KARACHI: Back-to-back goals before the fag end helped Pak Veterans Hockey Club rout AO Hockey Club 2-0 in exciting final to win the late Olympian Munawwar-uz-Zaman Veterans Hockey League at the Olympian Iftikhar Syed Sports Academy (OISSA) on Saturday evening.
Former Olympian right winger Qamar Ibrahim surged Pak Veterans ahead off a penalty corner in the 36th minute while spearhead Tasneem Usmani consolidated the lead in the very next minute off a rebound from keeper Masoom Ali. Earlier, inside left Jan Mohammad had tested the keeper but to no avail.
Pak Veterans have coasted to 2-1 victory over Al Faisal Hockey Club while AO Club thrashed OISSA 5-1 in the two semi-finals.
Both the finalist teams include former celebrated players of the yore.
Pak Veterans Hockey Club is the brainchild of fomer Olympian and ex member of the FIH Rules Board Islahuddin. It was under his captaincy that Pakistan had won the Veterans Hockey World Cup twice at Australia in 1994 and at Malaysia in 2000.
Former international Safdar Abbas, who donned Pakistan colour as an VIIIth grade student of the Habib Public School received the winning trophy from Mrs Tehsin Munawwar-uz-Zaman after the final amidst applause.
Afroze Lari and former Olympian and chief coach of the Pakistan hockey team Hanif Khan received the runners-up trophy. The latter was also declared player of the tournament.
The Fair Play trophy went to Gulberg Hockey Club.
Teams of fifteen local clubs participated in the event which was launched by the Karachi Hockey Association (KHA).
A sizeable crowd of former Olympian, internationals, KHA officials and lovers of the game watched the final.
Prominent among them include Islahuddin, Samiullah, Iftikhar Syed, Jamil Ahmed Khan, KHA president Dr Junaid Ali Shah, chairman Gulfraz Khan and secretary Haider Hussain.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2017