Once again, attracting the attention of millions of Afghans throughout the country and worldwide, the RFAPL 2018 coincided with exponential rise in participation with the exciting matches conducted in the evening, under the floodlights. The matches of the regional tournaments were as enthralling as those of the main event, and the very best players of each zone were selected by the APL, with the coordination of Afghanistan football federation who then came to Kabul and played in their respective team, each representing one of the 8 zones, composed of the 34 provinces of the country.
The four best teams of RFAPL 2018 which found their way to the semi-finals were Shaheen Asmayee, the capital zone representative and consecutively the four-time champion, De Maiwand Atalan, representative of the south west zone and the two times runner up, De Abasin Sape of the south east zone, and, the representative of west, Toofan Harirod.
Based on the draw show result, Shaheen Asmayee, De Abasin Sape, Mawjhai Amu, and De Spinghar Bazan were enlisted in the group “A” and Toofan Harirod, De Maiwand Atalan, Simorgh Alborz, Oqaban Hindukosh were in the group “B” – And, the games begun on 7th October 2018.
Shaheen Asmayee, the title holders were to play their group stage matches against Mawjhai Amu, De Abasin Sape, and De Spinghar Bazan. The team once again proved its superiority in the group stage by defeating all its rivals respectively with 2 – 0, 1 – 0, and 3 – 1 results, accumulating 9 total points and with no losses, Shaheen escalated to the semi-finals of this season from the top of the group “A” table.
Toofan Harirod, the first champion of APL, 2012, were to play against Simorgh Alborz, the north zone representative, De Maiwand Atalan, the two times runner up, and Oqaban Hindukosh. Similar to Shaheen Asmayee, the team accumulated 9 total points in its respective group with a 1 – 0, 3 – 0, and another 3 – 0 victory and escalated to the semi-finals from the top of the list.
De Maiwand Atalan and De Abasin Sape were the next two teams to find way to the semi-final, respectively with 6 and 4 points. The semi-finals of this season were executed sharply with only two matches. Shaheen Asmayee went against its two times finalist rival, De Maiwand Atalan, and defeated the team with a 1 – 0 result, whilst Toofan Harirod went against De Abasin Sape and had a 4 – 0 victory over its opponent and turned out to be the finalist to play against Shaheen Asmayee in the RFAPL 2018.
The smooth journey of Toofan Harirod didn’t get disrupted at all, and the team smashed the proud title holder on the final match played on 25th October 2018 at the Football federation of Afghanistan.
The final match went to extra 30, two 15-minute halves. Toofan Harirod scored its deserved goal on the 102nd minute and played with a defense attitude for the remaining time, whereas, Shaheen Asmayee, despite all the efforts, desperately accepted the defeat as of the referee’s final whistle and Toofan Harirod, the 1st time champion of the APL in the 2012, repeated the history once again after 6 years.
Simorgh Alborz won the fair play award. Yar Mohammad Zakarkhel from Toofan Harirod won the golden boot and best player award. Hamidullah Wakili from De Maiwand Atalan was presented the best goalkeeper award of the tournament.
Watch full matches, highlights, and short clips of the RFAPL 2018 on (www.youtube.com/afghanpremierleague). To see photos of your favorite teams, players, and matches, like APL Instagram page (Afghanpremierleague.official).