WAPDA, Police have won their matches

Sargodah – Pakistan, Mar 9, 2014: WAPDA and Pakistan police have won their matches on the opening day of the First Brigadier ® Manzoor Hussain Atif Memorial Hockey Tournament which commenced at the Sargodha Hockey Stadium here on Sunday. WAPDA beat NBP 2-1 while Police beat Air Force 1-0. According to press release by PHF.

In the opening match of the day WAPDA’S forwards set the pace of the match on the newly laid astro turf when their combined move earned a penalty corner in the third minute. Aleem Bilal made no mistake to convert it. Only five minutes later forward Asad Bashir scored the second goal for WAPDA. NBP forwards bounced back in the 11th minute when they got the first penalty corner and Kashif Shah netted the ball neatly. The score was 2-1 at the half time.

Both teams failed to score goal in the second half. They wasted certain opportunities that came in their way. In the 45th minute WAPDA’s forwards made an aggressive inroad into the deserted NBP where only goalkeeper was to be dodged but he made a smart dash to stop a certain goal. WAPDA’s forwards couldn’t collect the ball even on rebound and wasted back to back chance to score the goal. NBP got an opportunity to equal the score in the 60thminutes of the match when they were awarded a penalty corner which their forward wasted with a high flying hit.

Both Police and Air Force fought hard to outclass each other in the second match which finally ended 1-0 in the former’s favour. In the 59th minute Niaz scored a goal on a pass near the pole which he neatly pushed into the goal. Police got three penalty corners.

Earlier, District Coordination Officer Sargodha Tariq Mahmood inaugurated the Tournament. He hoped that Sargodhians would witness hotly contested matches during the Event because current Olympians and internationals are taking part in this Tournament which reflected its high standard also. He assured that his administration would extend all possible assistance to make this event successful. Three matches will be played on Monday. Punjab vs Railways at 11am. Navy vs PAF at 1 pm. Army vs WAPDA-B at 3 pm.

Former Olympians paid rich tribute to Late Brig ® Manzoor Hussain Atif for his services for the development and progress of hockey in Pakistan. They also hailed Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for remembering the great hero by organizing a national tournament after his name.

At the eve of the First Brigadier ® Manzoor Hussain Atif Memorial Hockey Tournament that commenced at the Sargodha Hockey Stadium here on Sunday, former Olympian Tahir Zaman said Atif was a visionary who would like to accept challenges, do his homework thoroughly and discover hidden talent of the players. He recalled that he was selected as left-in in the Pakistan junior team but Atif asked him to play as Right Half. “Atif Sahib had sensed that in the presence of another outstanding Left-In in the senior team I might not get a chance to play for Pakistan. So he asked me to change my position and till my retirement from international hockey I played on the position set by the great man”, Tahir remarked. Tahir said for Atif hockey was life and he would also financially help the players to carry on their game. He added that Atif worked passionately to develop the game of hockey and helped Pakistan to make a force to reckon with at the international level. “Today we need administrators like him to lift the national game and bring our lost glory in hockey”, he opined. Tahir also appreciated the PHF management to organize the tournament and giving players an opportunity to remember the great visionary.

Former Olympian Waseem Ahmed said Atif was one of the most dominant personality in national hockey who had a great sense of selection as well. He would visit every nook and corner of the country to watch tournaments and spot future talent. Waseem also supported Tahir’s views and said Atif had a kind heart and he would help the needy players to continue their game. Waseem thanked the PHF for holding this tournament and opined that we should organize more tournament after the names of our past legends.

Former Olympian Mohammed Akhlaq also hailed services of Atif for the development of hockey in Pakistan. Atif was a strategist who would make effective game plans against the opposition and ensure to implement them. Akhlaq remembered Atif as one of the all-time best left full-backs of Pakistan who also had the knack of scoring crucial goals off penalty corners in vital matches. He recalled that Atif was Pakistan’s top scorer with six goals in the 1964 Olympics.

Another former Olympian Shabbir Hussain who is also President of District Hockey Association said he wasn’t even born when Atif retired from international hockey but he vividly remembered his role as an administrator who would never compromise on discipline. He said PHF management under the leadership of Akhtar Rasool and Rana Mujahid deserved applauds for their commitment for hockey and the organizing of the tournament is a vivid example of their resolve to lift the standard of the game.

Former Olympian Malik Shafqat also remembered Atif as a dedicated leader and administrator that Pakistan hockey had ever seen. “Atif was a great lover of hockey which was everything for him”, he said. He recalled that Atif was the manager of Pakistan hockey team in historic victories in the World Hockey Cup at Bombay in 1982 and Los Angels Olympics in 1984.

Former Olympian Anjum Saeed recalled that Atif was a master strategist who would thwart opposition’s plans. “In the Los Angels Olympics in 1984 he thwarted all Australians plans and calculations in the semifinal. Pakistan defeated Australia which was regarded as the biggest upset in the team events of that Olympics”, he said and added that management of the PHF deserved all appreciation of holding a national level tournament in Sargodha. —- PHF

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