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Army drew WAPDA 2-2, Railways beat Police 2-1, SSGC beat SNGPL 4-0

Lahore : In 63rd Zaitoon National Hockey Championships at National Hockey Stadium, Lahore, three matches were played in the Super League stage.

Army drew WAPDA 2-2, Railways beat Police 2-1, SSGC beat SNGPL  4-0
Army Deprived of a Memorable Win by Last Minute goal; Army 2 WAPDA 2
The start of the match between Army and the highly fancied WAPDA was delayed because of the fog.
In the very cold, soldiers made the earlier inroads. They availed the first penalty corner in the 8th minute with former Pakistan captain M.Imran converting with a vintage flick high into the top left.
WAPDA stunned by conceding the early goal came back strongly and exerted great pressure. They made several penetrations into the rival circle without making any attempt. Three first half PCs, earned in succession, were also wasted and they entered the second half down by one goal.
As in the first half, early minutes saw army entering the WAPDA circle, a couple of times. Then WAPDA regained ascendancy and were well in control for a considerable period but without any success. They also couldn’t make out of another three PCs. In the 42nd minute, Army men, quick on turnovers, attacked  the WAPDA castle and had their second (and last) PC and M.Imran had his second goal.
Hence the last quarter started with Army holding to a highly unexpected two goals lead. WAPDA were showing great urgency and threw men forward. Soon, the 7th PC arrived. Having failed with direct attempts, this time they opted for the indirect drill, despite having the services of Sohail Abbas, the most successful drag flicker in the history. Sohail slipped the ball to Tasawwar on his left who flicked the ball into the net.
It was game on. WAPDA continued to look for the equaliser. But with increased men in attack, there were gaps in WAPDA’s defence and army entered the circle many a time and had a few good attempts as well. Army were on the verge of the biggest upset of these National Championships when the final minute began.
Little Asad Bashir’s fine stick work yielded another PC for WAPDA. They again went for a variation and found the equaliser through Umar Bhutta. A real cliff hanger.
SCORERS: Army: M.Imran (8′ & 42′) WAPDA: (Tasawwar Abbas 46′ & Umar Bhutta 60′)
Railways Unlucky to Lose 1-2 Against Police
Merely creating chances dont win matches; goals have to be scored.This was the story of the Railways/Police fixture.
Rrailways completely dominated the first quarter without availing open play chances and the two penalty corners.
Second quarter was the most evenly fought of the entire match and all the three goals arrived in this period.
An entertaining pole to pole game was witnessed. Both the sides had PCs and other chances.
In the 21st minute, police broke the ice via who else but Sharjeel, scorer of three hat tricks in these nationals. He found the board  with a first time hit off a good ball sent into the circle. Within four minutes, it was 1-1 when Ahmad Nadeem, the highly talented forward of Pakistan’s under 18 squad, standing close to the goal, flicked in a beautiful ball from right.
Last minute of the first half saw the last goal. Tightly marked Sharjeel was brought down in the circle and barrel chested Waseem put Police ahead again with a strong push to the top of the net’s left corner.
Railways remained in almost complete control during the last two quarters. Had four more PCs and several other opportunities but the equaliser eluded them. They were far ahead of police on all the counts: circle penetrations, attempts on goal and penalty corners (eight to two). But luck deserted railways.
SCORERS: Police: Sharjeel 21′ & Waseem 30′.  Railways: Ahmad Nadeem 25′
Rana Sohail’s Hattrick as SSGC Outplay SNGPL 4-0
It was a clash between country’s two gas companies: Sui Southern Gas Company and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited.
There is a gulf of difference in the experience and composition of the two sister organisations’ teams.
SSGC has many junior as well as some senior international in their fold while the SNPL is a newly raised side with no big names.
All this told as the SSGC had the better of the exchanges most of the time. They looked more dangerous when moving ahead. The young SNGPL boys also had their moments and were successful in penetrating the other circle quite a few times. In fact, they got six PCs as compared to five obtained by the SSGC.
But inexperience let them down while the SSGC availed two penalty corners.
A goal came in each quarter.
First came In the 10th minute, when off the second PC, Abbas Haider dispatched the ball into the roof of the net.
The other three goals were all scored by Rana Sohail, SSGC’s hero of the day. In the 21st minute, he reacted quickly to a high rebound off another PC. He was again at the right spot  to first time a long Kashif Shah pass into the goal. In the 45th minute, Zeeshan made a defence splitting run along the right flank. His diagonal pass was expertly flicked in by Rana Sohail, who had positioned himself well on the far post; completing his hat trick in the process.
SCORERS: SSGC: Rana Sohail 3 (21′, 37′, 45′) and Abbas Hyder (10′)
POINTS:  After two rounds of Super League
Pool A: National Bank 4, PIA 4, Police 3, Railways 0
Pool B: SSGC 6, WAPDA 4, Army 1, SSGC 0
2 Matches on Saturday:
PIA vs Railways: 11:30 AM     National Bank vs Police 2:00 PM

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