News - Sports
The semi-finals for Afghanistan's first football league begin tomorrow after the third week of matches saw the west zone's team Toofan Harirod continue to dominate.
The first semi-final for the Roshan Afghan Premier League (APL) will be played between De Maiwand Atalan and Simorgh Alborz on Thursday October 11, while Toofan Harrirod and Spinghar Bazan will face each other on Friday.
The winners of the semi-finals will play for the championship title in a grand final on Friday October 19.
Last week's four matches aptly demonstrated the future football potential for the Afghan national team amid praise for the league's capacity to unite the embattled country.
Toofan Harrirod has dominated the season, ranking 1st on the APL ladder with 9 points after scoring high and remaining undefeated in all four of their matches.
In their last encounter with Mawjhai Amu last Friday, Harrirod scored four goals while their opponents failed to score any.
On Thursday, Group A teams Da Abasin Sape and Shaheen Asmayee came head to head for their final encounter. With both teams already knocked out of the semi-final, expectations for an exciting match were low.
But Asmayee entertained, finally defeating an opposing team after having been beaten themselves in its three previous matches, winning by three goals to nil.
Last week's Wednesday match was played between semi-final contenders from the north zone Simorgh Alborz and the central zone Oqaban Hindukosh.
Alborz ultimately prevailed over the Hindukosh in a tense match with a 2:1 score.
Last week's Tuesday match between two semi-finalists, the south west's De Maiwand Atalan and the east zone's Spinghar Bazan, was a low-scoring nail-biter with both teams fighting hard but only managing to score one goal each.
Toofan Harrirod and Simorgh Alborz are the top ranking teams from Group B with 9 and 6 points respectively while De Maiwand Atalan and De Spinghar Bazan have 7 points each from Group A.
The APL has already proven popular throughout the country with an Afghanistan High Peace Council (HPC) official hailing it as an opportunity to bring peace and stability as it brings people a new focus to unite with something non-political.
"Sport and the arts are effective in bringing peace to the country, and as a peace ambassador, so I see this program as effective in bringing all nations together," HPC Foreign Relations Advisor Esmayel Qasimyar said Tuesday.
Afghan Football Federation officials said the league will be held next year as well.