PESHAWAR: Pakistan International Airlines clinched All-Pakistan Shama Challenge Football Cup after defeating strong PAF by 2-0 in the final played here at Sumbal Khan Football ground, Qayyum Sports Complex on Thursday.
Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Engr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra was the chief guest on this occasion who witnessed the thrilling final. Nine times national football champions PIA and leading team at national level Pakistan Air Force presented a classic display of football which was largely enjoyed by capacity crowd as the final fought on rattling pace. Both PIA and Pakistan Air Force failed to click in the first 40 minute play as the ball was mostly confined to mid-field. PIA and PAF raided on each other territories time and again but failed to score any goal till the first 40-minute play.
It was in the 41st minute when Shakir Lashari slammed in a beautiful goal on the field attempt. PIA skipper Abdul Jabbar Senior travelled past three defenders in a row and gave a free ball to Shakir Lashari who did nothing wrong in dispatching it into the net to make the tally 1-0. After taking lead, PIA put in more pressure on the rival defence but PAF defence did not allow them to play with free hands. PIA also got two more easy goal-scoring chances but they were failed to score any goal.
On the other hand PAF also managed their position according to the situation and with good ball control, got three goal scoring opportunities but none of them could be utilized by Irfan, Mansoor and Muhahid, the frontline of PAF. At half-time PIA was leading by 1-0. It was in the second session when PAF in the 49th minute raided on PIA goal-post but PIA goalkeeper Bilal Rafique thwarted all attempts. The PAF goalkeeper Ghazanffar also played well and in the 53rd, 59th and 66th minute he with his excellent goal-keeping rescued PAF with perfect goalkeeping.
It was in the 77th minute when Pakistan International Airline doubled the lead through Shazeb on the field attempt. Shakir Lashari along with right winger Abdul Jabbar Senior travelled past PAF deep defenders before giving a free ball to Shahzeb who slammed in a beautiful goal to make the tally 2-0.
After taking 2-0, PIA most to the time defended their goal-post while PAF time and again shattered PIA defence but failed to reduce the margin and thus PIA won the match by 2-0. Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah supervised the match while Amin Ullah, Alliuddin acted as deputy referees and Qazi Asif acted as match commissioner.
At the end, Governor KP Engr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra gave away trophies and cash prizes to the winners and runners-up. The winner was awarded Rs. 100,000 as cash prize while the runners-up got Rs. 50,000/- as cash prize.
Governor Jhagra described the successful conduct of the All Pakistan Football Championship in Peshawar a welcoming development and said that the Pakistan never lagged behind, as far as the projection of national image through sports is concerned and it should also not lose this status in future as well. The Football being one of the most popular games internationally, he added, is also within the reach of everyone and at everywhere and therefore; it also bears sufficient prospects for its further development.
Addressing as the chief guest at the concluding ceremony of the Championship on Thursday, the Governor described its holding in Peshawar another big headway, keeping in view the circumstances prevailed over the recent past. Besides senior government officials and the office bearers of Pakistan Football Federation, a large number of fans of the game and the public at large were also present. The Governor, flanked by Syed Zahir Ali Shah, President, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association gave away trophies and prizes to the winners.
The Governor, while appreciating the spirit and enthusiasm of sportsmen and the general public said that the historical importance of sports is well acknowledged and because of this factor, not only the physical and mental nourishment of citizens is ensured but the coming generations are also accommodated in societies in a comparatively better way. Not only this, he added, but maintaining the lively contribution of sport grounds on stable lines is also the dire need of the hour to ensure constructive role of youngsters in societies.
Referring to prospects of promotion of sports, the Governor said, there exists much better prospects for development and promotion of sports as compared to the past because of which the people from different parts of the world could be brought closer to each other. It is due to this very fact, he remarked, players with visible role and successes are described the goodwill ambassadors everywhere in the world.
Syed Zafar Ali Shah, earlier, welcoming the Governor highlighted the importance of the Championship and the role and services of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Football Association in promoting sports in the province.