Faisalabad stunned Lahore by 4-0 in a high-profile final to clinch the title of First Quaid-e-Azam Inter-Division Hockey Championship 2021 at National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday. The third position went to Bahawalpur which defeated the strong Sargodha team in a nail-biter by a narrow margin of 1-0.
Punjab Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti, Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs Punjab Fuad Hashim Rabbani, Director General Sports Punjab Adnan Arshad Aulakh and PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa were the guests of honour at the final.
Director Admin Javed Chohan, Director Sports Hafeez Bhatti, PHF Chief Selector Manzoor Junior, Head coach of national hockey team Olympian Kh Junaid, Olympians M Saqlain, Rana Mujahid, Secretary PHA Lt-Col (retd) Asif Naz Khokhar and a large number of hockey fans were also present to witness title clash between the two top teams of the tournament.
Punjab Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti awarded a cash prize of Rs three lakh besides a glittering trophy and gold medals to title winners Faisalabad division hockey team. Secretary Sports and Youth Affairs Punjab Fuad Hashim Rabbani gave away a cash prize of Rs two lakh and silver medals to runners-up Lahore division hockey team followed by Bahawalpur team which got a cash prize of Rs one lakh and bronze medals from PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa.
The final match was started aggressively by both the teams and attacked each other’s goalpost repeatedly but failed to score any goal during the first 19 minutes. However, Faisalabad’s Ghulam Mujtaba opened the scoring through a field goal in the 20th minute. Faisalabad’s forward M Sajid struck another field goal after just eight minutes gap to strengthen his team's position.
Lahore team who were looked off-colour throughout the game, tried their best to counter the attacking game of Faisalabad but they failed to do so mainly due to their weak ball control techniques. Lahore’s penalty corner department also badly failed to click during the title decider. They got as many as ten penalty corners during the match but failed to convert any of them.
Faisalabad’s penalty corner specialist M Usman wrapped up the match when he converted two penalty corners in 54th and 60th minutes. Overall, they got five penalty corners.
In the 3rd/4th position match, Bahawalpur edged out strong Sargodha team by 1-0. Both the teams fought well to score any goal but they failed to do so until 59th minute when Bahawalpur’s Ali Raza (shirt number 8) netted the only goal of the match through a field effort.
Lahore division hockey team captain Hannan Shahid grabbed two cash prizes (Rs 25 thousand each) for being declared Best Player of the Tournament and the Scorer of Most Goals (11) during the tournament. Faisalabad’s Hamza Shahbaz was adjudged the Best Goalkeeper of the Championship and pocketed a cash prize of Rs 25 thousand. The honour of Man of the Final was gone to Faisalabad division hockey team captain Ali Raza.