PESHAWAR           -           Two goals by skipper Ansar Abbas and a goal by Ali Raza helped Pakistan Army stun Southern Gas Company (SSGC) 3-2 in a thrilling final of the 28th PFF National Challenge Football Cup 2019 played here at Tehmas Khan Football Stadium on Monday.

Senior Minister KP for Sports, Tourism, and Youth Affairs Muhammad Atif Khan, MNA and Vice President Pakistan Football Federation Muhammad Amir Dogar, Vice President PFF Syed Zahir Ali Shah, Director General Sports KP Asfandyar Khattak, Sardar Naveed Haider, Col Firasat Ali Shah, Sharafat Hussain Bokhari, Basit Kamal, officials, players and a large number of spectators were also present.

The match was started on fast tempo and both Pakistan Army and SSGC played well and raided on each other territories with some good inroads which were largely enjoyed by the sitting spectators. There were no score in the first 30-minute as the ball was mostly confined to mid-field and occasional moves but SSGC played well and opened the account in the 32nd minute when skipper Saddam travelled past two defenders at the right side and gave a free ball to unmarked Saad Ullah who slammed in a beautiful goal on the field attempt. After taking lead, SSGC kept pressure to double the lead but they forwards were not allowed to do so. On the other hands, Pakistan Army after conceding a goal, speeded up their moves and made some good goal-fetching moves but Jameel missed two easy goal scoring chances and the attempt of Ansar and Ali Raza also proved abortive. At half-time SSGC was leading by 1-0.

It was the second session in which SSGC again succeeded in scoring another goal in the 53rd minute when Tahir netted a fine goal to make the tally 2-0. Army tried their hard and were succeeded soon in the last 20-minute when Ansar scored two quick goals in the 77th and 70th minute to make the tally 2-2 while Ali Raza scored the decisive goal on the field attempt. Thus Army won the match by 3-2. It was the third time that Army won the National Challenge Cup earlier it won the same in 2000 and 2001. KRL won the title for six times in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016, ABL won it four times in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2002, Crescent Textiles Mills won it in 1987 and 1992, PAF won once in 1994, HBL in 1985, KPT in 1987, Marker Club in 1991, Pakistan in 2008, PIA in 1984 and Sindh Press in 1979 won it for once.

Earlier, the chief guest gave away trophies and winners cash prize of Rs 500,000, runners-up got trophy and Rs 300,000, third position won by KRL after defeating Wapda 1-0 and earned Rs 200,000 and trophy.

Ahmad of Army was declared best goalkeeper and was awarded 25000 cash prize, followed by Saad Ullah of SSGC was declared as best player with Rs 30,000, Muhammad Waheed of Wapda got highest goal scoring prize of Rs 20,000 while the fair-play trophy was won by PAF with cash prize of Rs 50,000. The players were also awarded gold, silver and bronze medals at the end.