Vasco (Goa), Jan 31:Real Kashmir FC played out a 1-1 draw with Churchill Brothers in their 15th round I-League match as both sides missed out on a chance to go to the top of points table here Thursday.
Farhan Ganie put the visitors in the lead in the 55th minute but the league’s top scorer Willis Plaza — with 16 strikes so far — got the equaliser in the 69th minute for the home side.
A win for either side would have taken them on top but after the draw and the resultant one point apiece, both remain where they were at the beginning of the game — in second and third spots respectively with 29 points each from 15 matches. Churchill are ahead by virtue of a better goal difference.
Chennai City FC, whom Real Kashmir had beaten twice this season, are leading the table with 30 points from 14 matches.
Thursday’s draw, however, extended Real Kashmir’s unbeaten run to 11 matches.
The first leg match had also ended in a draw (0-0) in Srinagar in November last year. A total of 20 matches will be played by each team.
Churchill had more of the ball possession and the visitors clearly missed the physical presence of suspended Ivorian striker Gnohre Krizo, who had scored Real Kashmir’s lone goal in the 1-0 win over leaders Chennai City FC on January 28 in Srinagar.
Krizo picked up his second yellow card booking in the match against Chennai City FC.
Churchill’s Romanian coach Petre Gigiu made three changes to his starting line-up, playing Khalid Aucho, Richard Costa and Wayne Vaz in place of Israil Gurung, Nickson Castanha and Nenad Novakovic.
Real Kashmir’s Scottish coach David Robertson made just the one change, replacing the suspended Krizo with Ritwik Kumar Das.
After a scrappy 20 minutes, David’s son Mason Robertson had the first clear look at goal when Farhan Ganie found him in an advantageous position inside the box with a lovely long ball floated across from just inside the Churchill half. But Mason’s volley was weak and lacked placement and was collected comfortably by James Kithan at the Churchill goal.
Then in the 39th minute, Mason squared to Ritwik who unleashed a shot from just outside the Churchill box but Kithan again had it under control.
The home side did make a couple of forays into their rivals’ box, most of them inspired by their mercurial left-footed captain Dawda Cessay of Gambia, but the league debutant’s defence stood resolute as they have throughout the season.
Plaza did not even get one clear sight at goal as the teams went into half-time goalless.
Churchill seemed to have shed their cautious approach at the beginning of the second half and pressed hard.
But, it was Real Kashmir who took the lead through Farhan in the 55th minute, when his long-range grounder from outside the Churchill box on the second attempt, beat a maze of legs and probably blinded Kithan, before finding the back the net.
The home team was jolted by the goal but Plaza got them back in the 69th minute with his 16th strike of the league.
It was Dawda Cessay’s corner which was initially cleared by the Real Kashmir defence, but only till substitute Nicholas Fernandes found Plaza inside the box from the left flank with a fine cross.
The Trinidadian Plaza, who had gotten away from his marker, trapped and controlled well, before firing in a left-footer past Bilal in the Real Kashmir goal.
Plaza was adjudged Hero of the Match for the umpteenth time this season.
Convoy movement by road in JK to continue: MHA
New Delhi, Feb 17: Movement of paramilitary convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons will continue in Jammu and Kashmir as it is “necessary”, the Home Ministry said Sunday, even though it has increased air support to carry troops to the state.
The statement came after 49 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus, part of a 78 vehicle convoy, in the state’s Pulwama district.
In the wake of reports suggesting that the central government has rejected a proposal to ferry personnel of paramilitary forces from the Jammu-Srinagar sector by chopper, the ministry said it has significantly enhanced air courier services in all sectors to cut travel time of troops.
“Movement of convoys by road for logistical and operational reasons has been and will continue to be necessary. This is also the case with the army,” the Home Ministry said.
Reports appeared in a section of the media that air transit facility in the Jammu- Srinagar sector for CRPF troops has not been allowed. This is “untrue”, it said.
“Fact of the matter is, over the last few years, the MHA has significantly enhanced air courier services for CAPFs in all sectors to help troopers cut down on travel time during their journey to and back from home on leave,” it said.
In the Jammu and Kashmir sector, air courier service for transportation of personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs) are already in operation for quite some time.
This initially included the Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu sector. Later, at the request of CAPFs in December 2017, the services were extended to the Delhi-Jammu- Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector with seven flights a week.
In December 2018, the ministry had approved enhancement of air support by increasing routes and in the Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Jammu-Delhi sector, four flights in a week were added to the Srinagar-Jammu-Srinagar sector. “In addition, air support is provided by the Indian Air Force as and when required. Several sorties were run for the CRPF in January 2019,” the ministry said.
For ‘celebrating’ Pulwama attack: Sedition charges against 4 female students
New Delhi, Feb 17: Four female paramedical students have been slapped with sedition charges after being suspended from a private institute here for allegedly celebrating the Pulwama attack by posting “anti-national” messages on an instant messaging app, officials said Sunday.
The second-year students of the National Institute of Medical Science (NIMS), Talveen Manzoor, Iqra, Zohra Nazir and Uzma Nazir, were suspended for posting on WhatsApp a picture in which they were purportedly seen celebrating the attack in Kashmir that claimed the lives of 49 CRPF personnel.
The picture soon went viral, prompting the university administration to take action.
In the suspension order, the NIMS registrar said, “You have posted an anti-national message on your WhatsApp for celebrating killing of Pulwama attack martyrs. The university will not tolerate and strictly condemns such activities. The act is grave and serious in nature.”
Later, a case was registered against the four students following a complaint by the university administration, a police official said.
The students were booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity) and relevant provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act. Senior officials are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken thereafter, SP (Rural) Harendra Kumar said.
The Aligarh Muslim University has also suspended an undergraduate Kashmiri student for his alleged objectionable tweet in connection with the Pulwama attack.
PM on Lethpora attack: ‘Fire in my heart too’
New Delhi, Feb 17: The demand for retaliatory action following the suicide attack in Lethpora grew on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bihar to inaugurate some central projects.
As NDA ally Nitish Kumar called for appropriate response, ally Ram Vilas Paswan said India should take “revenge” for “every drop of blood shed in Pulwama”.
The Prime Minister said he shared the nation’s outrage.
“To the people who have gathered here, I would like to say the fire that is raging in your bosoms is in my heart too,” he said.
Forty nine personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force died on Thursday as a suicide bomber of Jaish rammed a car, filled with explosives, into a 78-vehicle convoy.
The resulting explosion had ripped apart one bus and hit another, spreading metal debris and human remains over a 100-metre radius on the national highway.
There have been repeated demands for appropriate action from the shocked nation.
Slain Rajouri CRPF man: Guv announces ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh
Jammu Feb 17: Governor Satya Pal Malik has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 20 lakh to the next of the kin of CRPF Head Constable, Naseer Ahmed of district Rajouri.
Naseer Ahmad was one of the 49 CRPF troopers killed when a CRPF convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber.
The Governor prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and expressed sympathy and solidarity with his family members.
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