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Butt shines as WAPDA down NBP Back To Main

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The News correspondent

KARACHI: WAPDA skipper Rehan Butt once again scored to continue his golden form as his side overpowered National Bank (NBP) 2-1 in their 59th National Hockey Championship match here at Hockey Club of Pakistan (HCP) on Tuesday.

NBP goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas made a string of impressive saves to keep WAPDA at bay but could not hold onto a barrage of attacks.

Mohammad Atiq propelled NBP to an early advantage as he flicked the ball into the net from a penalty corner in 16th minute. However, Butt leveled scores four minutes later, scoring a superb goal to round off a perfect counter-attacking move.

From there on, WAPDA continued to put pressure on NBP’s goalie but Mazhar stood tall against efforts from WAPDA’s Aleem Bilal on penalty corners and strikes that came from open field.

He was very quick on his feet and showed great agility in the second-half stretching down to his right to deny Aleem’s strike with goal written all over it. WAPDA’s penalty corner specialist Aleem was getting itchy and it was Butt and Mohammad Wasim who went to him to provide some tips, which worked instantly for him. Aleem, who scored a brace the other day, finally produced a successful attempt guiding the ball past Abbas’ right hand in the 53rd minute.

The lead produced a flurry of attacks from both sides which resulted in altercations between the players. However the umpires were successful in keeping the tempers in check. At one point NBP skipper Akhtar Ali and former skipper Mohammad Wasim were close to exchanging blows but they were separated.

NBP had some chances in the dying minutes but they failed to hold onto their nerves in the final third. Butt was also denied in the last moments when Abbas flew to his right to stop the striker’s reverse flick. Earlier, talented Abdul Haseem Khan struck a double to help Port Qasim to a 2-1 win over Navy. In another match, Army emerged as comfortable 3-1 winners against Pakistan Air Force (PAF).