Srinagar, Dec 11: Six-match I-League home session on Tuesday came to a roaring finish for Real Kashmir Football Club, which defeated ShillongLajong FC by 6:1 for its third consecutive win.
With this, Snow Leopards have become the team with highest number of goals in a match in prestigious league.
Earlier, Churchill Brothers’ four goals in a match was the highest.
The fans of Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC), which entered the stadium with two consecutive wins at its back, were eagerly waiting for the club’s last game to begin in the Astro Turf TRC ground.
The atmosphere of elation was visible within and outside the stadium, with fans carrying yellow flags, fire crackers, and drums ready to cheer their team.
Amid the biting cold, hundreds of spectators had been waiting on the iron benches for hours before the start of the game, mostly to secure a better view of the ground.
As both the teams stepped into the field, a rhythmic cheer reverberated across the stadium. The spectators seemed to be mindful of it being the team’s last appearance at home.
“Real Kashmir has become our heartbeat. They did what no one else from Kashmir could,” Aamir Khurshid, a fan, said, waving a RKFC flag in the team jersey.
As the ball was placed at the central line, the players as well as the spectators waved at each other, knowing that both will meet after a month’s gap.
The match entirely had an entertaining first-half with four goals scored.
The RKFC opened in the 25th minute, when its striker Gnohere Krizo bamboozled three Lajong defenders before setting up AbednedoTetteh who in turn made no mistake to push the ball past Shillong goalkeeper NeithovilieChalieu.
The goal brought Lajong back into the game when Bilal Khan’s misplaced clearance struck the body of Samuel James LyngdohKynshi and rebiounded ricocheted back into his own net.
But RKFC maintained its ascendancy in the game in the 37th minute. Its defender, Mason Robertson scored from a flag-kick floated in by midfielder Surchandra Singh, sending the home crowd into frenzy.
Within six minutes, Kashmir added one more to their tally when striker NagenTamang found the net to finish off a brilliant move from midfield.
Ivory Coast football Defensive midfielder Bazie Armand started knitting the passes and it was Abednego Kofi Tetteh, who split open Lajong’s defence with a through ball to set-up the left winger in front of goal.
Kashmir went on to score three more in the second half much to the embarrassment of ShillongLajong FC.
Krizo scored his second goal of the campaign when he converted from the spot within five minutes of resumption after referee Santosh Kumar pointed to the spot following a foul on the Ivorian by AibanbhaDohling.
In the 75th minute, the Snow Leopards breached Lajong’s defence for the fifth time when Surchandra Singh rifled in a shot from close range taking advantage of a goal mouth melee, after Tamang’sinitail attempt was half-heartedly cleared from the goal line.
Keeping in mind that it was the last home match in 2018, Head Coach Robertson gave a run to local boys Danish Farooq and Shahnawaz Bashir in the last quarter of the match.
The latter had an immediate impact on the game as he delivered an inch-perfect cross from the left flank inside the box for Tetteh to head home from sniffing distance of goal.
Soon after the win, spectators burst fire crackers while many barged into the ground to click selfies with the winning team.
Minutes after the game, the celebration of victory continued as players thanked spectators for supporting the team.
Coach Robertson credited the three consecutive victories to the efforts put in by the players in the games.
“In previous six games, we defended very well. The players were energetic who worked hard for the results. The support for us has been equally fantastic,” he said.
On upcoming home-away match with Gokulam FC, he said the match will be challenging for them considering Kerala’s warm climate and club’s performances.
“We will be leaving tomorrow for Kerala and will have three days to get accustomed with the climate. Let’s forget about Chennai FC or any other team as every match is like battle for us,” he said.
ShillongLajong FC Head Coach, FC Bobby Nogbel said the physicality of the Real Kashmir players was difficult for them to face in the match.
“Real Kashmir FC is really a fantastic team and the physicality of their players is their main advantage. Rest we had no foreigners and the team was purely local,” he said.
3 militants killed in Budgam encounter
Srinagar, Jan 21: Three militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter at Hapatnar woods in Charar-e-Shareef area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Monday.
News agency Global News Service quoted a senior police officer saying that a joint team of Army’s 53 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in forest area of Hapatnar early Monday morning following “credible inputs” about the presence of some militants.
