News > POA

Azlan’s brace helps Port Qasim upset WAPDA Back To Main

The News 

The News correspondent

KARACHI: Bulky forward Ali Azlan notched up two goals as Port Qasim produced the biggest upset of the 59th National Hockey Championship by piping star-studded WAPDA 3-2 on Friday here at the Hockey Club of Pakistan.

Azlan, the son of chief selector Hanif Khan, stunned WAPDA when he put his team ahead in the 3rd minute. However, the lead did not last long as in the very next minute WAPDA skipper Rehan Butt, who just cannot stop scoring with lady luck smiling on him, leveled the scores.

But Port Qasim had adventurism on their mind and they continued to produce decent attacks to keep their opponents on their toes. The game was played on a high tempo from both sides which resulted in silk passing. However, WAPDA did not look their own self as they failed to make a substantial difference despite having the likes of Butt, Mohammad Waseem, Fareed and Waqas Sharif.

Butt was lucky to get his second in the 22nd minute as ball fell to him just in front of the goal and he lashed hard at it which resulted in a goal after striking Port Qasim’s goalkeeper Shakeel Ahmed’s pads.

The goal did not distract Port Qasim, though, whose hard work paid off five minutes later when they were awarded a penalty stroke which was coolly slotted home by Azlan down the left.

The second-half was a different story as Port Qasim went on to a defensive strategy, which resulted in bombardment of attacks from WAPDA. At one stage, all Port Qasim players were in their own half welcoming danger, but their goalkeeper Shakeel made more than half a dozen superb saves, including several penalty corner strikes from Aleem Bilal.

WAPDA started to get frustrated and took a physical approach to the game which resulted in heavy collisions. At one stage, Port Qasim’s Malik Shakeel tried to hit former skipper Mohammad Wasim and then tangled with Butt as well. Tournament director Ahmed Alam rushed towards the scene to keep the players in check.

Port Qasim got the winner in the 64th minute after a fine counterattack which was rounded off by Owais Khan, who was present at the right place at the right time to glide the ball into the goal after an assist from Haseem Khan.

It has been learnt by ‘The News’ that field jury was livid with the behavior of Port Qasim’s No 11 Malik Shakeel and that he will be monitored in next matches. If he showed any such indiscipline again, he could be banned for the rest of the event.

Meanwhile, Arsalan Qadir scored as many as four goals in National Bank of Pakistan’s 5-0 rout of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). In another match, Army were made to work really hard for three points as PHF Academy showed great fight but in the end lost 2-1. Mohammad Imran’s experience was the difference between the two sides as he scored twice from penalty corners in the 18th and the 65th minutes. Abrar Khan scored PHF’s only goal.