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Real Kashmir lifts IFA Shield Cup

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First Kashmir Club to win major national tournament

Srinagar, Dec 19:Real Kashmir FC lifted the IFA Shield Cup 2020 champions trophy on Saturday defeating George Telegraph SC by 2-1 at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

This is the first club from Kashmir to have reached the title clash of any national tournament in football. The team put up a spirited fight and romped home with the title of 123rd edition of the IFA Shield cup. 

Earlier, Real Kashmir had stunned the tournament favorites Mohammedan SC in the semis.

In the first half, both the teams tried to penetrate the opposite defence line however could not make any threatening move. Real Kashmir got a chance in the 36th minute of the first half after they earned a penalty. 

Lukman – who had scored a hat trick in the semi-final match- without making any mistake scored a goal for his team giving them a much needed 1-0 lead.

A free kick was also awarded to Telegraph because of a foul from the real Kashmir. However the opportunity to equalise the score was missed by them.

Goutam Das, a replacement from Telegraph, got a pass from Babu Oraw after switching sides in the second half and made no mistake in scoring the equaliser in the 48th minute of the match.

This alerted the Real Kashmir who went on to an aggressive mode and started penetrating into the defence line of the opposite team.

Danish Farooq brilliantly passed the ball to Mason Robertson inside the D who took the goalkeeper by surprise by heading the ball into the net to earn the lead.

Telegraph despite making many efforts couldn’t score and sniff any chance of coming back into the game.

Real Kashmir’s keeper Mithun Samanta made the crucial penalty save with a dive to the left corner and kept his team ahead in the game. 

And with this win Real Kashmir FC bagged its first top level national tournament title within four years of its inception.

For Real Kashmir FC and the people of Kashmir, this is an unforgettable piece of history. “Great to be a part of it and our players fought again and went through the pain barrier as we were very tired,” said Robertson, coach of Real Kashmir after being crowned champions of the IFA Shield.

He added, “We hadn’t trained as a group at the beginning of the tournament and we had so many new players and we didn’t think we could go all the way, but the team’s desire to win was incredible and that’s what we did.”

“ I think the win was the most important but we were not at our best and  credit goes to Telegraph as well they played very well and gave us a tough fight. We made some mistakes but much credit today  goes to our goalkeeper, if it was not for his heroic save, we would not be celebrating.”

“ To our fans, we know you are all behind us and support us from a distance. We did it for you and Kashmir. We have not played in Kashmir for so long we miss their support and passion towards their team,” said the coach.

For his match winning performance, Mithun Samanta was given man of the match award and  Mason Robertson was declared as player of the tournament. 

Real Kashmir’s new sensation Lukman was awarded top goal scorer of the tournament.

True Kashmir’s latest sensation Lukman has been awarded the tournament’s highest goal scorer.

Khalid Qayoom, who plays in the team at Defensive Midfield, told Rising Kashmir that by winning a great title, they had begun their season. For us and for Kashmir, it’s a privilege.

Winning one of the oldest football competitions makes it the team’s greatest achievement. This win boosted our confidence and inspired us,’ he said.

Qayoom said they are now seeking to win the I-league title and win the I-league title.

During the first two days, our training sessions were intense as they got just 3-4 days for it. After winning the first game, we doubled practice sessions during the gaps.  Team management was supportive and they boosted our confidence,” Qayoom said.

Qayoom said they had never expected that they would win this title as new faces were included in the squad. “70 percent of the players were new and our captain who was leading from the front played an important role in the tournament,” he said.

“Captain Mason Robertson played confidently throughout the league. He also scored a winning goal in the finals. During the match, he played his natural game,” Qayoom added.

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