KARACHI: The 16-day DG Rangers Sindh Football Tournament held to scout the young football talent in Karachi reached its climax as the best two of the 32 participating outfits — Baldia Towns Khyber Muslim Football Club and Lyari`s Nawab XI — clashed with the former beating the latter 2-1 to lift the winner’s trophy at the Peoples Sports Complex on Friday.
The quick-paced match saw Khyber Muslim FC as clearly the better of the two sides as they struck their first goal through frontrunner Mohammad in the 16th minute.
With Rs500,000 at stake it was a rough match throughout the 90 minutes of play with plenty of fouls and yellow cards.
The game’s second goal too came as a result of a foul when Khyber Muslim FC’s defender and captain Farooq Afridi physically pulled back Nawab XI’s striker and captain Adnan Nazar inside the box to keep him from scoring. The manhandling resulted in a yellow card for Farooq and a penalty kick for Adnan, which he converted in the 34th minute. The score was 1-1 at halftime.
The 60th minute saw striker Mohammad Iqbal`s individual effort getting Khyber Muslim ahead and a missed chance by Nawab XI in the 70th minute kept the scoreline 2-1 in favour of Khyber Muslim till the blowing of the final whistle.
The match was supervised by match referee Fareed Ahmed, first assistant Akhtar Coach, second assistant Jalal Ahmed and fourth official Mohammad Yasin under match commissioner Master Nazeer Ahmed Baloch.
Khyber Muslim FC`s captain Farooq Afridi was presented with the winner’s trophy and a cheque for Rs500,000.
Adnan Nazar, captain of Nawab XI had to remain content with the runners-up trophy and Rs 300,000. Manzoor Alam of Baloch Mujahid FC was named the best goalkeeper of the tournament and presented with Rs 30,000 while Nawab XI`s Adnan Nazar was declared the best player of the competition and also given Rs 30,000. The referees and officials were presented with Rs15,000 each.
But the nicest gesture on the part of the organisers to invite 10 veteran Pakistan team footballers and present each with Rs50,000 at the end of the programme. The former internationals, namely, Ghulam Sarwar, Abu Jan, Ali Mohammad, Ashiq Ali, Yousuf Jr, Lal Mohammad, Abdul Majeed, Mohammad Hussain, Yousuf Sr and Iqbal Raza were there for the entire duration of the final and greatly enjoyed reliving their playing days through the on-field actions of the youngsters. It was a touching sight to notice some of them wiping away tears as they cheered for the players.
Football journalist Riaz Ahmed adds:
DFA Nawabshah’s Yaqoob Baloch (Chairman), Ustad Tufail, Master Riasat Ali, Convener Murad Ali, Eid Muhammad, National Soccer Academy chairman Arshad Jamal, Senior vice chairman Muhammad Asif Khan, sports journalist Riaz Ahmed, member Central Zone Abdul Karim, FC Rovers manager Khalid Majeed, et al. all congratulated Khyber Muslim FC (Baldia Town, Karachi) for winning the All-Karachi Rangers Cup Football Tournament after beating Nawab XI in the final.