attack, we decided to cover the photo. We’ll be deciding soon how to remove the photo.”

The portrait is displayed in the restaurant of the CCI.

The CCI’s gesture follows mass outrage and anger across the country after one of the worst ever terrorist attacks on Indian security forces led to the martyrdom of 49 CRPF troopers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

CCI President Premal Udani, however, refused to say whether the portrait will be pulled down.

The iconic CCI is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and is home to the Brabourne Stadium.

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CCI covers Imran’s portrait following Pulwama attack

The portrait is displayed in the restaurant of the CCI, sources said.

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Imran Khan

Mumbai, Feb 17 (IANS) The Cricket Club of India (CCI) has covered a portrait of former cricketer and current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at its premises following the terrorist attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday.

The portrait is displayed in the restaurant of the CCI, sources said.

The CCI’s gesture follows mass outrage and anger across the country after one of the worst ever terrorist attacks on Indian security forces led to the martyrdom of 49 CRPF troopers. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.

CCI President Premal Udani, however, refused to say whether the portrait will be pulled down.

The iconic CCI is affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and is home to the Brabourne Stadium.

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Virat Kohli postpones sports awards for Pulwama martyrs

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Virat Kohli

New Delhi, Feb 16: The Virat Kohli Foundation announced on Saturday that the India skipper has decided to postpone the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours in honour of the 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers who were martyred in a terrorist attack in Kashmir recently.

“Virat Kohli annually rewards excellence in sports and nurtures promising athletes through the Virat Kohli foundation. The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours that was supposed to happen tomorrow night has been postponed by Virat as a mark of respect to the CRPF jawans who were martyred at Pulwama by a tragic terror attack,” the foundation said in a statement.

Virat had also tweeted the about same on Friday.

The attack, one of the worst ever in the history of the terrorism in Kashmir, took place on February 14 when a suicide bomber ‘Adil Ahmad Dar’ rammed a vehicle laden with explosives into a bus full of CRPF personnel.

“The who’s who of entertainment and sports industry were supposed to be present for the award ceremony. Every partner and all the sport stars and delegates associated with this award have been informed and communicated with stating that hosting an event was unacceptable at this moment when India is mourning the death of its jawans,” the statement added.

“The Virat Kohli Foundation, an organisation dedicated to assisting the underprivileged sections of society, provides scholarships to promising young athletes, as well as individuals and initiatives that have promoted sport at the grassroot level.”

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