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Sandesh Jhingan Joins ATK Mohun Bagan in a Five-Year Deal; Women’s FA Cup: Arsenal Enter SemiFinals and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Sandesh Jhingan joins ATK Mohun Bagan ahead of the new Indian Super League (ISL) season | Women’s FA Cup: Arsenal defeat Tottenham Hotspur to enter Semifinals | Gabriel Jesus out and Matheus Cunha in for Brazil's FIFA World Cup qualifiers | Covid-enforced Player Shortage Sees New Zealand Scrap Belgium Clash | Ronald Koeman shifts blame to FC Barcelona chiefs for Luis Suarez’ exit.
Sandesh Jhingan joins ATK Mohun Bagan

ATK Mohun Bagan’s fresh signing Sandesh Jhingan was not a part of the 2019-20 season because of an injury.

Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK Mohun Bagan announced the signing of defender Sandesh Jhingan. The Kolkata side has not disclosed the fees involved in the five-year contract. 

The former Kerala Blasters defender, 27, had expressed interest in playing in Europe while leaving the side. The pandemic, it seems, has forced a change in his plans. Joining ATK Mohun Bagan will also mean that Jhingan could play in the AFC Cup 2021.

Also Read | IPL and the Case of the Missing Indian Coach

"I am delighted to have joined ATKMB. I had a detailed chat with the coach and the owners and I admire their vision and I am very happy that they felt that I could be a part of the family," Jhingan said in a press release, issued by the club.

"I have a lot of friends already there in the team and I am looking forward to joining them and starting working together," Jhingan said.

Jhingan, who was not a part of the 2019-20 season because of an injury, has been off action for a little over a year.

"I want to say to all the loyal fans of ATKMB that together we will become not the only the greatest team in India but in Asia as well," Jhingan said.

Jhingan will join the team in Goa. entering the biosecure bubble they became a part of this weekend. The ISL begins in the third week of November.

Arsenal Women Enter Semis 

Arsenal have entered the FA Cup semifinals with a 4-0 against Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a strike from Jordan Nobbs and a hat-trick from Lisa Evans. 

Both the teams started off strong, with Tottenham withstanding the Gunners’ firepower for a large part of the game. Things, however, made a turn in the last 20 minutes when Joe Montemurro’s side took control after the opening goal which came via a mistake. 

In the 73rd minutes, after Spurs’ Ashleigh Neville made the mistake of mispassing the ball to Nobbs, the English striker chipped into goal for the opener. Two minutes later, Vivianne Miedema passed on the ball to Evans who scored the second. 

Two more goals were added by Evans -- both shots from close range, latching onto passes from Kim Little and Beth Mead. 

The pre match talk was all about Alex Morgan, who joined Spurs from NWSL side Orlando Pride. However, the American star remained on the bench throughout the game.

The match was initially scheduled to take place six months ago but was halted in wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

14th time FA Cup champions Arsenal will be either face Leicester City or Manchester City in the semifinals on Thursday. 

Cunha in for Jesus

Manchester City’s striker Gabriel Jesus will not be a part of the Brazil's squad for the South American FIFA World Cup qualifiers due to an injury. He has been and has been replaced by Hertha Berlin's Matheus Cunha.

The Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement that their medical team got a hint from City about the injury Jesus picked up during the 3-1 win against Wolverhampton in the English Premier League. Jesus scored the final goal in that match for City

The 21-year-old Cunha scored twice for his side in two matches of the new season. He has maintained an excellent record for Brazil, scoring five goals in seven matches during the qualifying campaign for the now postponed Tokyo Olympics.

Brazil will commence training from October 5, outside Rio de Janeiro. On October 9, they play Bolivia in Sao Paulo, and on October 13, will face Peru in Lima.

The squad also includes the stars -- Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Everton (Benfica), and Richarlison (Everton).

NZ Cancel Belgium Clash

New Zealand will not play the scheduled match against Belgium in Brussels after Covid-19 restriction forced them short of a full squad.

"As it currently stands we aren't able to get enough of our team to the game and back to their respective countries without major disruptions to their domestic seasons," Football New Zealand chief executive Andrew Pragnell said.

Also See | 'Have We Flattened the Curve?'

New Zealand, ranked 119, was scheduled to play Belgium on October 8.

"We knew when agreeing this fixture that the impact of Covid-19 was fluid but with a number of our squad unable to travel due to Covid restrictions, or having to go through significant quarantine on their return home, it became unfeasible," Pragnell said.

"It would have taken them out of contention for their club sides and impacted on their long-term development as players and their careers."

As things stand, NZ would be ready for the friendly against England on November 13 at Wembley. However, Pragnall added they are closely looking at this situation, before taking a call on that as well.

Koeman Blame Barcelona Chiefs

FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman stated that the decision to sell Luis Suarez was already taken before his entry to Camp Nou after Lionel Messi took a dig at how the Uruguan was treated at exit.

Messi made a fresh comment while posting an emotional farewell on social media, but Koeman, who believes he was shown as the “villain” and said the decision to let go of the 33-year-old was made before his arrival.

“It seems that I have been the villain of this film,” the Dutchman told a press conference. “But before I arrived here, some decisions had already been made and I supported those decisions – it wasn't up to me.

“I only showed respect to Luis Suarez as a person and a player. I told him that if he stayed it would be difficult for him to play but that he would be part of the squad.”

Koeman also said Messi was not affected by Suarez's departure while they trained.

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