KARACHI Wapda are close to winning the national hockey title as they defeated Port Qasim 4-2 in their eighth league match of the 10-team NBP 57th National Hockey Championship here Wednesday at Hockey Club of Pakistan. Thursday is the rest day, the championship resume on Friday. Winners top rated PC specialists Sohail Abbas hit the board twice in 18th and 44th minute and Waqas Sharif (13th minute) and Asif Michael (5th minute) added one goal each. Owais Khan in 8th minute and Manzoor Ahmed in 67th minute netted for the port men. With the latest victory, Wapda raced to the top of the points table with 21 points. With one light match against SSGC in hand in the single league competition, Wapdas celebration could be upset only by defending champions PIA who with two matches in hand have 16 points from seven outings. PIA play HBL on Friday and NBP on Sunday in the last match of the league. NBP, which lost the title race last time because of bad luck on goal difference to PIA, started the championship with great promise. However, when they unexpectedly stumbled against Army 4-3 on Tuesday, their hopes of winning the national hockey crown were shattered. NBP after Tuesdays disaster, returned to winning ways on Wednesday when they defeated Sui Southern Gas 5-2 to collect three more points and carry the points tally to 18. The highlight of the one-sided contest was fine hat-trick from Naeem Akber who netted first three goals for the Bankers in 18th, 27th and 39th minute. It was the third hat-trick of the championship which will come to conclusion on Sunday with a match against last champions finalists PIA and NBP. Muhammad Taufeeq and Khurram Shahzad were other scorers for the NBP. Sui Southern Gas netted its goal through Shakeel Abbasi and Shahzad Aslam. Earlier in the day, Pakistan Air Force earned their first point when they held Habib Bank to two all draw. Trailing 2-0 in the 47th minute of the match, the airmen scored two goals in four minutes through two penalty strokes. Tall and burley Imran Hafeez with strong pushes scored both the goals in 59th and 63rd minute. HBL got their goals through Shahbaz Ali and Adeel Hussain. When the draw of the championship was finalised, the last match of the league was fixed between PIA and NBP who had played in the last championship final. It was pre-supposed that last match of the league between these two teams will decide the title. But the two teams made all calculations wrong by losing matches which they were expected to win. The championship had already been decided three days before the final day with Wapda virtually assured the national hockey crown. Points table at the end of 8th league round matches. Team P W L D Gf Ga Pts Wapda 8 7 1 0 29 13 21 NBP 8 6 2 0 38 20 18 PIA 7 5 1 1 27 10 16 HBL 7 4 2 1 14 8 13 Army 7 3 3 1 17 15 10 Port Qasim 7 3 4 0 18 12 9 SSGC 7 3 4 0 18 17 9 Navy 7 2 5 0 19 25 6 KESC 7 1 6 0 17 40 3 PAF 7 0 6 1 10 35 1