RAWALPINDI - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) booked their places in the final of the First Chief of the Army Staff Challenge Hockey Cup 2015 after defeating their respective opponents in the semifinals played here at the Army Hockey Stadium Friday.

In the first semifinal, one of the pre-tournament favorites PIA lived up to the expectations as they thrashed one of the surprise package Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) 4-1. In the second semifinal Army Senior’s hopes were dashed by a star-studded National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) side, who carved out a hard-fought 2-1 victory against crowd favourites as entire stadium was backing Army team and expecting to inflict highly unlikely victory against bankers who had six international players in their ranks.

PIA started the match on a very high pace and put SSGC under enormous pressure right from the first quarter and it didn't took them long before scoring the first goal in the 7th minute through Nohaiz Malik. Seven minutes later Kashif Ali doubled the advantage through a beautiful field goal in the 14th minute. SSGC reduced the deficit in the third quarter when their striker Imran scored a delicate goal in the 37th minute to make things a bit interesting. But SSGC failed to take advantage form their early domination and three minutes later Atif Mushtaq scored the third goal for PIA to restore two-goal cushion. It didn't take too long for airliners to complete the rout as Zubair Mehmood scored the 4th goal in the 47th minute to all but end any hope of SSGC comeback and match ended with the 4-1 result in the favour of PIA.

In the second semifinal, NBP had to dig deep to win nerve-wrecking encounter against a very spirited Army Seniors side. Ali Shan and Bilal Qadir dealt their ambitions a hammer blow as they scored two early goals, which all but end Army's dream run in the event which were mainly on the shoulders of national hockey team skipper M Imran. Despite pilling tremendous pressure, Army forwards fail to score in the first three quarters and when Imran finally scored a goal it was too little too late for the hosts, who had to settle for a bitter defeat.

Army and Sui Southern Gas Company will lock horns for the third position match today (Saturday) while the mega final of the event would be held on Sunday and Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif is most likely to grace the occasion as chief guest.