Hazara Mohammedan win All-Karachi Rafique Football Tournament

[Source: Riaz Ahmed, veteran football journalist]

Natha Khan Union from Shah Faisal Town organised the All-Karachi Secretary Rafique Benefit Football Tournament at Shah Faisal Stadium in dedication to the services of team secretary Muhammad Rafique. A total of 64 teams took part in knock-out format competition. The final was played between both sharers of the stadium in Hazara Mohammadan and Natha Khan Union. In semis, Hazara Mohammadan beat National Fighter (Kala Pul) while Natha Khan Union beat Sultanabad Union West to reach the final.

The final was tied 1-1 at the end of normal time between the two teams, which led to penalties. Hazara Mohammadan held their nerve as they out-kicked the tournament hosts Natha Khan Union 4-3 in the shoot-out to win the tournament. Sindh provincial minister Muzaffar Shajrah handed over the winners’ and runner-up prizes to the respective teams. Korangi Gymkhana was awarded Fair Play trophy for their good disciplinary record and clean game in the tournament. Other guests present for the game were Fateh Muhammad (Chairman Malir Zone), Haji Mastan Abbasi (Chairman East Zone),  Muhammad Rahim (Secretary East), Syed Usman Shah (Joint Secretary East), Abdul Karim (Chairman Referees & Member Central Zone), Khalid Majeed (Secretary Referees Central Zone), former international Col (Retd) Younas Changezi, Qazi Muhammad Asif (Chairman Pakistan Football Referees Association), Qamar Yar (Paid Secretary Sindh FA), Usman Baloch, Haji Muhammad Salim, football journalist Riaz Ahmed etc who were all given a traditional Sindhi [i]ajrak[/i] shawl..

Natha Khan Union took 1-0 lead in 15th minute through captain Ahmed Sultan in what turned out to be an exciting final. The score remained such at half time. In 2nd half, Hazara Mohammadan pulled level when Alam Zeb scored from the penalty spot after intense pressure against the Natha defence. Upon referee Muhammad Saeed’s final whistle, the match was drawn 1-1 that led straight to penalties. Hazara Muhammad won 4-3 to be awarded winner’s trophy.

Match referee was Muhammad Saeed with assistants Ibrar Hussain, Naseer Umar, Usman Ishaq and match commissioner Zakir Khan.