JK Bank lifts title, beat hosts Sambalpur in thrilling final

Srinagar Dec 19: Adding another milestone to its cap the highflying JK Bank football team made whole state proud by lifting prestigious 6th All India Invitational Cup, defeating hosts Sambalpur Sports Club 1-0 in a scintillating final played at Sambalpur, Orissa on Sunday.
In the match JK bank defeated host team by solitary goal. The only goal of the match came in the 27th minute of first half through striker Bilal Ahmad, when Bank’s speedy midfielder Rizwan Sheikh was pulled down in the penalty area and earned team penalty kick.
The game began in charged atmosphere and continued till 75th minute when Bank’s John Chinedu was shown red card by the referee for a rash tackle and left the team with only ten players for the rest of crucial fifteen minutes.
However, the coaches Manzoor Ahmed and Hilal Ahmad made some effective changes to keep the boys vigilant and active about every attack from the opposition.
J Mishra MLA Sambalpur and Ashwini Padhi HR Head Hindalco Aluminum Company Orissa were guests on the occasion. They handed over the trophy to the winning team and also awarded a cash prize of rupees two lakhs to the winners.
Meanwhile, JK Bank Chairman and CEO, Mushtaq Ahmad, who is also patron of the Bank’s Sports Board, congratulated the team and the Bank’s Sports Board for the title win.He also conveyed his best wishes for future participating tournaments.
JK Bank Executive President and Chairman Sports Board, Tafazal Hussain conveyed his congratulations to the team Manager, Majid Yousuf Dar, and the team for their splendid performance throughout the tournament. He also wished them luck in their future engagements.
The team’s success was also lauded by Sports Board’s Vice-Chairman Abdul Hamid Banday and Secretary Muhammad Amin Khan who sent their congratulatory messages to the team.
Notably, the journey of the title win started with a victory against Orissa Police by 3-1 in the quarterfinals in which Bank’s striker Ezikel scored lone hat-trick of the tournament and beating ICF Railway, a Chennai based team in the semifinal by 2-0.
Pertinently it was first major event for JK Bank under young qualified new coaches Manzoor Ahmad Dar and Hilal Rasool Parray after axing its former coach Abdul Majeed Kakroo. Football pundits were keenly watching how the team will perform post Kakroo era. However team proved critics wrong by lifting title.
The tournament was organized by Sambalpur Sporting Club Orissa under the aegis of AIFF.

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