Police edge Navy in Challenge Cup [The News]

Police edge Navy in Challenge Cup [The News]

KARACHI: Police on Monday defeated Navy 1-0 in their Group A match of the PFF National Challenge Cup 2023 here at the KPT Stadium.

The lone goal of the match was scored by Hasnain in the 46th minute. In the first leg, Navy had beaten Police 1-0. It means both teams are tied on points as well as on goal average. And the yellow cards have decided that Navy are the group champions because only three of their players were shown yellow cards in two games while eight Police players got yellow cards in two matches which were played on home and away basis.

Both teams are already in the last 16 and they will have to wait for around three months as the knock-out stage of the 27-team event will begin from May 1. Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) were the third team in the group but they withdrew due to their internal issues. This was the only group which had just three teams.

Navy coach Mohammad Ramzan said that they played their bench. “As we had already qualified for the knock-out stage we opted to use our bench in order to know how we will go in the rest of the tournament,” Ramzan told ‘The News’.

Police coach Sardar Rahim was happy with the way his side played in the return leg. “Today the boys worked very hard,” Sardar said. The Police team carries players only from Balochistan and Sardar himself is bearing its expenses although it represents a public sector organisation.

There was only one game in the event on Monday and the third round matches will begin from Wednesday (tomorrow) at various centres of the country. Karachi hosted Navy and Police matches. Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Quetta, Chaman and Lahore are hosting the matches of the other groups.

In the end, top two teams from each group and the two best third-placed sides will qualify for the round of 16. It is after two long years that the event is being held.

Published in The News, 31 January 2023