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KARACHI: Salman Hussain scored a brace for WAPDA as they toppled Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) from summit at the end of the league phase of 59th National Hockey Championship here on Wednesday as PHF Academy and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) got relegated.

WAPDA won 4-2 in the all important match at the Hockey Club of Pakistan (HCP) as semifinal lineup was completed after this result. PIA will take on Army in the first semifinal (11am) and WAPDA will take on SSGC in the other last-four clash-tougher of the two semis.

As the match started, it looked that both sides wanted to finish second in order to take on Army, considered the weakest contender among the last-four. However, Mohammad Irfan’s opening salvo from a penalty corner in 25th minute brought the tie alive.

Some tough challenges and heated tussles added bite to the occasion. WAPDA equalised in the last seconds of the first period through Salman.

The second-half was much more exciting as WAPDA took the lead just five minutes after resumption courtesy of Mohsin Bilal. But Kashif Ali cancelled it after gliding the ball into the net four minutes before hour mark from a short corner.

But WAPDA were not contended with scores level and turned the heat on grabbing two goals in the space of three minutes—Salman (61st min) and Rehan Butt (63rd min)—to win the tie 4-2 and set up a date with SSGC.

Dethroned champions National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) vented their frustration on Habib Bank Limited (HBL) by thrashing them 7-2.

Skipper Akhtar Ali, Yasir Shabbir and Mohammad Atiq scored a brace apiece and Umar Bhutta notched up a solo effort for NBP.

Adeel Hussain and Shahbaz Ali scored consolation goals for HBL. Meanwhile, Navy won 2-0 against Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in a match that was to send the loser out of the top-tier alongside PHF Academy, who lost their last match to Port Qasim. Port Qasim won 4-1 as PHF Academy lost all their nine matches of the event. Both the relegated sides will now play in second-tier.