BAHAWALPUR: PIA won the final of 9th Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament beating WAPDA 3-1 at the Mutiullah Astroturf Hockey Stadium. The flood light final was witnessed by a large crowd and Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee and Sports Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada was the chief guest.
Federal Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada has vowed that the eral government was committed to combat terrorism through the medium of sports. He also vowed to lift the standard of national game and patronize the organization of local tournaments to promote the dying game of hockey.
The final started at a very fast pace. Both teams comprising Olympians and internationals demonstrated their skill making aggressive moves and stick work which provided a real entertainment to the spectators.
WAPDA forwards a number of moves which were either intercepted by the PIA defenders or their hits were bravely stopped by the goalkeeper. However, forward Tasawar Abbas got control of the ball from his half and sprinted into the PIA where he gave a beautiful pass to Usman Bhutta whose strong hit was deflected by Rana Umair into the goal post in the 21st minute.
PIA forwards bounced back in a hostile way. Aamir Shahzad and Shafqat Rasool exchanged short passes between them and entered into the D where they earned two back to back penalty corners. Full Back Ihsanullah succeeded to convert the second in the 23rd minute.
After that the final turned into a one sided affair as the PIA completely dominated the proceedings which forced WADPA to adopt a defensive strategy. PIA scored their second goal in the 45th minute a beautiful move among Shafqat Rasool, Waqas Akbar and Inyatullah earned a penalty corner and Ihsanullah dragged the ball into the goal to give a 2-1 lead to his team.
In the 64th minute Shafqat Rasool took control of the ball from the twenty five line and reached in the D amid beautiful dribbling where Inyatullah timely deflection earned the third goal for PIA. Munawwar Hussain and Kamran Sharif supervised the final. At the end Federal minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada gave away the winning Trophy to PIA’s captain Yasir Islam. Former Olympian Mutiullah and Maher Riaz, the Chief organizer of the Tournament also distributed prizes.
Speaking after the final of the 9th Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament involving country’s youth in healthy activities would be an effective deterrent against terrorism. “We can eradicate terrorism through holding various sports events throughout Pakistan”, the minister opined.
He added that the federal government was committed to provide hockey infrastructure to the aspiring sportsmen in small cities. He informed that installation of Astroturfs in Sadiqabad, Vehari and Multan have been approved which would provide infrastructure to the hockey aspirants living in these areas.
The minister hailed Pakistan Hockey Federation’s efforts to hold trials throughout the country to find upcoming talent and hoped it would help in the development of the national game. “Such trials are imperative to find talent and the PHF has done a commendable job by organizing these trials which would help us finding future stars”, Mian Riaz Hussain hoped.