MMB player Mehrajuddin speaks on winning 2 match series and on re-joining Mohun Bagan18-Jul, 2012
Jammu and Kashmir XI today defeated Mohammedan Sporting Club by 1-0 to make a clean sweep of the two match friendship series. Ex-Mohun Bagan Captain Ishfaq Ahmed scored the only goal of the match.
Earlier in the first match played on the 15th of July, Jammu and Kashmir XI defeated Mohammedan Sporting Club by 5-2 via penalty shootout at Bakshi Stadium, Srinagar. In the match, the hosts took the lead in the 1st half but Mohammedan restored parity in the 2nd half through a penalty kick.
In tie breaker, Jammu and Kashmir XI converted their 4 penalty kicks while Mohammedan Sporting scored only 1 out of the 3 kicks. Captain of the Jammu and Kashmir XI team, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, who has also joined McDowell Mohun Bagan this season from Salgaocar, scored the winning goal in tie breaker.
There was a huge turnout in both the matches. The first match played at Bakshi Stadium, Srinagar was witnessed by more than 30,000 spectators while approximately 15,000 people was present to see today's match held at the Showkat Ali Stadium in Baramulla.
We had a chat via phone with Mehrajuddin Wadoo.
Congrats Mehraj on winning both the matches. How significant was this win?
Mehraj: This was a very important match for Jammu and Kashmir. The people here last saw a Kolkata Team playing when Mohun Bagan and East Bengal came to play in Federation Cup 26 years ago.
Both these matches were organized by Government of India. Hopefully, it will help in development of football in our State. There are a lot of talented footballers in Kashmir who needs exposure and also need to focus on their game.
You know, in the first match, there were more than 30,000 people present to witness the match. I have never seen so much crowd in a football match in Kashmir.
You scored the winning goal in the last match in tie breaker?
Mehraj: I was the Captain of the Jammu and Kashmir XI in both the matches. In the last match, the score was leveled at 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes. In tie breaker, I slotted home the 4th shot and that helped us to win the match. Actually, we converted all our 4 penalty kicks.
In today's match, I initiated the move from which the winning goal was scored. I passed the ball to Shehnayaz from whose pass Ishfaq Ahmed scored the goal.
In which position did you play both the matches?
Mehraj: Defensive midfielder.
What is your physical condition right now?
Mehraj: I played both the matches for full 90 minutes, but see these are exhibition matches. Already, I have missed few days of pre-season conditioning camp that is going on in Durgapur, so I need to work hard on reaching the camp and then prepare myself for the upcoming competitive matches.
When are you reaching Kolkata?
Mehraj: Hopefully, day after tomorrow, on Thursday.
What is your feeling being back in Mohun Bagan?
Mehraj: It is as if I am back to my home. I first got chance in Indian team while playing in Mohun Bagan.
I played in Mohun Bagan from 2004 to 2006. During these 3 years, apart from winning Calcutta Football League and All Airlines Gold Cup, we won the Federation Cup in 2006. In Federation Cup, we played 3 matches in 6 days and defeated Churchill Brothers, Dempo Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa in Quarter Final, Semi Final and Final respectively. All these 3 matches went into penalty shootout and we won all of them to clinch the Title.
That year in Super Cup also, we defeated Dempo Sports Club 4-0.
While playing for India, I scored the winning goal against Bangladesh in the SAFF Cup Finals at Karachi in December 2005. I was also a member of the Indian squad that won Nehru Cup 2007, the AFC Challenge Cup 2008 and the Nehru Cup in 2009.
What will be your target this season?
Mehraj: Last season, I did not get much chance in Salgaocar. This year, I will first have to prove myself in the training session and then whenever coach will give me chance in the first XI, I will give my best for Mohun Bagan and try to help them win matches and trophies.
Best of luck for the season Mehraj.
Mehraj: Thank you very much.
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