LAHORE: After a series of pulsating matches, Fantastic Five outwitted their rivals to win the Lahore leg of the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five qualifiers on Sunday.

The champions from Lahore join Steel Town FC 2 from Karachi in a three-way battle for the national champion’s title; the two teams are going to compete with the winners from Islamabad leg of the qualifiers in a play-off — national finals will take place in April.

The Lahore leg produced two days full of gripping games, Mighty Five and Fantastic Five made their way through to the final. The two teams fought hard and gave it their all in the allotted 10 minutes, both making regular forays in the opposition’s half in search of goals.

Fantastic Five controlled their nerves far better than their opponents to register an impressive win and rightfully earn the right to represent their city in the national finals.

Meanwhile, the eight quarter-finalists who entered the knock-out stage besides the two finalists included Lahore LGS Paragon, Banana Street, Royal Regiment, Flash FC, Paragon FC and FC Chaunsa.

In the last four stage FC Chaunsa was sent packing by Mighty Five while Fantastic Five prevailed over Royal Regiment before the win in the final sealed their berth for the national finals.

The winner of the national leg — to be staged in Islamabad — is going to represent Pakistan in the Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five world finals in the Brazilian city of Santos later this year.

A total of 35 countries are expected to send their teams to Santos for what promises to be an enthralling world event in the hometown of the Brazilian superstar Neymar Jr.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2016

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