Pakistan WAPDA beat Pakistan International Airlines (White) 5-4 in a thrilling final of the 10th Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament that was decided in the sudden death stage of penalty shoots at the Dring Stadium here on Tuesday.
As expected the final was full of thrill and entertainment for the crowd. The full house enjoyed an exciting contest for the control of the ball under floodlights. It started at a high pace during which both teams launched a series of attacks against each other. The ball kept rolling between the two halves. Both contestants had skilled and experienced forwards in their ranks who demonstrated brilliant stick-work that electrified the spectators who cheered and applauded every move. However, both teams failed to score in the first two quarts.
Soon after the match started in the third quart, Imran, Irfan and Adnan made a productive move and got a penalty corner for WAPDA. Zubair Riaz successfully deflected the ball on rebound in the 33rd minute to give lead to his team. PIA (W) came back in the match in the last quart amid an enthralling move made by Zubair and Amir Shahzad which created a penalty corner. Waseem Akram converted in the 46th minute. After leveling the score both teams pressed hard, particularly PIA (W) made some ferocious attacks but failed to make any dent into the sturdy defense of WAPDA. The match ended 1-1 draw in the stipulated time.
In the penalty shoots stage both teams scored three goals each. And in the Sudden Death stage PIA’s Zubair failed to dodge the goalkeeper but WAPDA’s Irfan netted it cleanly to give his team a deserved win. WAPDA was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 100, 000 while PIA (W) walked away with Rs. 50, 000. District Coordination Officer of Bahawalpur Imran Sikandar Baloch was the chief guest who awarded the winning trophy to WAPDA’s captain.