5-A-Side hockey in full swing, three matches decided
LAHORE—Quetta Warriors, the under dogs of OGDCL 5-A-side hockey tournament, caused the biggest upset of the event by halting the unbeaten run of fancied Faisalabad Falcons with a well deserved 3-2 win here on Wednesday night at national hockey stadium under lights.
In the other two matches, Islamabad Fighters defeated Karachi Sharks 6-3 for their fourth consecutive win. Lahore Lions scored a facile 5-2 win over hapless Peshawar Panthers who have now lost all their four matches.
In the first match, Quetta shocked Faisalabad, dubbed as favourites to win the event, with a better display of quality hockey. Quetta appeared well prepared for this encounter and their most energetic player Rizwan put them ahead in the 3rd minute. The goal fired up the tempo and good pole to pole game was witnessed.
It was Rizwan again, who doubled the lead in the second period, with another superlative reverse hit.
Faisalabad were now desperate for goal which came their way early in the third period through Abu Bakr’s long well placed hit. Thereafter, they made a number of attacks and finally captain Dilber Hussain made it 2-2 with a good flick from a difficult position with just two minutes to go.
It seemed the two sides would leave the ground with one point each. But, there was a twist in the story. The irresistible Rizwan, who was declared the man of the match, sent a superb cross which was availed by Quetta’s captain Kashif Ali to give his side a well-deserved 3-2 win.
In the second encounter, Islamabad were at full strength with their injured internationals Arslan Qadir and Ejaz back in action. They dominated the first period and were 3-0 up when first 12 minutes finished with two goals coming from hat-trick maker, Arslan Qadir. They added a fourth goal early in the second period and then slowed the proceedings.
When Islamabad made it 5-0 just two minutes into the third period, it seemed all over for Karachi. But the Sharks refused to go down tamely and recovered magnificently. In a four minute spell, they put in three goals with Mohammad Asif scoring two beautiful goals. At 53, Islamabad breathed a sigh of relief when Rizwan Sr netted their sixth goal.
It was a match between two teams in the bottom, the 4th placed Lahore and the last placed Peshawar.
Lions roared at the start and took lead with the third-minute goal through Afzar Yaqoob, the maternal grandson of 1964 Olympic silver medallist Afzal Manna.
Peshawar’s first good combined move resulted in equalizer through Faisal Rasheed. Lahore repeatedly raided the opponent’s goal and finally Rana Sohail made it 2-1 a minute before the end of the first period. Peshawar wasted a 1 vs. 1 Challenge early in the second period. Lahore exerted a lot of pressure and Faizan Jonty netted his team’s third goal. Peshawar created a few good chances just before the end of the second period but the goal eluded them.
In the third period, Emad Butt scored his side’s fourth goal off a wonderful Rana Sohail pass. Then his own long pass was beautifully turned in by Usman Malik through a reverse hit. 1-5 down, the wounded Panthers looked desperate to salvage some pride and made frequent raids. Amjad Ali Khan’s strong push beat the Lahore goal keeper.—PP
QUETTA: MPA Dr Ruqayya Saeed Hashmi awarding a trophy to the winner of All Balochistan Haji Talib Hussain Hazara Memorial Squash Tournament.