Sports: Football: Ali Raza scores hat-trick as Hazara United win in Leisure Leagues KYI Football Tournament

Karachi: Ali Raza recorded a brilliant hat-trick and helped Hazara United record a convincing 5-0 victory against Karachi Sports in the third round of matches in the ongoing Leisure Leagues Karachi Youth Initiative Football Tournament here at 16-Star Ground on Saturday, January 13.

Apart from Ali Mohammad Hakeem and Abbas Ali scored one goal each for the side in the match. In the second-leg match against the same opponents, Hazara United recorded 1-0 victory with Imran Ali being the scorer this time.

The two matches played between the two sides were among the eighty matches played at four different venues – namely 16-Star Football Ground (District Central), Ansar Union Football Stadium (District East), Mohammadi Stadium (District Malir) and Khyber-Muslim Football Stadium (District West) on Saturday.

Another 20 matches of District South were played later on Sunday at Lyari’s Gabol Park Football Ground.

Twenty teams are equally divided into two groups – Group A and Group B and are playing two matches against one another – on home and away basis against other teams in their respective groups. According to Leisure Leagues rule book, a league cannot have more than ten teams. Therefore, the twenty teams playing at one venue have been divided into two groups of ten teams each.

In another double tie encounter between host 16-Star FC and Young Patni FC, Abdul Rehman fired two goals for the host team to record 2-0 victory in the second match after the first match ended in a goalless draw.

At Ansar Union Ground, National Fighter, after losing the first against Anwer Khan KC by 2-0, defeated their opponents by 4-0 score in the second match, with Mohammad Zahid recording a hat-trick for the winners.

A total of 100 teams – twenty teams from each of the five districts namely District South, Central, East, Malir and West are participating in the mega tournament. More than nine hundred matches will be played to eventually identify ‘Leisure Leagues Karachi Champion’.

Leisure Leagues is organizing this league for the underprivileged youngsters of the city in order to keep them involved in healthy activities and subsequently away from unsocial activities. Leisure Leagues also believe that such activities can in near future produce football stars for the country.

Each player participating in the tournament has been given free kit and football shoes. Conveyance allowance has also been given to each team.

“In line with our long standing commitment to giving back to the people of Pakistan, we continue to provide opportunities for the underprivileged youth of Karachi through sports. This initiative will help keep them away from negative activities. And channel their energy in the right direction,” Chairman World Group Mehmood Trunkwala said. Leisure Leagues has been brought to Pakistan by Trunkwala family.

The twenty teams of a district have been divided into two groups – Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’. Each team in a group will play 18 matches, two matches against every other team in the Group. A total of 900 matches will be played in the first double-league stage.

Top teams from Group ‘A’ and Group ‘B’ will play District final and a District Champion will emerge. Subsequently, the champions from the five districts will play in a ‘Champions League’, playing one match against each other. The top team from the league will become ‘Leisure Leagues Karachi Champions’.

Leisure Leagues is holding its events across the country including Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Peshawar, Mardan, Quetta and Rawalpindi. Jacobabad and Gilgit are next in line. Leisure Leagues is looking forward to enhance their presence in more cities in near future.

The city champions of Leisure Leagues will then play in Leisure Leagues National Tournament, tentatively in March 2018.

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