RAWALPINDI - Army and Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Thursday won the opening matches of the 1st Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Challenge Hockey Cup 2015 here at the Army Hockey Stadium.

Army thrashed Police 6-0 while PIA outclassed Punjab 6-1, while NBP held Wapda 1-1 but managed to snatch a point against Wapda, who had the services of world's top plenty corner specialist Sohail Abbas. The tournament is a joint venture of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Army Sports Directorate.

The opening match between Wapda and NBP ended in 1-1 draw. Though Wapda had recalled veteran Olympians Sohail Abbas, the world record holder of the highest goals, and Shabbir Ahmed but they failed to show glimpses of their glorious past. Sohail missed two penalty corners amid weak dragging of the ball. Shabbir, however, was instrumental in making a couple of good moves. NBP took lead in the 12th minute when Olympians Tousiq Ahmed and Ali Shan launched an attack and passed the ball to unmarked Arslan Qadir in the Dee who managed to put the ball into the goal and scored a field goal. Wapda's counter attack led by M Imran and Tasawar Abbas created a penalty corner for their team and Waqas Sharif netted it on rebound in the 13th minute. Haider Rasool and Kamran supervised the match.

Army was too strong for Police 6-0 in a one-sided second match amid two goals each by Abdul Jabbar and Hammad Dar. Army took lead in the 23rd minute through field goal by Jabbar. The soldiers scored four goals in the third quarter while M Imran, M Shafiq and M Rizwan (senior) launched a well-coordinated move in the 34th minute to get a penalty corner. Imran netted to double the lead. In the 37th minute, Hammad scored the third one for his team on a pass from Shahid Ali Khan, Hammad struck again in the 41st minute to score his second and team's fourth goal. Jabbar scored in the 45th and Faraz Dar scored the sixth in the 59th minute.

PIA maintained their supremacy in the third and last encounter of the day outclassing Punjab 6-1. PIA took lead in the fourth minute through Kashif Ali who scored on a penalty corner, but against complete run of play, Punjab managed to draw level in the ninth minute, when Amir Ali scored a field goal. But their joy short lived as PIA once again took lead in the 12th minute through Ammad Butt. In the very next minute, M Zubair scored the third and fourth goals. In the 33rd minute, Azfar Yaqoob scored the fifth while Hammad hit sixth and last goal in the 46th minute.

PHF secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, Director Army Sports Directorate Brig Jillani, PHF chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui, former captain Shahbaz Senior along with other dignitaries and hockey lovers were also present on the occasion. Three matches will be played today (Friday) as Army (Junior) will take on SSGC, Wapda faces Navy and PIA takes on PAF.