Ghosal, Sandhu, Joshna advance

 India’s Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Joshna Chinnappa advanced to the semifinals of the squash competition following lop-sided victories at the RG Baruah Sports Complex here on Saturday.

Ghosal, the flag-bearer for the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony and who took oath on behalf of all the competing athletes, was simply too good for Bangladesh’s Md Shumon, romping home to a 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 victory.

Harinder, playing in the adjoining court, too didn’t waste much time, blanking a hapless Md Shamil Wakeel of Sri Lanka 11-3, 11-8, 11-3 in quick time. Harinder will take on second seed Nasir Iqbal of Pakistan in the semifinals on Sunday while Ghosal will face with Farhan Zaman, also from Pakistan.

Women’s top seed Joshna oozed class as well, trouncing Krishna Thapa 11-6, 11-4, 11-4 to set up a semifinal date with Pakistan’s Sadia Gul. Joshna’s compatriot Sunanya Kuruvilla, however, bit the dust, going down in marathon clash against Mihilya Methsarani. Sunanya lost 6-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10.

Hopes in balance

The Indian men’s football team was given a rude wake-up call after they suffered a morale-shattering 1-0 loss to Sri Lanka that has left their semifinal hopes hanging in the balance.

M Rufus scored directly from a 13th-minute free-kick and the shattered Indians failed to recover from the early blow.

Their passing was very loose, movement completely missing and ball control all over the place. The Indians have four days to ponder over their errors before they take on Maldives in the crucial final Group A clash. A loss would mean the end of the road for the SAFF champions.

It was learnt that Stephen Constantine, who watched the shoddy display, had sharp words for the colts after the match.

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