Lahore - Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) routed Navy 3-1 to become the fourth team to qualify for the semifinals of the 2nd Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) All-Pakistan Hockey Championship here at the National Hockey Stadium.

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Wapda and Sui Southern Gas Pipelines (SSGPL) have already qualified for the last four. After a day's rest, the two semifinals will be played tomorrow (Saturday). NBP will take on SSGC while Wapda will play against SNGPL.

On the last day of the pool fixtures, three matches were played. In the match between SNGPL and Navy, the two sides were equal on points and goal difference, but SNGPL, ahead on the number of goals scored, needed only a draw to move into the semifinals.

In a well-contested first quarter, both entered the opposing circle quite a few times, occasionally testing the net minders and each earned a penalty corner. Navy couldn’t avail while the SNGPL made their count. Mohibullah sounded the board.

Navy completely dominated the first seven minutes of the second quarter. They had a number of circle penetrations but couldnt make a dangerous attempt. With most of the naval men up front, SNGPL cashed in on two quick counters, first resulted in a penalty corner in the 23rd minute and second a deceptive drill saw the ball reaching Suleman in the mid-circle, who doubled the advantage.

Two minutes later, Imran received a pass outside the Navy 23 metre with only goalkeeper in front. After entering the circle, he took some time before finding the target. It was 3:0 at half time in favour of SNGPL. Navy required four goals in the next half hour; few gave them any chance. But Asif Ali rekindled their hopes with a 32nd minute goal. It resulted from a good move coupled by a defensive blunder.

An interesting duel followed. Navy trying to break the opposition's defence with quick raids and SNGPL fast on turn overs. Opportunities including penalty corners came to the two sides but the scoreline remained intact after 60 minutes.

In the second encounter of the day, Wapda outclassed SSGC 3-0. Two teams had already qualified for the semifinals and only contested for the bragging rights. Wapda enjoy the services of a number of established members of the national team. SSGC have mainly young senior and junior internationals.

The match began with both sides making early raids. After wasting a good opportunity, Wapda went ahead in the 10th minute when M Irfan Junior found the target with a top of the circle strike. The experienced electric men held upper hand over the gas men most of the time and created far more chances but couldn’t add to the score when the third quarter ended, however, in the last 15 minutes, they managed two goals.

In the 48th minute, Ajaz's reverse push off a left flank pass went into the SSGC goal via an opponent's stick. A few minutes later, Shajeeh Ahmad beautifully controlled a long ball near the circle before thundering it into the tin.

In the third and last match of the day, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) played 2-2 draw with Police. This match too had little significance as the two sides were already out of contention for the last four. Nevertheless, it turned out into a good competitive encounter.

Police struck early when their captain Atif netted in the 5th minute. Promising Murtaza Yaqoob, grandson of late Afzal Mann (Olympic silver medallist 1964), made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute, also through an open play goal. The defenders of sky fought back well. First, Mushtaq reduced the margin on a penalty corner. And it was all even by the 34th minute when Amjad Rahman equalised via a field goal. The two sides tried hard to gain supremacy in the remaining time but it ended 2-2.