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Shaheen Asmayee wins RAPL 2016 Cup

3 Oct, 2016

The Roshan Afghan Premier League (RAPL) 2016 championship match between Shaheen Asmayee and De Maiwand Atalan took place at the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium on September 30, 2016. Asmayee represent central Kabul and Atalan are the south and south eastern delegates. An estimated 57% of all Afghans-at least 18.6 million viewers- in the country, as well as Afghans around the world, via the RAPL’s YouTube channel, watched the 2016 Championship match. Additionally, more than 7,000 spectators attended the final game in the AFF stadium.

The final pitch expected to be a closely contested affair and was not blown apart in the first-half as both teams maintained their unbeaten start. Shaheen, who kicked-off the eventful and lively final, showed great spirit to push their illustrious opponent all the way and kept the steam towards the end to take full advantage. Indeed, Kabul’s favorites soon realized that they are battling in the one of toughest matches in the entire fifth season.  

Though Shaheen had chances to take the lead in the first-half, still attempts were dragged off target. Hashmatullah Barekzai, Shaheen’s striker lurked to hunt an opening goal for securing an early lead. His long range strikes and shots were poor in accuracy and quality. Still, the first-half strikes and game possession helped Shaheen swing the momentum of the match in their favor, yet no opening goal was scored. On the other hand, Atalan should thank Qayom Sepand, the goalie, who revealed himself as special talent in deterring the rival threats on bar. 

As an enthralling second-half continued, Shaheen looked threatening with every attack and Atalan was sliced open. On 51 minutes, on a dreadful error by Atalan’s defender inside the penalty box Amrudin Sharifi capitalized to open the scoring through a penalty-kick. The found energy, however, soon fizzled out as Atalan’s Sayeed Ibrahimi netted the equalizer via a penalty-kick on 57 minutes on appalling lapse of Shaheen’s defender inside the penalty box.  Later to break the deadlock, Shaheen’s assault ended to a deserved 2-1 ascendency. Amrudin’s sensational scissor-kick rippled the roof of the net, leaving no room for the goalkeeper to act. 

The desire to stand as RAPL 2016 champions and to recover the deficit made Atalan to be focused on strikers and utilize any counter-strikes, yet the strategy and struggle lacked any real spark. Finally, De Maiwand Atalan conceded 2-1 the final game to Shaheen Asmayee and stood as runners-up in the RAPL 2016.  

This is the third time Shaheen Asmayee is etching its name on RAPL championship cup. 

 The match and highlights are available on the RAPL YouTube page (www.youtube.com/afghanpremierleague). More information about RAPL 2016 events can be found on (www.afghanpremierleague.com).

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