In a match of the ongoing third phase of the first Mufti Mohammad Sayeed (MMS) Memorial Football Tournament, Maharaja Sports defeated J&K State Football Academy (SFA) by a solitary goal on Monday (March 26) at Synthetic Turf Football Stadium in Srinagar.
In the closely contested match, forwards of both the teams attacked each others’ goal post from both the flanks right from the start. The defence lines were always under pressure but they ensured that no damage was done. The goalkeepers made some brilliant saves and at the end of the first half the score line read 0-0.
After the break, Mahraja Sports players changed their strategy and it paid immediate dividends when Imran managed to breach the defence lines of SFA U-18 and scored an all important goal for his team. Trailing by a goal, the SFA U-18 players launched counter attacks on opposite goal post, but failed to cross the final hurdle. The SFA players missed two clear scoring chances as Maharaha goalkeeper made excellent saves. A scintillating kick from Reshi Rajput of SFA team hit the goal bar and on deflection Fateen Ahmad shot was saved by Maharaja goalkeeper.
The last 10-minutes of the high-voltage match enthralled the large crowd present at the venue as no team was ready to give an inch. However, when the referee blew the final whistle, Maharaja Sports were leading by 1-0. Imran was declared as player of the match for his performance and he was awarded Rs 1000 and a memento.
Meanwhile, MMS Memorial Football Tournament started in Kishtwar where four matches were played on the inaugural day on Sunday. In the first match of the day Matta FC defeated KV Matta FC by two goals to one in a closely contested affair. The defenders, especially both the goalkeepers, played exceptionally well. But in the end the forwards of Matta FC prevailed by scoring two goals while the opposite could score only one.
The second match of the day between Kishtwar Strikes FC and Bun Asthan FC ended in a goalless draw. Though no goal was scored in the match, it proved to be a delight for the spectators who were chanting slogans in favour of their favourite teams and players. In the third match of the day, Begana Football Club defeated Madal FC by two goals to nil.
On Monday also four matches were played in Kishtwar. In the first match, Matta XI defeated Wilson FC by a solitary goal while Bun Aastan Junior and Royal Club played a 1-1 draw in the second match of the day. In the third match of the day Bun Aastan thrashed Mandal FC by four goals to nil in a one sided affair. Last match of the day also turned out to be a one sided affair as Wilson FC thrashed Bera Bhata FC by five goals to nil.
The matches of MMSM tournament are also going on at other venues of Jammu region. While in Kashmir region, first and the second leg of the event, being organised by the JK Football Association (JKFA) under the auspices of State Sports Council and on the directions of All India Football Federation (AIFF), have been completed, the first phase matches are underway in Jammu.
The aim of the tournament is to unearth the hidden talent in all corners of the state including remote areas.