LAHORE: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) defeated defending champion PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) 4-3 in a thrilling final, ended in the sudden death stage, to clinch the coveted Trophy of the 60th NBP National Hockey Championship at the Johor Hockey Stadium in Johor Town on Sunday.
The hotly contested final of Pakistan Nationals saw two top teams with the services of Olympians and international players fighting hard to outshine each other in the stipulated 70 minutes session. The result remained 2-2 at the end and the match went into the penalty shoot out which also ended in a draw and it had to be decided in sudden death, where bankers controlled their nerves better than the airmen as baker forward Ali Shan scored the winning goal.
The final started at a slow pace as both team took some time to settle down. After that the crowd witnessed a series of attacks and counter attacks by both teams. PIA took lead in the 9th minute through Mohammed Zubair who converted a penalty corner. Shafqat Rasool scored a field goal in the 22nd minute to give his team a 2-0 lead which remained till the end of the first half.
The Bankers came back strongly in the second half. They showed aggression in their game and worked very hard to keep the possession of the ball through accurate passing for a considerable time. Their forwards made some productive moves to electrify the crowd who enjoyed an exiting encounter. Dilber took control of the ball in the 43rd minute and scored the first goal for the NBP. In the 65th minute of the play Kashif Rasul scored the second goal for the Bankers on a penalty corner. Speaker national Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq was the chief guest of the match who was introduced with the players before the start of the final
Earlier, WAPDA beat Sui Southern Gas Company 5-4 to obtain third position in the Championship. From WAPDA Zubair (21st min), Tasawar Abbas (32nd min), Zubair Riaz (33rd min) and Mohammed Imran (50th and 69th mints) scored goals. While Yasir (7th and 46th mints), Yasir (46th min) and Mubashir Ali (60th min) scored the goals.