KARACHI: PIA and Wapda will contest the final of the 61st PSO National Hockey Championship at the Nawaz Sharif Hockey Stadium, Sialkot on Sunday.
The first semi-final between PIA and NBP was a thrilling affair as the match went into the sudden death stage of the penalty shootouts after scores were levelled 2-2 but PIA won 7-6 after shootout.
Neither team was able to score in the first two quarters, but after changing their strategy in the third quarter, a fine move between Olympian Akhtar Ali and Ali Shan helped Bankers’ to earn a penalty corner for the team in the 34th minute, which Akhtar converted successfully.
Eight minutes later, Shan Irshad scored a field goal in the 42nd minute to take their lead to 2-0.
PIA’s Olympian Ammad Butt then struck in the 44th minute to reduce the margin and in the very next minute, they earned a penalty corner through Muhmmad Zubair, which Amir Shehzad converted successfully to level the scores.
In the shootout, PIA’s Shafqat Rasool netted the ball while Bankers’ Tauseeq Ahmed missed to lose the game 7-6.
In the second semi-final, Wapda outshone Army 3-1 as the latter took the lead in the fifth minute of the match through Rizwan Sr’s goal, after which Wapda’s Muhammed Aleem levelled the scores in the 15th minute through a penalty corner.
Wapda scored two more goals in a span of three minutes of the last quarter with Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Ijaz scoring in the 54th and 57th minute respectively to make their place in the final.