Magical J&K XI drubs star-studded Mohan Bagan via tie-breakers

Rajesh Dhar
JAMMU, Sept 11: Despite the fact that State football team had not the services of the ace footballers in Maharaj-ud-Din Wadoo, Ishfaq Ahmed, Kamaljeet Singh and Vinay Kumar, who are engaged with top football clubs of the country, the magical J&K XI drubbed the star-studded Mohan Bagan Kolkata via tie-breaker by four goals to two (4-2) in a goodwill football match, organized by the J&K State Sports Council in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Football Association (JKFA) at GGM Science College Football ground, here today. With this victory, the two match series ended in a (1-1) draw as Mohan Bagan had already one win at their belt, which it registered at Srinagar on September 8.
Minister for Medical Education, Technical Education and Youth Services and Sports RS Chib was the chief guest on the occasion, who later-on distributed prizes among the winners and runners-up teams.
Earlier, riding on agility, anticipation and acrobatics of skipper and goalkeeper Vikramjeet Singh, J&K XI managed a (1-1) draw in the stipulated time. Apart from Vikramjeet’s superb goalkeeping display, Rizwan Sheikh, Taufeeq Ahmed, Shahnawaz and Aman Thappa alongwith other members played as a cohesive unit to help J&K XI lead the first half by one goal to nil (1-0). Rizwan Sheikh netted the goal on the pass of Shahnawaz Iqbal in the 29th minute of the match.
However, in the second half, Mohan Bagan skipper and ace footballer, the Nigerian   Oddappa, who did not appear in the first half, scored a blinder in 44th minute of the game. Then both the teams made several attempts but failed in increasing the lead and the stipulated time ended with (1-1) goal for each team, which took the match to tie-breakers.
In the tie-breakers, J&K’s Yaseen Rashid, Rohit Kumar and Khalid Quyoom netted penalty kicks splendidly into the goal, while Aman Thappa failed in his attempt, on the other hand, Mohan Bagan’s Australian Tolgey, Mohan and Manish Bhargav failed in scoring on penalty kicks, while it was only Varundeep, who scored a goal in tie-breaker, thus helping J&K XI to win the match by four goals to two (4-2). In the tie-breakers, it was again motor-ability, fluidity and grace of J&K’s goalkeper Vikramjeet Singh which did the trick for the hosts.
Meanwhile, Mohan Bagan skipper, Oddappa while talking to Excelsior said that J&K possessed some immensely talented footballers, but he never expected such a superb display from them, adding that J and K Government as also JKFA should not let this talent go waste.
J&K XI’s skipper Vikramjeet said that to defeat a strong side of Mohan Bagan was a blissful moment for all of them and the excitement of the jam-packed crowd was a delight to watch.
The J&K team was coached by former Indian skipper Majeed Kakroo, while the visitors were accompanied by Santosh Kashyap as coach.
A jam-packed crowd of over 10,000 spectators could not believe their eyes and felt ecstatic on witnessing Jammu and Kashmir XI scripting a thrilling win.
Meanwhile, in an effort to encourage the players, J&K Bank announced a cash prize of Rs one lakh for the winning team and Rs 20,000 for Vikramjeet Singh, besides J&K State Sports Council announced a cash prize of Rs one lakh for the winners.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest congratulated the winning team for its outstanding performance and said that the motive of organizing the matches was to promote sports culture, especially football, besides boosting the morale of the State footballers. He further said that various players from the State have earned name and fame in this discipline, adding that such events are organized in the State with an extreme effort of Union Sports Ministry and the endeavour of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
Prominent among others present on the occasion were Mangat Ram Sharma, former Deputy CM, Kuldeep Khoda, former DGP, Pardeep Gupta, Divisional Commissioner Jammu, JP Singh, DIG Jammu-Kathua Range, Johny Williams, DIG Armed, Jaipal Singh, Director Youth Services and Sports, Dalip Thussu, Secretary J&K State Sports Council, Parbhat Singh, SSP Jammu, Ashok Kumar, Deputy Director Sports, Ranjeet Kalra, member BCCI, Hameed, President JKFA and Surinder Singh Bunty, Secretary Jammu wing, JKFA.

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