ISL 2018-19: 10-man NorthEast United FC hold Kerala Blasters to goalless draw

first_img Next ISL 2018-19: 10-man NorthEast United FC hold Kerala Blasters to goalless drawHaving already secured a spot in the playoff, NorthEast confirmed the fourth place in the standings with 29 points from 18 games and will now face Bengaluru FC in the semi-final.advertisement Press Trust of India KochiMarch 1, 2019UPDATED: March 1, 2019 22:41 IST Kerala Blasters ended their league season in the ninth spot with just two wins and 15 points after 18 matches (ISL Photo)Ten-man NorthEast United FC stood firm to play out a goalless draw and deny Kerala Blasters FC a chance to end their Indian Super League campaign with a win, here Wednesday.Having already secured a spot in the playoff, NorthEast confirmed the fourth place in the standings with 29 points from 18 games and will now face Bengaluru FC in the semi-final.FC Goa will face Mumbai City FC in the other semi-final.Blasters ended their league season in the ninth spot with just two wins and 15 points after 18 matches.After a tentative first few minutes, a powerful shot from Courage Pekuson got Kerala going.Twelve minutes into the game, Matej Poplatnik dribbled forward down the left and chipped the ball to Pekuson at the edge of the box. The Ghanaian midfielder chested it down before hitting a fine volley that flew inches wide.Kerala pushed forward and threatened to take the lead. In the 21st minute, Seiminlen Doungel ran clear down the right and sent a dangerous cross into the box which was almost turned in by Slavisa Stojanovic.NorthEast coach Eelco Schattorie was forced to field a weakened side and his woes were compounded when centre-back Gurwinder Singh was sent off in the 23rd minute.Pekuson dashed forward on a counter-attack and fed Poplatnik through on goal. The Slovenian striker was brought down on the edge of the box by Gurwinder, who happened to be NorthEast’s last man in defence, and promptly received the marching orders.Rowllin Borges slotted in at right-back as the visitors sat back and hoped to catch the hosts on the break. Pekuson went close again before the break as he shimmied away from Borges and cut in from the left flank but his low driven shot ricocheted off the inside of the post.advertisementDoungel was sent clear on goal at the stroke of half-time but an excellent save by Pawan Kumar kept the scoreline unchanged.Despite the numerical disadvantage, NorthEast had the Blasters defence in a spot of bother early on after the break.Panagiotis Triadis crossed from the left and found Lalrempuia Fanai inside the box whose shot was kept out by a diving Dheeraj Singh. The forward latched on to the ball on the rebound but Anas Edathodika got in the way to make the block.Blasters found it easier to counter and used the space in behind the opposition’s defence. Pekuson darted forward and crossed for Seiminlen Doungel who chested it down for Stojanovic to shoot in the 58th minute.The effort was parried away bravely by the NorthEast custodian who kept the visitors in the match.The goalkeeper was called into action again in the 69th minute when a Stojanovic shot took a deflection off Shouvik Ghosh and swerved in towards the goal. A fantastic finger-tip save by Pawan helped the ball onto the crossbar.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow ISL 2018-19Follow Kerala Blasters FC vs NorthEast United FClast_img read more

Perfect storm of change debt and Brexit sank Thomas Cook

FRANKFURT — British tour operator Thomas Cook fell victim to multiple setbacks including shifting travel habits, the rise of online booking sites, the sinking pound and even unusually hot weather that encouraged fewer Northern Europeans to travel.Specific problems of its own, like a 1.6 billion-pound ($2 billion) debt pile, made it less able to react to change.It all added up to a perfect storm that led the 178-year-old company to cease operations early Monday, stranding hundreds of thousands of travellers.Analysts said Thomas Cook, which rode a package holiday boom that started in the mid-1980s, was too slow to react as consumers moved away from buying trips at bricks-and-mortar stores.It has been overtaken by online services like Airbnb and internet travel companies who may separate or combine hotel, rental car and flight offerings, which puts pressure on prices through comparison shopping.“The company has struggled to adapt to a changing travel and retail environment,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.The company did push into online business, with 48% of its bookings from the internet as of last year. But not fast enough. Online rivals, meanwhile, didn’t have to bear the costs of owning 200 hotels, 500 travel agency shops and 105 airline jets, but acted as middlemen.Felix Kolbeck, head of the department of tourism at the Munich University of Applied Sciences, said the classical business model with travel agents and tour operators, which was very strong for decades in Britain, “has been out of date for some time.”Kolbeck said that in the current environment, “if as a travel company you do not have exclusive access to certain capacity, hotel facilities, resorts, or market them exclusively and thus can price them higher, then you will have difficulty.” CEO Peter Fankhauser had led the company in that direction but then faced troubles from Brexit uncertainty and the weaker pound.Thomas Cook Group PLC isn’t alone in facing such pressures. Competitor TUI Group AG, based in Hannover, Germany, has shifted its focus from tour operators to its own cruises and hotels.But other factors laid into the British travel company.Company officials have cited uncertainty over Brexit, both from consumers worried about its impact on their finances and from the timing, given that one unfulfilled deadline for Britain to leave the EU fell on March 31, just days before the heavy European Easter holiday travel season this year. Travel agents had to issue guidance on what would happen in case of a no-deal Brexit. Brexit has meanwhile sent the pound lower, given British travellers less purchasing power.After 2010, the Arab Spring revolts discouraged travel to previous U.K. favourites such as Egypt and Tunisia. Travel companies shifted their focus to the Western Mediterranean, such as Spain’s Canary Islands, only to see demand for some of those locations then dwindle.The company’s reputation suffered after the 2006 deaths of two customers in Corfu, Greece, from carbon monoxide poisoning. The case dragged out for years and Thomas Cook would end up being told by a coroner it “breached its duty of care.”As the company struggled to reshape its business in the new environment and cut costs it was hit with an unusually warm summer in 2018, which it said led travellers from the U.K. and Scandinavia to put off plans to head for warmer destinations. When they did decide at the last minute, the sector of the market that focuses on late decision makers turned out to be fiercely competitive on price.“The group, like its peers, has suffered from a perfect storm of turbulence, from political unrest and terrorism at some of its most popular destinations, to unusual weather patterns seeing travellers taking ‘staycations’ and the ever present Brexit uncertainty devaluing the pound and putting consumers off from booking holidays,” said Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre.Heavy debts gave the company less breathing room to manoeuvr.“While other travel groups have suffered from these factors, Thomas Cook’s pile of debt is the differentiating factor,” said Miah.David McHugh, The Associated Press read more