73rd National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy
STATE TIMES NEWS KATRA: Hosts Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi won their respective group matches on the opening day of the 73rd National Football Championship for Santosh Trophy 2018-19 North Zone qualifying round at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Complex, here on Monday. J&K defeated Uttarakhand 3-1. Skipper Gautam Mehra brought in the first blood netting the ball in the 24th minute. Aakif Javaid (87th) and Shakir Ahmad Sheikh (83rd penalty) were other scorers. Earlier, Uttarakhand took the first lead netting the ball in very seventh minute through Vishal Nagarkoti. In the first match of the day, Delhi outplayed Chandigarh by a solitary goal. In all, eight teams from North Indian States are competing in the qualifying round for the National Championship. Other four participating teams are Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. Earlier, Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar inaugurated the tournament which is being organised by J&K Football Association under the aegis of All India Football Federation and is supported by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, J&K State Sports Council and J&K Bank Ltd. CEO Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Simrandeep Singh, Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, DIG Udhampur-Reasi range M Suleman Choudhary, SSP Reasi Nisha Nathyal, Secretary JK Sports Council Naseem Choudhary, President J&K Football Association and other concerned persons were present at the inaugural ceremony. There are total 12 matches to be played on single leg format and daily two matches shall be played. The advisor on the occasion interacted with the officials from All India Football Federation and J&K Football Association who are part of this ongoing championship. Later, he also met the teams of J&K and Jharkhand playing their match today after which the championship was officially kicked off. He appreciated the efforts of J&K Football Association in organising the events and also thanked AIFF, SMVDSB, J&K Sports Council and J&K Bank for their support in hosting the championship. J&K is hosting this event for the fourth time. Similarly, the ongoing I-League matches have also been organised at Srinagar in a very systematic and smooth manner. A colourful cultural presentation was also given by the students of SMVD Nursing College, Katra. Tomorrow’s Fixtures: Group-B: Punjab versus Haryana; Uttar Pradesh versus Himachal Pradesh.
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