by Natasha Raheel
KARACHI: Quetta were crowned champions at the inaugural Pakistan Petroleum Limitied (PPL) Balochistan Football Cup at the Ayub Stadium yesterday as they overcame Chaman 2-1 in the final.
The hosts had earlier shown Turbat the door after beating them with the same goal difference in the semi-finals.
According to the team, Quetta’s desire to win the trophy had increased after the recent deadly terrorist attacks in the city.
“Chaman were tough opponents, but it was important for us to win,” striker Istaqlal Khan told The Express Tribune. “We wanted to win the trophy because we wanted to lift the spirits of our city. Many people came to watch us today; the security by army was also top-notch. We considered it our duty to win this final.”
Quetta pocketed Rs500,000 as the winners, while Chaman received Rs250,000 as runners-up.
As per match official Samad Baloch, the final was an emotional affair for the Quetta players and the crowd turned up in decent numbers to cheer for the team.
“This trophy for Quetta is special,” said Baloch. “We had around 3,000 people in the stadium to watch this match despite this week’s heartrending incidents. Furthermore, the handsome prize money was a great incentive and is really going to help the players.”
The News adds:
Nazir brace powers Quetta to title win
KARACHI: Nazir Ahmed’s double enabled Quetta to wear the crown when they defeated Chaman 2-1 in the final of the lucrative Balochistan Football Cup 2016 at the Ayub Stadium in Quetta on Friday.
Nazir, the skipper, hit the brace inside seven minutes to ensure his side’s title victory. In the high-voltage game, both sides played aggresively right from the start. Nazir put Quetta ahead in the 14th miniute when he headed one past the keeper on a corner kick from Rajab Ali. In the 20th minute, Nazir doubled the hosts’ lead with another superb header to bring the visitors under terrific pressure.
In the 43rd minute, Chaman could have reduced the deficit but Quetta’s gloveman averted the danger with a diving save.
At half time, Quetta were leading 2-0.
In the second half, Quetta played with judicious approach, plugging the gaps that denied the rivals’ strikers the chance to penetrate.
Following a flurry of rallies it was international Hayatullah who landed the consolation goal for the losers when he sprinted past defenders before beating the keeper.
Balochistan Sports Minister Mir Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Mohammad Hasani graced the closing ceremony. The winners were handed over a purse of Rs500,000 while the runners-up went away with Rs250,000.
In the event on which the organisers spent Rs12million, 32 outfits from all the districts of the province showed their worth.
The initial round games were conducted in the six divisional headquarters of Balochistan. The knock-out stage matches were held in Quetta.