SSGC, NBP, KPK (W), Army in national junior hockey semis

March 7, 2016 Off By Web Desk

Karachi: Sui Southern Gas Company, National Bank of Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhawa (W) and Army have qualified for the semifinals of the ongoing 35th National Junior Hockey Championship at Lahore’s National Hockey Stadium.

SSGC beat WAPDA 2-1 in a nail-biting encounter, NBP subdued Customs 9-1, KPK (W) humbled Punjab (W) 5-0 and Army beat Railways 2-1 in the last quarterfinal. Semifinals will be played on March 10.

Both SSGC and WAPDA exposed their aggressive intentions since the first touch of the ball which amused a fairly large gathering in the Stadium. They engaged into an intense tussle for the possession of ball which kept on rolling on both sides. Both teams scored goals in the first quart, however, SSGC struck the first blow in the 5th minute amid a fine move between Rana Sohail and Mohammad Adnan. Rana Sohail netted the ball. WAPDA bounced back in the 9th minute when their captain Bilal Mehmood scored a field goal to level the score. SSGC responded aggressively and took lead in the next minute through a field goal by Rana Sohail.

SSGC maintained their aggressive approach throughout the match and exerted more pressure whereas WAPDA went on the defensive, particularly in the third quart. They awaked in the last minutes of the fourth quart and made a couple of ferocious attacks but it was too late as SSGC guarded their Circle effectively. WAPDA also wasted two fair chances to level the score in the last quart. Junaid Manzoor failed to deflect a cross from Bilal. Mohammed Hakeem and Sohail Anjum also missed a deflection near the goalpost. Ameer Hamza and Khalid Muneer were the field umpires.

Bankers inflicted a crushing defeat upon Customs in the first quarterfinal. They dominated the proceedings from the start of the match. Full Back Abubakar Mehmood successfully struck first four penalty corners the Bankers got in the match. He struck two penalty corners in the first quart in the 5th and 17thminutes and completed his hat-trick in the 20th minute converting another penalty corner. Abubakar struck another penalty corner in the 25thminute. Mohammed Atiq netted a beautiful field goal in the 22ndminute. Azfar’s goal in the 29th minute further strengthened Bankers’ grip on the quarterfinal.

Customs’ hapless defenders offered little resistance against the forays of the Bankers who intruded into their Circle and scored at will. Mohammed Dilber struck a goal on penalty corner in the 35thminute then in netted a goal on a penalty corner hit rebound. Mohammed Naveed scored a field goal in the 43rd minute. Qazi Anser scored a consolatory goal for Customs in the 46th minute. They got two penalty corners but failed to reduce the margin of defeat. Ghulam Moheyuddin and Yasir Khursheed supervised the match.

Punjab (W) suffered humiliation in the second quarterfinal. They played like a scattered unit which had no direction. They faltered in skill, stamina, ball control and finish despite getting five penalty corners. The boys from Frontiers were well organized, and demonstrated perfect discipline and aggression in their game. Their passes were accurate, they positioned themselves adeptly and avoided reckless attempts on the goalpost. KPK got first penalty corner in the 12thminute which they successfully stuck through their captain Zahidullah. Khairullah scored a field goal in the 21st minute to double the lead. In the 26thminute Amjad Ali converted a penalty corner and later two field goals by Shahbaz in the 39th and Khairullah in the 54th minutes firmly booked their team in the semifinals. Ch. Anwar and Mahmood Ali were the field umpires.

Luck did not favour Railways in their important match against Army. Though they opened their account in the second quart through a penalty stroke struck by their captain Awais-ur-Rehman and maintained their supremacy for a considerable time till the third quart but lost their tempo to see Army levelling the score in the 42ndminute through a beautiful field goal by Noman Ali. The tussle for possession of the ball intensified in the fourth quarter and both teams fought hard. Army Jahangir Ali struck the decider in the 59th minute. Sohail Janjua and Haroon Rasheed supervised the match.