Tournament hosts FC Rovers (Malir Cantt) battled hard to record a 2-1 win over a tough Burma Mohammadan (Korangi) side in the 2012 Engro Vopak Football League yesterday, 7 March 2012, at KorangI Baloch Stadium in Sharafi, Karachi.
A large crowd witnessed a tense match between the two contenders fighting to confirm a place in the Top 8 round. The match was tied 0-0 at half time with both Rovers and Burma Mohammadan missing chances to score.
Chief guest for the match was Habibullah Taj, vice-president of Burma Mohammadan, who was introduced to both teams at half time by Engro Vopak League organising secretary Riaz Ahmed.
The 2nd half saw a frantic pace as a total of 3 goals were scored in it. Hasnat Shafi gave Rovers a 1-0 lead in 51st minute but Burma Mohammadan equalised through Imran Shakoor in 65th minute from a Abdur Rahim cross. But just 4 minutes later, Hasnat Shafi created a golden chance when his pass found striker Arif Shehzad, who then superbly beat opposing goalkeeper Abdul Ghani to make it 2-1 for Rovers.
The score remained the same in the final minutes as FC Rovers held on for a very important win to boost their chances for a Top 8 spot. Referees were Mehboob Rehman, Naseer Umar, Yousaf Mansouri, and match commissioner Abdul Karim.
Rovers’ Hasnat Shafi was given the Man of the Match award of Rs 500 by panelists Ustad Haider Baloch (vice-president DFA Malir) and ex-footballers Mama Lal Bakhsh Rind and Aslam Bizenjo. Rovers manager Khalid Majeed also gave Hasnat Shafi Rs 1000 cash award for his performance in this vital game.
Both teams finished 5 out of their total 6 games each, with Rovers on 6 points while Burma Mohammadan were on 7 points. Rovers now face Baloch Mohammadan while Burma Mohammadan face Irfan Memorial in their final group stage games later this week.