Karachi: Army recorded a thrilling 5-3 victory against Port Qasim in fifth place play-off in 60th NBP National Hockey Championship at Johar Hockey Stadium in Lahore on Friday. Army’s skipper Safeerullah opened the account for his team scoring in the 9th minute of the match. Shahid Ali Khan doubled the lead for Army in 14th minute. PQA’s Mohammad Ilyas reduced the arrears in the 19th minute but Army took only two minutes to restore the two-goal difference lead through Mohammed Imran, who converted a penalty corner.
After a 3-1 score-line in the first half, four more goals were scored in the second half as well. PQA tried to bounce back in the match and score one more when Mohammed Shahid scored in the 48th minute to make it 3-2. However, Army’s Imran scored one more through a penalty-corner to make it 4-2. But PQA once more managed to reduce the goal difference when Yasir Dilawar scored in the 55th minute.
But before PQA could produce an equalizer, Safeer scored his second in the 57th minute to put Army 5-3 up. Army managed to keep the score-line intact till referee blew the final whistle and secured fifth place.
Meanwhile, PTV defeated Higher Education Commission (HEC) 4-2 in the ninth place play-off match.
Navy won seventh place play-off encounter against Police registering a convincing 4-1 triumph.
The semifinals of the tournament will be played on Saturday. Defending champion PIA will face Sui Southern Gas Company in the first semifinal encounter while WAPDA will face up with NBP in the second pre-final.