Rehman stars in Army’s U22 title triumph

Rehman Ali hit a brace to help Army defeat Chaman’s Muslim FC 2-0 in the final of the National Under-22 Football Championship held at the Dring Stadium in Bahawalpur on Sunday night.

It was a tough match with Muslim FC dominating the proceedings, but failing to score a goal. Army, popular for playing rough game, could have taken the initiative in the 14th minute, but Asghar failed to convert a penalty.

It was striker Rehman Ali who provided Army with the lead in the 41st minute. At half time Army were leading 1-0. After the breather, Muslim FC played technical game, disturbing the rivals with incisive rallies from both wings but failed to capitalise on the opportunities that came their way.

In the 87th minute, Rehman Ali scored another goal to end any chances for the opponents to come back in the game. Earlier, Sindh defeated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in penalty shootout in the play-off for the third place. The match had ended 2-2 draw in the scheduled time.

Bahawalpur’s Regional Police Officer Syed Abid Hussain Qadri graced the closing ceremony and gave away prizes and medals to the leading teams and players.

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi was also present on the occasion. The winners Army were handed over the winners’ trophy, gold medals and a cheque of Rs150,000, Muslim FC went away with the runners-up trophy, silver medals and a purse of Rs100,000 and Sindh got bronze medals and a cash of Rs75,000 as the third place holders.

The fair-play trophy and Rs20,000 were received by Faisalabad’s PMC Athletico while Rs10,000 each was handed over to Adnan Ahmad (Army, best goalkeeper), Saeed Ahmad (Muslim FC, best player), Mujahid Ali (PMC Athletico, leading scorer), Irshadul Haq (Sheikhupura, best assistant referee). The best referee of the tournament Shahid Hussain from Okara got richer by Rs15,000. Twelve teams from across the country took part in the competitions held for the first time.

From: The News

Meanwhile, national team coach Zavisa Milosavljevic picked six players from different teams who will get a chance to participate in the AFC U22 Championship qualifiers. “The level of competition was very high and I’m impressed with the U22 teams,” Milosavljevic told The Express Tribune. “I would suggest that the Pakistan football Federation should have a separate league for the U22 teams besides the Pakistan Premier League.”

From: The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.