SRINAGAR: Riding on a goal each from Shahid Mushtaq, skipper Asif Majid and Toufeeq Ahmad, Jammu and Kashmir Football team got their 63rd Santosh Trophy campaign off to a winning start, pummeling hapless Uttar Pradesh 3-0 in their Group match played at Dr. B.R.Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi.
The scoreline would have been even further tilted in J&K’s favour had their strikers not missed some chances after creating many of them. It was all J&K with their forward line mounting attack after attack on the UP’s goalpost to reiterate their dominance over the proceedings.
J&K didn’t waste much time drawing the first blood through striker Shahid who brought about a fine header to give his side lead six minutes into the first half. He was provided with another opportunity 13 minutes later, but failed to get the desired result.
Skipper Asif got into the act in the 20th minute making it 2-0 in his side’s favour as J&K continued to put pressure on their opponents. Teams went into break with J&K well and truly leading the show 2-0.
Second half didn’t throw any surprises as J&K were able to pierce the UP’s defence line many a time, but were unable to convert them into the goals. Toufeeq, who came as a substitute, scripted a terrific finish to have his side in commanding position in the 80th minute, leading by three goals.
The scoreline didn’t change till the final whistle was blown which meant J&K had given themselves a bright chance of progressing further in the tournament.
J&K’s next fixture is on Sunday with Punjab their opponents in what would be decisive game in the group.Punjab defeated Himachal by 2-1 in their first match.