Kabul’s Shaheen Asmayee wins Afghan Premier League title

By: The Kabul Times

KABUL: Shaheen Asmayee Football Club won the Afghan Premier League’s (APL) championship for the fifth time after defeating Simorgh Alborz F.C. in the final match on Friday.

The match ended 1-0 in favor of Shaheen Asmayee.  The match started with multiple attacks from the two sides. Shaheen’s Fardin Hakimi scored the first goal for his team in the 19th minute of the match.

Simorgh Alborz scored a goal in the 30th minute of the match but the assistant referee announced offside. Simorgh players continued their attacks and had another chance in 35th minute of the match but could not score a goal.

The second match started with many attempts by Simorgh Alborz. Shaheen players had some chances in counterattacks but none of them resulted in a goal.

In 58th minute of the match, Anwar Akbari of Simorgh Alborz created a chance for his team to score a goal but it was nicely defended by Shaheen Asmayee’s goalkeeper.

The stadium was packed with thousands of spectators, including prominent Afghan political leaders like First Vice President Amrullah Saleh, Abdullah Abdullah head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, parliament speaker and cabinet members.

Shaheen Asmayee, De Maiwand Atalan, Toofan Harirod, Simorgh Alborz, Mawjhai Amu, De Spinghar Bazan, De Abasin Sape, and Oqaban Hindukosh are the eight APL teams representing all 34 provinces in Afghanistan.

The four teams in the semifinals round were Shaheen Asmayee, De Spin Ghar Bazan, Toofan Harirod, and Simorgh Alborz.

Last time Shaheen Asmayee won the championship was in 2017 when it won the match against De Maiwand Atalan 4-3. Shaheen was stopped by Toofan Harirod two years after that in 2018 and 2019.

Simorgh Alborz has advanced to the final round of the Afghan Premier League three times, including this year, but has not been able to win the title.

The theme for the ninth year of the Afghan Premier League was once again “one nation, one voice.”

Shaheen Asmayee Football Club is representing the capital Kabul, while Simorgh Alborz is representing the northern zone of Afghanistan.

Shaheen Asmayee faced De Spin Ghar Bazan Football Club in the semifinals in which it won the match 2-0. Shaheen advanced to the finals with three wins and seven points.   Simorgh Alborz also had three wins but it had four points when it advanced to the finals.

Toofan Harirod Football Club from the western zone won last year’s championship. Toofan was stopped by Simorgh Alborz in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, thousands of Afghans attended the final match of Afghanistan’s Premier League (APL) on Friday evening with the hope that the country will achieve an enduring peace and that more of such events are held in Kabul and other cities.

The Afghanistan Football Federation stadium hosted thousands of spectators for the thrilling final match between Shaheen Asmayee and Simorgh Alborz football clubs. Football fans said they attend the event to demonstrate harmony and solidarity among the people and to reiterate their call for peace in war-hit Afghanistan. Other participants said the big sport event proved that Afghanistan “will never go back.”

“My message is that we should all come together and call for peace,” said Mohammad Haroon, a participant of the event, as quoted by a Kabul based TV channel broadcasting the event, ToloTv.

“I am so excited to see people here together. I hope peace comes to the country,” said Shakoor, a participant of the event.

Hundreds of women attended the event who shouted the theme of the football league: one nation, one voice.  “We don’t want to go back,” said Beheshta, a participant. “We want peace, and we don’t want to lose the achievements we have got with many hardships.”

“Our participation at this event is because we want peace and all ethnic groups proved that the solution for each problem in the country is in our unity,” said Venus, a participant.

The calls for peace by Afghans come amidst an increase in violence in various parts of the country and amidst the ongoing peace negotiations in Doha.

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