LAHORE: Karachi Port Trust beat Higher Education Commission 1-0 while Sui Southern Gas Company defeated Pakistan Air Force 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to make it to the 2020 National Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Both matches were played at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday, 15 December.
For KPT, Mohammad Bin Younis’ 37th minute penalty was enough to beat HEC and book a spot in the semi-finals. KPT’s resolute defending denied any chances by the young university students of HEC throughout the game.
In the second semi-final, Saddam Hussain scored in the 47th minute for SSGC before Faisal equalized for PAF in the 70th minute. PAF were missing key players due to injuries and suspensions like Mansoor Khan, Irfan Ali, Sohail etc that made them struggle to break down SSGC for most of the game.
SSGC then went down to 10 men when Abdul Salam was sent off for a second yellow in 79th minute. The score remained 1-1 at the end of normal time as well as extra time as PAF failed to utilize their extra man advantage.
Goalkeepers of both SSGC and PAF (Saqib Hanif and Ghazanfar Yaseen) made some brilliant saves during the penalty shootout but it was Saqib Hanif of SSGC who ensured his team make the semis at the end winning 5-4 in the shootout.
The result means the semifinal lineup is complete. Both matches will be held on Thursday, 17 December. 10am kickoff sees defending champions Pakistan Army face WAPDA in 1st semi-final while 1:30pm kickoff sees SSGC face KPT in 2nd semifinal.
The 3rd/4th place match for losing semifinalists will be held Saturday, 19 December and National Challenge Cup final on Sunday, 20 December.