KARACHI: Two-time champions National Bank of Pakistan opened their title defence campaign with a 3-0 rout of Pakistan Army in the third Chief of the Naval Staff All-Pakistan Hockey Tournament at Abdul Sattar Edhi Stadium on Wednesday.
In the two other matches, fancied Wapda survived scare when they held Mari Petroleum Gas Limited to a 2-2 draw while Pakistan Air Force trounced Port Qasim Authority 4-0.
NBP, who recently lifted the Azadi Cup at Rawalpindi, wasted five penalty corners during their Pool ‘B’ opener and were kept at bay by Army till half-time.
But they broke the deadlock when Mohammad Dilber scored a field goal in 31st minute soon after resumption of third quarter.
Captain Abu Bakar Mehmood consolidated his team’s position while converting penalty corner in 49th minute while Hanan Shahid sealed the result seven minutes later.
Army forwards launched a couple of counterattacks and forced four penalty corners but could not manage to reduce the deficit.
NBP’s Faisal Qadir was declared Man of the Match.
MPGL twice took the lead against Wapda but were pegged back both times.
Waseem Akram gave his team a shock lead through a field goal in 17th minute but Wapda captain Aleem Bilal netted the equaliser off a penalty corner a minute before half-time.
MPGL surged ahead again in 36th minute when Ali Anwer’s shot flew under the bar and their goalkeeper Abdul Ishtiaq, the man-of-the-match, kept them in front only to be beaten by Aleem Usman’s field goal four minutes from time.
Rizwan Ali slammed the first hat-trick of the competition as PAF brushed aside PQA in the opening match of the day.
Rizwan, who was declared man-of-the-match for his feat, netted his goals in 30th (PC), 36th (penalty stroke), and 54th minute to hog the limelight after Abdul Rehman had opened the scoring in the 18th minute.
Thursday’s fixtures: PQA vs MPGL at 10am; Wapda vs PAF at 1.30pm; NBP vs Punjab at 4pm.
Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2021