LAHORE - Hosts Pakistan defeated India in the thrilling final 13-11 to clinch the Asian U-19 Rugby Tournament trophy here at the jam-packed Punjab Stadium on Saturday.
With this impressive and hard-fought triumph, Pakistan team has qualified for the final round which will be played in Hong Kong next year.
Chief guest Minister for sports Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan distributed prizes among the top performers. Director General Sports Board Punjab (SBP) Usman Anwar, the representatives and officials of Pakistan Rugby Union (PRU) and huge and enthusiastic crowd including female and children were also present on the occasion to witness the highly-entertaining rugby final which was played between the arch-rivals Pakistan and India.
The colorful bounties were distributed among the spectators who cheered both the teams by waving off the flags and encouraged both the teams. Pakistan did play a tri-score and dominated in the first half which India managed to make equivalent. The score was 8-8 at the end of the first half. The tough competition was seen even more in the second half.
The green shirts performed exceptionally well and took over two score to win the title. Daniyal of Pakistan gained two tri-scores whereas Inder Gorov of India got successful in achieving a score.
Expressing his views, Indian captain M Sherma said: “Though we have lost the trophy yet the love and care we have received while our stay in Lahore is unforgettable. There should be more international matches in Lahore which will help us improving our game and skills.”
Title-holder team captain Daud Gull said: “The main source behind our victory was sincere prayers of the entire nation. We are happy to be the cause of Pakistan’s pride after our triumph over our neigbouring country India. We hope we will prepare well and try to lift the title in the upcoming Hong Kong’s Division II Rugby Championship.”
Chief guest of the final match Minister YASAT Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan congratulated the SBP and the Pakistan Rugby Union on the successful holding of the international event. “Punjab government is always ready to extend its all-out support in hosting the international events in the province,” he said and added: “Being the representative of Punjab government, I cordially invite the Indian rugby team in the upcoming Youth Festival.”
Director General SBP Usman Anwar thanked the Indian team for their cooperation in visiting and staying in Pakistan. “The Sports Board Punjab will always be upfront in conducting international events in the country,” the DG SBP said.
After the concluding ceremony, a special dinner was also arranged in the honour of the Asian U-19 rugby teams.