KARACHI - Defending champion Pakistan Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) edge out Pakistan Wapda in thrilling penalty shoot out to retain National Hockey Championship trophy at the Hockey Club of Pakistan (HCP) Stadium on Sunday.

PIA beat Wapda in the sudden death stage of the penalty shootouts 7-6 after both teams played 2-2 draw in regulation time.

Olympian Shafqat Rasool was outstanding throughout the final as he opened the account for PIA in the 31st minute.

Two minutes later, Wapda’s M Jaffar leveled the score. In the 44th minute, PIA earned a penalty corner which was converted by Ehsanullah. Jaffar, Shehbaz and Waseem Ahmed made a move in the 57th minute on which Umar Bhutta received standing ovation the spectators after netting a beautiful goal.

Both the teams scored three goals in penalty shootouts session and in the sudden death stage. Shafqat didn’t make any error once again while Wapda’s Irfan failed to net the ball.

Earlier, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) got third position after beating Army 5-3 in the penalty shootouts. It was sheer luck of the bankers, who were losing 1-0 till the 59th minute of the match but managed to convert a penalty corner just seconds before the final whistle to level the score 1-1. Army scored their lone goal in the 24th minute on a penalty stroke.

At the end, chief guest Federal Minister For State & Frontier Regions Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch gave away the winning trophy to PIA captain M Irfan and also a cash prize of Rs 300,000 for winning the championship. Wapda was awarded a cash prize of Rs 200,000 and third position holder NBP got away with Rs 100, 000.