Peshawar Falcons, Tribal Lions, Kohat Eagles and Bannu Panthers reach semi-finals

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Peshawar Falcons, Tribal Lions, Kohat Eagles and Bannu Panthers took berth into the semi-finals after securing most points out in the ongoing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa National Hockey League-2021 being played here at Lala Ayub Hockey Stadium on Thursday.

It was not yet cleared from where the pressure developed to revise the decision taken by the organizing Secretary Syed Zahir Shah, who notified classification matches schedule instead of holding the semi-finals of the ongoing League round.

However, despite taking the decision, it was not clear as well who will play the semi-finals. Peshawar Falcons, Tribal Lions, Kohat Eagles and Bannu Panthers have already qualified with more points on the point tables.

In the Thursday matches the Tribal Lions defeated the Hazara Warriors by four goals to three and knocked them out of the semi-rounds. Yasir took the lead for Tribal Lions while Afraz made it 2-0. Yasir, the star full-back sounded the board with his forceful hit from the top of the circle to make the Tribal Lions tally 1-0 and right winger Afraz made it 2-0 by scoring a field goal.

When Tribal Lions took two goals lead, Hazara Warriors international full-back Muhammad Rizwan, netted a fine goal in the 13th minute. At the end of the first quarters Tribal Lions was leading by 2-1. It was in the 38th minute when Hazara Warriors found the equalizers when Rizwan this time again slammed in a beautiful goal on the penalty corner conversion.

When the match tally was 2-2, both the teams put pressure on each other and made some good rallies of attacks which was largely enjoyed by the capacity crowd present on this occasion. This was Osama who gave his team Tribal Lions a goal lead through scoring a field goal in the 46th minute while Shan made it 3-3 when he equalized the tally for Hazara Warriors on the field attempt.

It was in the dying moments of the last quarter when Yasir again scored a beautiful goal on the penalty corner conversion. Thus the Tribal Lions won the match by 4-3.

Bannu Panthers defeated Mardan Bears by 6-1. Bannu scored the first goal in the seventh minute through Zakir in the seventh minute while Bannu scored more goals in the 20th and 27th minutes respectively through Sufyan and Sajjad on the field attempt. Zakir Sufyan and Sajjad scored one goal in the 42nd, 49th and 52nd minutes to make the tally 6-0.

This was Saifullah who reduced the margin for Mardan Bears in the 59th minute, a minute before the stipulated 60-minute match time. Hamza and Shahid officiated the match while Master Khan, Qaiser Khan acted as field judges.

The third match of the League was played between Malakand Tigers and Dera Ismail Khan Stallions in which Malakand defeated Dera Ismail Khan by 4-2. Shah Fahd scored the first goal for Malakand in the 25th minute, Naveed Alam scored the second goal in the 37th minute, Anees scored the third goal for Malakand in the 39th minute and Sami Ullah scored the fourth goal in the 45th minute.

After conceding 4-0, Dera Ismail Khan Stallions in the third and fourth quarters managed their position and reduced the margin through right winger Mehrab and full-back Jamil, who raced up to the front line, succeeded in scoring a beautiful goal through a field attempt. Thus Malakand Tigers won the match 4-2.

In the last match Kohat Eagles stunned group leader Peshawar Falcons by 3-2. Kohat Eagles took the lead through team skipper Ali Shan on the penalty stroke awarded to them due to rough tackling by Peshawar deep defender.

Bilal doubled the lead through a penalty corner in the 26th minute for Kohat Eagles. Peshawar reduced the margin through Abu Bakar in the38th minute but Kohat again took the lead in the 50 through Rizwan on the field attempt and Jibrab made it 3-2 when he scored Peshawar’s second goal. Thus Kohat won the match 3-2.