The recently installed lights beamed on inside the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium and thousands of spectators gathered to cheer their team and enjoy the 2017 Afghan Premier League (APL) final match. The south zone representatives, De Maiwand Atalan went head to head with Shaheen Asmayee, the capital Kabul ambassadors. The rousing evening final match was kicked-off at 5:30 pm.
This was the first spectators’ event to be played in the evening in Afghanistan since 1979, nearly four decades.
Shaheen Asmayee made a superb start in front of a vocal crowd by early pressure and relentless strikes in the first-half to blow apart the closely contested affair game. Yet, neither Shaheen nor Atalan could claim an early lead until Reza Allah Yari, Shaheen’s striker, enjoyed the left-wing cross and nailed the opener on 43 minutes. Shortly, Anwar Akbari doubled the lead in the first-half extra-time for Shaheen to stop the rivals with 2-0 in the first-stoppage.
Back to the second-half, Atalan was keen to seal a “record-breaking evening” and made a strong comeback with two goals on 47 and 62 minutes through Yar Mohammad Zakarkhail and Amrudin Sharifi.
The rousing final match ended 2-2 in the second-half. Another 30 minutes was left to determine the champions. In the first 15 minutes of extra-times, Shaheen Asmayee superbly netted two goals to increase the goal tally, a tough recovery challenge for Atalan.
Naser Halimi of De Maiwand Atalan nailed the 3rd goal on 24 minutes of extra-times with a hope for draw, however, the wish did not come through.
Keeping the 4-3, Shaheen Asmayee triumphed over De Maiwand Atalan and won the 2017 APL championship cup for the second back-to-back year. This is the second consecutive season that Atalan comes as the runners-up too.
Anwar Akbar of Shaheen Asmayee won Man of the Match Award of the final game.
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