As the joint team of forces intensified the combing operation, the militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering off a gunfight which continued intermittently till late in the evening.
During the course of gunfight, three militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed, the officer said.
The operation was prolonged due to the tough terrain amid inclement weather conditions, he added.”So far one body has been recovered along with arms and ammunition. The other two bodies which are lying inside the hideout are yet to be retrieved,” the officer said.
“The identity of the slain is being ascertained,” the officer said.
The officer said that the government forces have also blasted the hideout of the militants in the mountainous area, covered under plenty of snow.
Meanwhile, sources identified one among the slain Shahid Baba of Drabgam, Pulwama. (With inputs from GNS)
Snow, rains persist: Land, air traffic disrupted
Srinagar, Jan 21: Although not as severe as predicted, fresh snowfall and rains were Monday lashed Kashmir bringing some respite to the people from the cold wave.
The plains of Kashmir witnessed moderate rainfall from early hours of Monday, while there were reports of snowfall in higher reaches of the valley, officials said here.
The MeT Office has forecast widespread rain and snow over the state with heavy falls at isolated places till Tuesday.
Meanwhile, traffic on the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway was halted because of heavy snowfall on the stretch.
“Today no movement of vehicular traffic on Jammu Srinagar NHW from Jammu towards Srinagar and vice versa as road blocked due to snow accumulation at Nowgam-Jawahar Tunnel-Qazigund Sector and still snowing,” J&K Traffic Police tweeted Monday morning.
Bad weather conditions also disrupted operations at the Srinagar International Airport here, leading to the cancellation of four flights, officials said.
“Due to the inclement weather, four of the 27 flights to and fro Srinagar were cancelled on Monday,” an official of the Airport Authority of India.
Another 11 flights got delayed due to poor visibility and intermittent rainfall since Monday morning, he said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar on Sunday settled at minus 0.3 degree Celsius, same as previous night, a MET official said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, in south Kashmir recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius Sunday night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius. Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius Sunday night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Kargil registered a low of minus 14.0 degrees Celsius. Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir, colder than even Drass town which recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).
Lack of funds halts vital JK tourism projects
Srinagar, Jan 21: The Governor-led administration is mulling to start new projects to boost tourism in Kashmir even as several old ones have been left midway due to want of funds.
In December last year, the administration ordered the constitution of an official panel for identification of new projects in tourism sector to be implemented under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Back in 2014, the Government of India, under Project/Infrastructure Development for Destination and Circuits (PIDDC), had sanctioned Rs 7593.88 lakh for development of basic tourism infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir through private investment, opening of new potential destinations and development of heritage, adventure, and pilgrim and eco-tourism.
However, the projects have been left incomplete as the Centre has, as per the latest official data, released only Rs 3504.80 lakh of the sanctioned amount against which the department shows 100 percent expenditure.
Now, due to the unavailability of funds, the PIDDC project is on standstill.
The project included development of Eidgah, face-lifting of Khankahi Moula, Development of Jamia Masjid Heritage Corridor, Renovation of Aali Masjid, Upgrading of Ziyarat Abdul Razaq Sahib at Hawal, Ziyarat Hazrat Balaad Rumi at Rajouri Kadal, Ziyarat Akhoon Sahib and TajBibi at Fateh Kadal, Ziyarat Hazrat Noor Shaha Sahib at Narwara, and Conservation of areas from Naagar Nagar to Watlab.
The tourist circuit from Naagar Nagar to Watlab, which was a key component of the project, still requires Rs 2312.90 lakh to be completed, official data shows.
Another main component of PIDDC project, construction of Trans Himalayan Culture Centre in Leh, too requires further Rs 1094.48 lakh for completion.
Similarly, development of Khiram Shrine in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara town also remains incomplete for want of funds.
Section Officer of Planning, Tourism Department, Sajad Ahmad, told The Kashmir Monitor that “65 per cent” of the work has been completed on Naagar Nagar to Watlab component of the project.
“We had to stop the work because the Centre did not release the funds,” he added.
Executive Engineer, JK Tourism, Abdul Qayoom Kirmani said they have asked the Government of India for the pending funds and also sent to them the proposal of the new projects.
“We have identified new Rs 100 crore new projects under PMDP-II, which comprises of nine circuits,” he said.