Faisalabad AID-27 to face Sindh FA in National U19 final

The two semi-finals of the 2011 National U19 Football Championship in Lahore were played at MTFC Ground on Sept 21, 2011 to decide the finalists of the tournament. Faisalabad AID-27 beat Quetta AID-27 1-0 in first semi while Sindh FA beat Balochistan FA on penalties in second semi-final.

The first semi-final played at 1500 hrs saw Faisalabad AID-27 team completely dominate Quetta AID-27 for the entire game yet only score once in the match. Faisalabad created many chances the entire semi-final but failed to convert them into goals as much as coach Muhammad Habib would have hoped.

Faisalabad did win a penalty in 25th minute which star forward Muhammad Bilal Khan failed to score from as the Quetta goalkeeper saved his shot as the game was surprisingly poised 0-0 at half time. In 2nd half, Faisalabad maintained their dominance and finally Bilal made amends to his missed spot kick when he gave his side the decisive lead in 70th minute with a superb finish. Quetta AID-27 ran out of luck as the favourites from Faisalabad held on to their lead and confirmed their place in the final.

The second semi-final played at 1900 hrs saw a gripping encounter between Sindh FA and Balochistan FA that was eventually decided by penalties. Sindh took the lead after 30 minutes through M Sher but Balochistan equalised just before half time thanks to Fazal. The floodgates of goals well and truly opened in 2nd half as Sindh again took the lead through star forward Abdul Salam (55′) only for Balochistan to equalise again with Hafeez making it 2-2 in 73rd minute.

Balochistan then took a 3-2 lead through Irfan (88′) which almost looked enough to decide the tie in normal time. But Sindh regained their composure and forced an equaliser just minutes before the end thanks to Adnan (89′) as the game finished a remarkable 3-3 after 90 minutes. 30 minutes of a gripping fast-paced extra-time followed but both teams missed glorious chances to score as the clock ticked down with the score still at 3-3.

Eventually the referee pointed for a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner. Sindh FA kept their cool and converted all 5 of their penalty kicks through Usman, Abdul Salam, Ijaz, Yaqoob and Sher while Balochistan could only convert 4 through Noman, Umair, Shakeel, and Irfan with one Balochistan player missing the decisive penalty as Sindh went through to the final after a truly gripping semi-final at MTFC Ground in Lahore.

The final will be played on 23 Sept 2011 at 2000 hrs at MTFC Ground between Faisalabad AID-27 and Sindh FA to decide the winner of the 2011 National U19 Football Championship. The 3rd place play-off between losing semi-finalists Balochistan FA and Quetta AID-27 will be played a day earlier on 22 Sept 2011 at 1500 hrs at the same venue.