I believe that the past progressive tense can be used with defined periods of time. However, A Practical English Grammar (A.J. Thomson, 1986) says that the simple past tense is used for well-defined periods.
John played football yesterday from 5 to 7 pm.
John was playing football yesterday from 5 to 7 pm.
These examplary sentences are my own but according to Thomson, sentence 2 would be incorrect, meaning it should be in the simple past tense "John played football from 5 to 7 pm.".
Thomson says, "The past continuous is chiefly used for past actions which continued for some time but whose exact limits are not known and are not important."
I would need some people's take here. I believe that both are okay, it purely depends on what the speaker wants to communicate.
NOTE: This question is not about John was playing football yesterday at 8 pm. or similar thematics.