KARACHI: Substitute Ali Reza hit a fine brace to put defending champions Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in the quarter-finals when they downed Police 2-0 in their second round Group A game of the National Football Challenge Cup 2019 at Tehmas Khan Stadium Peshawar on Tuesday.
In front of a thick crowd, Ali struck in the 64th and the 86th minutes to seal a comfortable win for PAF.
Their coach Mohammad Arshad was happy with the way his charges gave him a solid start in the 15-team event being held for the first time in Peshawar.
“Yes, definitely it was a perfect start,” Arshad told ‘The News’. “We sent Ali as a substitute today and he struck twice to gift us a much-needed win,” he said.
“Ali belongs to Lahore. He is a student of Punjab University and is a very good product,” Arshad said.
He was confident of defending the crown. “We won the last event held in Karachi under FIFA-recognised PFF and we are the defending champions. The way we have played so far I am hopeful we will be able to finish at the top,” said Arshad, a former international.
In the other outing held on Monday night at the same venue, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) bulldozed Railways 6-0 thanks to a double hat-trick from rookie Mohammad Waheed.
On the score-sheet he was named Mohammad Waheed, but an official of CAA told ‘The News’ that his name is Abdul Waheed.
He hit the goals in the fourth, 45th, 60th, 71st, 78th and 79th minutes.
“Waheed did a fine job,” CAA coach Siddiq Sheikh told ‘The News’.
Waheed is an under-16 boy from Malir. “He is a fine player. We held a camp before the event, knowing that such a tournament would be held. Before that we picked a few players from various clubs and have tried to raise a good team,” Siddiq said.