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Major Shabbir Sharif 9ers gain full points against Rashid Minhas 9ers in opening match of Nishan-i -Haider Hockey

L/N Mohammad Mahfooz 9ners sent Capt. Raja Mohammad Sarwar 9ners packing 6-4 to sneak into the semi-finals of the Nishan-i-Haider 9ners international hockey tournament at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium on Sunday.

Mahfooz 9ners first notched up a 4-3 victory over Sarwar 9ners on penalty shootout and later emerged 2-1 victorious in regulation time to become the first team to reach last four.

Bilal Qadir, Saran Bin Qamar, Zeeshan Bukhari and Mohsin Sabir netted one goal apiece on shootout as Shah Faisal Shah missed the target for winners. The losers scored through Samiullah, Salman Razzaq and Fayyaz Yaqoob.

In regulation time, skipper Rana Umair forged Mahfooz 9ners ahead off team’s second penalty corner in the 17th minute. The lead was however shortlived as Samiullah drew level seven minutes after resumption of second half. Mohsin Sabir’s then struck the decisive goal in 30th.

In the second match, Maj. Rana Shabbir Sharif 9ners scored an authorative 8-2 victory over Naik Saif Ali Janjua 9ners to make it to the last four.

First they were home 4-1 over their opponents in the shootout and later defeated their opponents by the identical scoreline in the regulation time.

Nohaiz Malik, Mohammad Naveed, Faizan and Aleem Bilal netted a goal apiece while Junaid Manzoor scored lone goal for the losers.

In regulation time, Rana Sohail slammed two goals in three minutes — 16th and 19th (PC) — while Nohaiz Malik and Aleem Bilal (PC) added one in the second half. Amjad Ali reduced the deficit by converting a penalty stroke in 33rd minute.

Mohammad Akram 9ners also cruised into the semi-finals while inflicting 6-4 defeat on Maj. Tufail Mohammad 9ners in the third quarter-final.

First the former romped home 4-3 and later carved out 2-1 win to maintain their supremacy.

Awais-ur-Rehman, Shajeeh Ahmed, Shan Irshad and M. Zubair scored once as Faisal Qadir squandered the chance for the winners. Irfan Jr, Hasan Anwar and Sohail Anjum netted for the losers.

Shajeeh opened the account for Akram 9ners n the eighth minute while Sohail Anjum equalized in 30th. Zulqarnain scored the decisive goal in 35th.

Rashid Minhas 9ners joined the fray by getting the better Hav Lalak Jan 9ners on points.

Rashid Minhas 9ners, who lost the penalty shootout 3-5, managed to brush aside their opponents 3-2 in regulation time to seize three points against one.

Lalal Jan 9ners scored all five goals on shootout through Naveed Alam, Waqar Ali, Afraz Hakeem, Ghazanfar Ali and Umair Sattar. Rashid Minhas could only avail three through M. Dilber, M. Qasim and Waseem Akram.

Later Dilber’s three goals in the sixth, 18th (PC) and 37th minute steered the team to victory. Naveed Alam and Ali Aziz scored one goal apiece on penalty corners in 15th and 22nd minute for Lalal Jan 9ners.

Meanwhile, Maj. Tufail Mohammad 9ners carved out an 8-7 victory over Maj. Raja Aziz Bhatti 9ners in the last match on Saturday. Capt. Raja Mohammad Sarwar 9ners and Maj. Tufail Mohammad 9ners completed the last eight line up from pool ‘A’.

The match between Tufail 9ners and Aziz Bhatti 9ners was fought on even kneel and the penalty shootout was decided on sudden death with the former winning 6-5.

In regulation time, both the outfits earned one point each after they were engaged in a two-all draw.

Irfan Jr, Hasan Anwar and Sohail Anjum scored once for Tufail 9ners while Rana Waheed, M. Abdullah and Ilyas netted for Aziz Bhatti 9ners to drew level.

Irfan Jr scored twice while Sohail Anjum netted one in sudden death for winners. Rana Waheed netted two goals for the losers.

Shehryar put Tufail 9ners in front off a penalty corner in the fifth minute while Rao Amir consolidated it through a field goal in 17th minute.

However, Aziz Bhatti 9ners fought back in the second half and managed to draw level through Mohsin Khan (PC) and Ilyas.

After revising the draws twice, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has again changed the schedule bringing the final a day earlier on Tuesday.

The PHF has scrapped the rest day and decided to stage the semi-finals on Monday.

Monday’s semi-final fixtures: L/N Mohammad Mahfooz 9ners v Mohammad Akram 9ners at 4.30pm, Maj. Rana Shabbir Sharif 9ners v Rashid Minhas 9ners at 6.30pm.

Published in Dawn, October 9th, 2017