PIA win opening match of Doha Hockey Friendship Festival

March 04, 2014 - 8:32:33 am

The captains of Qatar team and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) seen with match officials before the start of their match at Al Rayyan Stadium yesterday.

Doha: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) defeated hosts Qatar 5-3 in the opening match of the Doha Hockey Friendship Festival (DHFF) at the Al Rayyan Stadium here yesterday.

The PIA team comprising of several players who have has done duty for the national team were off to a rollicking start right from the word go.

With players like Imran Butt,Shafqat Rasool, Muhamed Zubair, Hamad Shakeel Butt, Ihasanullah and Waqas Akbar it did  not take PIA long to open the scoring. 

In the very second minute, Ihsanullah beat goalkeeper Mohammed Shafil hands down to open their scoring. He repeated the act again and in next to no time PIA had a comfortable 2-0 lead.

Qatar in the meantime looking to make amends after their dismal performance in the recently concluded West Asia Hockey Cup pulled one back through a deft penalty corner converted by Sheraz Ali to reduce the margin. 

However, PIA were not to be denied for long and in the 44th minute, a penalty stroke was awarded when Abdrabbou Tarek brought down a PIA attacker who had only Goalkeeper Mohammed Shafil to beat. 

Muhammad Zubair quite coolly slotted it home to make the score 3-1 in favour of PIA. 

PIA were on a roll now and they launched repeated attacks with captain Yasir Islam marshalling his troops well. 

So it was no surprise when PIA earned another penalty corner and Muhammad Irfan this time converted. 

PIA were not content with their 4th goal and their repeated attacks bore fruit once again as they scored a lovely field goal from an impressive run from Waqas Akbar who made it 5-1. Stung by this attack, Qatar finally managed to pull one back and Savio scored a brilliant field goal to reduce the margin for the hosts and he was not finished; in the 69th minute Savio managed to push one past the PIA goalkeeper to make the final score 5-3 in favour of PIA.

If not for the outstanding goalkeeping of Shannon George, the Qatar team would have lost by a much bigger margin. 

Today, PIA will be playing against Malaysian Polytechnic.

On Thursday, Qatar Hockey Federation will be holding a host of events at the Al Rayyan Stadium, commencing with a kite flying competition, followed by a kabaddi match and the final of the DHFF. 

A ladies exhibition game between the ‘Chak De’ girls and the ‘Doha Girls’ will also be held. The ‘Chak De’ girls comprise the cast of ‘Chak De India’, a Hindi blockbuster film, who have come from India to participate in this event.The Peninsula

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