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 October 18, 2002 | 1925 IST

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J&K, Assam score big wins

Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Assam prevailed over their respective opponents in contrasting styles in the preliminary cluster matches of the 58th National Football Championship, for the Santosh Trophy, in Imphal, on Friday.

While Jammu and Kashmir breezed past Rajasthan 4-0 in Cluster I, Mizoram got the better of Madhya Pradesh 2-1 in Cluster 3.

Meghalaya had to struggle before overcoming a spirited challenge from Chandigarh to win 2-1, while Assam blanked Andhra Pradesh 3-0 in the other cluster matches.

Bihar got a walk-over against Daman and Diu in Cluster 5 as the latter did not report in time for the match.

The Jammu and Kashmir team rode on a double strike by Deepak Sangral, with Manzoor Ahmad and Manoj Kumar netting one apiece to garner full points against Rajasthan.

The winners drew first blood as early as the fourth minute through Sangral before Ahmad made the scoreline 2-0 by converting a penalty. The penalty was awarded after Suresh Saini of Rajasthan obsructed Amrdeep Singh in the 19th minute.

J & K kept up the pressure and Sangral netted his second goal in the 83rd minute, while Manoj kumar found the target three minutes later to complete Rajasthan's rout.

Mizoram went ahead through Joseph Lalnunzira in the 10th minute. They strengthened their position after the breather as B Zonunsiama scored in the 48th minute before Rahamat Ali reduced the margin in the 67th minute.

The Cluster 2 fixture between Meghalaya and Chandigarh saw the former go ahead in the 17th minute through Richar Noglien.

But Chandigarh fought back and restored parity in the 60th minute, when Munish Kumar shot home from close. However, Meghalaya had the last laugh as Sukir Lamere struck the winner ten minutes from time.

In Cluster 5, Assam had an easy prey in Andhra Pradesh and went into the lemon break with a 2-0 lead. They retained the momentum and scored an insurance goal seconds before the final whistle to romp home with full points.

Utpal Basmumatari, Kamal Chhetry and Padum Brahma were the scorers.

Tomorrow's fixtures:
Sikkim vs Arunachal Pradesh; Services vs Uttar Pradesh; Haryana vs Gujarat; Karnataka vs Tripura; Orissa vs Delhi and Nagaland vs Andaman and Nicobar.

Complete Coverage: Santosh Trophy 2002