LAHORE - Pakistan Steels Mills has been scratched from the ongoing 10th Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament in view of their terrible behaviour during the league match against Pakistan Railways at the Dring Stadium on Sunday.

According to the tournament jury’s unanimous decision, Railways will play the first semifinal against Pakistan International Airlines (Whites) while the second semifinal will be played between Wapda and Asia Ghee Mills.

For steelmen, the last match was a do-or-die issue as they were behind Railways on goal average. They badly needed victory to remain in the tournament while for Railways, a mere draw was enough to reach the semis. Both the teams fought hard to outclass each other and initiated fierce attacks that won applauds from a large number of crowd gathered to witness a thrilling contest under floodlights. Sultan scored the first goal for steelmen in the fifth minute. Malik and Zubair scored goals in the 45th and 59th minutes respectively. Waji-ul-Hasan (43rd min) and Qasim Ahmed (56th min) scored for Railways.

In the last quart, field umpire awarded a penalty corner to Railways which the steelmen protested violently, particularly their goalkeeper Farhan used abusive language. He was shown yellow card followed by a red card after he snatched cards from the field umpire.

The tournament jury took a strong exception of the ugly incident which, according to them, was an attempt to spoil the grace of a well-organised event. After the completion of the match, the jury unanimously decided to scratch the Steel Mills.

Earlier, PIA (Whites) defeated Bahawalpur 3-1 in their last match. The airliners started the match with a cautious approach and didn’t play their natural game to save their energy for the important semifinal. PIA captain M Zubair scored the first goal in the ninth minute. Amir Shehzad and Ammad Butt successfully converted penalty corners in the 13th and 28th minutes respectively. Bahawalpur lads demonstrated some guts amid ample crowd support who applauded their every effort. Zohaib scored the lone field goal for Bahawalpur in the 32nd minute.

Today (Sunday)’s semifinals: Pakistan Railways vs PIA (Whites), Wapda vs Asia Ghee Mills.