Mohan Bagan Trounces JK in Goodwill Match

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Coach blames Inexperience, Absence Of Star Players For Defeat Srinagar – After failing to retain its star players, the Jammu and Kashmir Football team was trounced by the visiting Mohan Bagan Football club in the first of the two Goodwill matches played at Bakhshi Stadium here on Saturday. Mohan Bagan crushed JK by four goals while the “inexperienced” host team failed to convert as many as nine chances into a goal. The dismal performance by team JK came in front of thirty thousand fans who threw their weight behind their favorite team whenever they got a chance to close in on the visiting team’s goal post. Chance after chance, the ball hit everything but the nets while as Mohan Bagan missed no to hit the bulls eye. Ironically, the team JK was missing its main players and what was more shocking was that one of valley’s star footballer Mehraj-ud-din Wadoo was playing against the state.

Ishfaq Ahmad was also unavailable as he his team East Bengal didn’t allow him to play in the match. It was very unfortunate to see Wadoo playing in the opposite team and Ishfaq was also not here. It looked like Mohan Bagan was not playing a state team but a school football team,” said Waheed Ahmad Mir, a dejected fan. Even the coach of JK team, Abdul Majeed Kakroo acknowledged that absence of striker Ishfaq and other players played a major part in JK defeat. “ Ishfaq is not playing, Wadoo was playing on the other side. There strikers missed too many chances. They were inexperienced, however, we put up a good show and the officials and players of Mohan Bagan appreciated our display on the field,” Kakroo said. “Our main striker Ishfaq was not in the team, his absence was the main reason that we were not able to convert our nine chances into a single goal,” he added.

Asked why JK fails to deliver against top teams, Kakroo said : “ Mohan Bagan team is one of the major football club with huge resources.It has a budget of Rs 30 crore and our team has 10 lakh. They spent a lot on choosing the best players not only in India but other countries as well two of the gaols were scored by the foreign players in the match. It is obvious that their team will be better than our as they spend a lot on them,” he said. “ In the pre-match planning I instructed my team to focus more on three players in Mohan Bagan team, they failed to do so and three goals out of four were scored by the players which I had mentioned in the team meeting,” he said.

He, however, lauded the overall performance by the JK team. “It was a wonderful display by JK. Our only problem was that we couldn’t convert our chances,” he said. Surprisingly, the officials of the JK Football Association were satisfied over the performance by the host team. “Our team played well. One cannot rule out that Mohan Bagan is one of the oldest football clubs in India and the way we played against them today is very satisfying,” said president JKFA, Zameer Ahmad Thakur. He said that Mohan Bagan was a professional team and has four foreign players. “Our team played well but we couldn’t score against a professionally sound team,” he added. Replying to the query that why wasn’t JK able to retain it star players, Thakur said : we tried hard to convince the respective teams of our senior players but they didn’t allow them.We did what we can,” he said. Observer Sports Desk

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