PESHAWAR     -   National Challenge Football Cup-2019 started here at Tehmas Khan Football Stadium late Friday night.

Defending Champion Pakistan Air Force got off to a flying start after recording a 4-0 victory over Asia Gee Mills.

KP Health and Information Minister Shoukat Ali Yousafzai grace the occasion as chief guest, while Pakistan Football Federation President Engineer Syed Ashfaq Husssain Shah, KP Football Association President Syed Zahir Ali Shah, who is also the vice president of PFF, Islamabad Football Association President Chaudhry Muhammad Saleem, PFF Congress member Qazi M Asif, Col (R) Nauman, Acting Secretary PFF Col (R) Farasat Ali, PFF President Principle Staff Officer Syed Shrafat Hussain Bukhari, who is also IFA Secretary, Tournament Organizing Committee secretary Raja Basit Kmal, former PFF information secretary Rana Tanveer Javed, who is also the manager of PFF Tigers along with others were also present on the occasion.

While talking exclusively to The Nation PSO To PFF President Sharafaat Bukhari said: “It is the 28th edition of the event, all the leading departments of the country take part in the championship. We decided to provide opportunities to juniors and to give them exposure, we for the very first time included PFF Tigers, which is based on junior players from 19 to 23 years of age. It will provide them best chance to learn how to play at senior level.”

Zahir Ali Shah, chairman tournament management committee while addressing at the occasion thanked federation for allocating the event to KP.  e also thanked minister for sparing time and PFF President for his presence and showing confidence in KP Football Association and said this tournament will help football flourish not only in KP, tribal belt but also in entire country.

He requested chief guest to provide infrastructure in all KP districts so football could be promoted in the province.

Later chief guest Shoukat Ali was introduced to the participating teams and officials and he declared the championship opened as he kicked the ball towards the PAF and Asia Ghee Mill, who started the event with the first match of the night.

In the opening match PAF and Asia Gee Mills played a goal-less draw till the first 42nd minute play and it was the 43rd minute when unmarked Irfan got a through ball from mid-fielder Qaiser in front of the goal-post and did nothing wrong in dispatching it into the net to make the tally 1-0.

After taking lead in the first session, PAF dominated the second session and scored three more goals when skipper Mansoor netted a fine goal on the penalty kick in the 59th minute and slammed another on the field attempt in the 67th minute to make the tally 3-0. It was in the 73rd minute this time Qaiser netted a fine goal on the field attempt to make the tally 4-0. Asia Gee Mills, a very young side, tried their hard to come back into the game and having more than three easy goal scoring chances but their forwards were failed to score any goal.

NBP will take on Police and in the second match KRL takes on Karachi United on late Saturday night.