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By ESPN Staff

From Baba Yaga to Rasputin: A to Z of Calcutta's Soviet Union connection

Moscow Olympics memorabilia from the author's collection.
Moscow Olympics memorabilia from the author's collection.

For anyone growing up in Calcutta in the 1970s and 80s, the Soviet Union was omnipresent. Communist red was the colour of the day, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin adorned the walls and Gorky, Tolstoy and Pushkin the bookshelves. As he prepares for his trip to Russia, Jayaditya Gupta unlocks a suitcase of memories and associations.

Aeroflot

My first encounter with Cyrillic, thanks to the large sign on Kolkata's Lower Circular Road. Pan Am, TWA, British Airways, KLM had the glam quotient but "Aepopvot"...

Top 10 World Cup memories: No. 3 - Italy beat France 5-4 on penalties after 1-1 in regulation time

Zinedine Zidane's career ended in shame with a sending off in the 2006 World Cup final.
Zinedine Zidane's career ended in shame with a sending off in the 2006 World Cup final.

In this special 10-part series, ESPN's Jayaditya Gupta, who has attended every World Cup since 2002, recalls his favourite matches from the tournament. At No. 3 is the 2006 final, in which Italy beat France 5-4 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 in regulation time.

The memory

It's a strange one, because what I remember most is not what I saw but what I didn't see. And, of course, the moments - minutes, hours, days even - after. I was sitting in the stands towards the end Italy were attacking;...

Top 10 World Cup memories: No. 2 - France 0-1 Senegal

There was no way back for the tired, dispirited French who came to Korea as champs and went home, bottom of the group, as chumps.
There was no way back for the tired, dispirited French who came to Korea as champs and went home, bottom of the group, as chumps.

In this special 10-part series, ESPN's Jayaditya Gupta, who has attended every World Cup since 2002, recalls his favourite matches from the tournament. At No. 2 is the game in which Bouba Diop stunned defending champions France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup.

The context

Your first World Cup as a reporter, your first match of the tournament. The reigning champions up against first-timers. The first ever World Cup in Asia. No wonder France 0-1 Senegal features so high on my list of...

 By Reuters

Netherlands earn late draw with Italy in battle of non-qualifiers

ItalyItaly
NetherlandsNetherlands
1
1
FT
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Italy squandered their winning position after going down to 10 men, as Nathan Ake equalized for the Netherlands late in Turin.

Nathan Ake scored two minutes from time for the Netherlands to grab a 1-1 draw with hosts Italy in a friendly in Turin on Monday between two of the best sides not to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

Simone Zaza squeezed home a square pass after a sprint down the right flank by Federico Chiesa in the 67th minute to give the home team a deserved lead after they had spurned a series of first-half chances.

Zaza got ahead of a tired-looking Dutch captain Virgil van Dijk to steer the ball home from...