LAHORE - Both Pakistani players crashed out of the final race in the FMC International Men’s Squash Championship 2018 as Egyptian Yousaf Soleman set title clash with Malaysian Ivan Yuen to be played here today (Friday) in four-glass court installed at a local hotel.

The first semifinal proved to be a nail-biting contest between top seed Yousaf and top Pakistani player Farhan Mehboob. Both fought till the end and no one was ready to concede but in the end, it was Yousaf’s skills, stamina, nerves and international exposure which helped register the thrilling triumph and book berth in the final.

Both the players started well and fought for each and every point and made it 10-all. At this crucial stage, Yousaf displayed outstanding stamina and skills to seize the first game 12/10. Farhan, who is known as true fighter, made a good comeback in the second game as he played natural game and some classic shots to put his opponent under pressure. His strategy worked well and he managed to win the game 11/9 to square the things at 1-1.

Yousaf, who had wide international exposure, then showed his class and started playing aggressively, the move helped him tame his opponent and take the game 11/9. After playing so well, Farhan lost his composure and gifted the game to Yousaf, which he easily won by 11/3, thus registered an impressive victory and also booked berth in the final.

In the second semifinal, Ivan Yuen of Malaysia and Tayyab Aslam of Pakistan played outstanding squash and amused the spectators with their superb skills and shots. But Ivan maintained his dominance till the end and emerged as triumphant and set final clash against Egyptian Yousaf Soleman.

Top Pakistani player Tayyab was in good shape and was expecting to overcome high-flying Ivan, but the Malaysian had other ideas as he not only fought exceptionally but also sealed the spot in the final against the Egyptian.

Tayyab had to face tough resistance from the Malaysian player before winning the first game 11/9. But it was all that Tayyab could get from the crucial match as he couldn’t match the splendor and supremacy of the well-composed and vigorous Malaysian, who won the next three games in a row to grab place in the final.

Ivan’s brilliance and form helped him make a strong comeback and win the second game by 11/7, the third one by 11/8 and then the fourth and decisive one by 11/9 to register a tremendous triumph.

Earlier in quarterfinals played here on late Wednesday night, Pakistan’s Farhan Mehboob played well against Egyptian Mazan Gamal and defeated him by 11/9, 11/8, 11/9 in 32 minutes. Another Pakistani player Tayyab Aslam overcame determined Auguste Dussourd of France by 11/8, 11/9, 12/10 in 35 minutes while Malaysia’s Ivan Yuen took 31 minutes to topple Pakistan’s Israr Ahmad by 11/8, 11/6, 11/7.

Besides jam-packed crowd, the enthralling encounters of the international event were witnessed Punjab Squash Association (PSA) President Dr Nadeem Mukhtar, Secretary Sheraz Saleem, Treasurer Tariq Siddique Malik, Vice President Tariq Farooq Rana, Tournament Referee Tahir Khanzada, squash players and their families.