WAPDA, PAF win big in Challenge Cup R2

WAPDA, PAF win big in Challenge Cup R2

Islamabad, 2 May 2024: The 2023-24 National Football Challenge Cup Round Two’s second day at Jinnah Sports Complex saw Groups C & D begin their opening fixtures.

Group C saw Pakistan Police, the 2023 National Games football gold medalists, being held to a 1-1 draw with Peshawar’s Wasim Shinwari Trading Company (WSTC). Mohib Ullah scored for WSTC while Police replied through captain Qurban Ali Hazara.

The other Group C clash saw SA Gardens beat fellow Lahore side Pakistan Railways with an entertaining 5-3 score. A brace from Roger and goals each from Tauqeer, Murtaza and Umair helped SA Gardens overcome Railways’ goals from Abdul Rehman, Nabeel and Masood.

Group D saw defending National Challenge Cup champions WAPDA beat Faisalabad’s Otto Cranes 5-2. Pakistan international Shayek Dost, who returned after a short stint with Afghanistan Champions League side Abu Muslim FC, scored twice as did former international Ahmed Faheem.

WAPDA captain and Pakistan international Rao Umer Hayat also scored a goal, while Otto Cranes’ Sagar Masih scored a brace for the losing side.

Other Group D clash saw tournament challengers Pakistan Air Force (PAF) overwhelm Bahawalpur’s Asia Ghee Mills with ease 3-0. A brace from PAF striker Samad Khan Wazir and a goal from Faisal Baloch were sufficient for the Peshawar-based side to prevail.

It is worth noting that Pakistan MNT head coach Stephen Constantine is also in Islamabad and witnessing the National Challenge Cup fixtures. He is expected to scout potential call-ups for the national team camp that will begin soon after the tournament’s conclusion for next month’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan.

Tomorrow, 3 May, will see Groups A and B return to action. Army face HEC while PACA face NIMSO in Group A. Navy face Masha United while KRL face SA Farms in Group B.

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