Polo Championship – Hissam masterminds Master Paints victory | Pakistan Today

Polo Championship – Hissam masterminds Master Paints victory

LAHORE – Master Paints dethroned defending champions Colony Sugar 8-7 in the final of the Bank Alfalah National Polo Championship for the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup here at the Lahor Polo Club’s Aibak Ground on Sunday.
Masters Paints not only regained the title after nearly a decade, but also notched their third title of the season. They won two titles earlier this season. The winner’s trophy was handed over to them by Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa who graced the occasion as chief guest.
Earlier in the day, Army/Askari Bank won a slender-margin win for third place when beating Al Khan/Ciro’s Pomodoro 6-5. Master Paints had to go all out to overpower fighting Colony Sugar and after Gaston Moore brought Masters at par with the losing side seven-all, the organizers were compelled to go for a sixth chukker in which Hissam Ali Hyder hit the golden goal from the side corner to bring the win.
The tit-for-tat game continued till the fifth chukker. Saqib Khan Khalwani provided Colony Sugar an opportunity to sneak away with the title when he provided 7-5 lead by the close of fourth chukker. But Gaston Moore, who was a class act showing complete control of the ball and the pony, brought the equaliser in the fifth chukker.
The two goals of the fifth chukker showed his class while Hissam, who hit the golden goal against India in February 2007, showed self belief and masterminded the win for Masters. Gaston Moore played active part in every move right from the start. He opened the scoring from spot penalty and kept scoring in every chukker to have seven goals on the board for the Masters while the all important goal of the match came from Hissam in the sixth quarter.
Sufi Muhammad Haris and Sufi Muhammad Aamir played the support game keeping the rival riders in check and creating room for Moore and Hissam to score. They clamped rival team’s main rider Raul LaPlacette for most of the time while Colony Sugar, after seeing that Raul LaPlacette was unable to move freely, went on plan B and launched attack from other players. Saqib Khan Khakwani led the charge, Naveed M Sheikh supported him and Raul LaPlacette was able to score three goals.
Earlier in the day Army, sponsored by Askari Bank beat Al Khan/Ciro’s Pomodoro. Julio Nevillo Astrada, Raja Temur Nadeem and Isfandiyar Ali Khan Pataudi kept things in control in the mid session of the match. On the other hand Hamza Mawaz Khan and Fernando Quinto Bourdieu tried to bring smiles for their team but all efforts went in vain despite the fact they dominated the fifth chukker albeit failed to score any goal in the dying stages.
Simon Mclaren Tosh, Manuel Crespo, Gaston Moore and Julio Nevillo Astrada supervised the matches as umpires and referees.



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