by Alam Zeb Safi [The News]
Thursday, 6 September 2012
KARACHI: Pakistan Navy were off to a fine start when they edged Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 2-1 while one of the hot favourites Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) survived a scare before holding National Bank to a 1-1 draw as the 9th Pakistan Premier Football League kicked off on Wednesday.
Here at the KPT Stadium, former National Challenge Cup champions Navy did a commendable job, overcoming hosts KPT in a fast-paced, rain-soaked opener on the lush green pitch.
Right-out Sajjad Ahmad put Navy ahead in the seventh minute on a rebound. At half-time, Navy were leading 1-0. Soon after the breather, Navy doubled their lead through midfielder Farhan who capitalised on a cross from Sajjad Ahmad. After going 0-2 down, KPT inflicted a few incisive rallies to put pressure on their rivals and it paid off when midfielder Naveed Ahmad reduced their deficit with a superb goal on a corner-kick in the 70th minute. In injury time, Navy could have added to their tally but Asif Bakhsh failed to beat the goalie.
“Today we played really well,” Navy coach Lt Commander Mehfooz told ‘The News’. “It was a fast game and I give credit to my boys who kept their cool and converted the chances,” he added.
“I also appreciate the performance of my ‘keeper Mohammad Shehzad who saved a few goals and the fine start we took will help us in the time to come,” he conceded.
Meanwhile, KPT Sports Manager Shah Naeem Zafar criticised his management for wrongly fielding goalie Sajid Hussain, not the tallest of players.
“I had told my team’s management to instead field young goalkeeper Shoaib who is tall and gutsy,” Shah said. “Sajid is not the type of goalkeeper on whom you can rely against a tough team like Navy.”
“Our frontline also did not live up to the expectations and missed four or five chances which should have been converted,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, here at the Aga Khan Gymkhana Ground, Aurangzeb Senior struck in the dying moments to enable KESC hold National Bank. Earlier, following a flurry of rallies, Misbah provided National Bank the lead through a header in the 30th minute. National Bank were reduced to ten men in the 74th minute when their striker Farooq Shah was sent off for hitting the oppositions’ midfielder Jalil Ahmad with an elbow, leaving the player with blood pouring down from his forehead. He was later taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
“Yes, it was a nasty blow but it’s not that serious and Jalil will fit soon,” KESC manager Hasan Baloch said.
Hasan also criticised his forward Mohammad Rasool for missing a few chances.
“I think in the second half we could score more goals but Rasool missed two or three chances which harmed us a lot,” Hasan said.
National Bank coach Nasir Ismail was happy with the outcome.
“It was our first match and the boys played really well and particularly keeper Mohammad Omar was outstanding,” he said.
At the Railways Stadium in Lahore, Naved Ahmad’s lone goal in the 70th minute guided former champions WAPDA to a 1-0 victory over Faisalabad’s PMC Athletico.
At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Muslim FC held Afghan FC to a 1-1 draw. Jadid Pathan slotted home for Afghan FC in the 17th minute while for Muslim FC, Mohammad Hanif scored an equaliser in the 45th minute.
In Islamabad, defending champions KRL beat PAF 2-1 with Hasnain Abbas and Ahsanullah scoring goals for KRL while Mujahid struck for PAF.
Today’s fixture: HBL v PIA (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi).
9th Pakistan Premier Football League-2012(9th PPFL-2012)
Match Result (Wednesday, September 05, 2012)
Match # 1
Muslim FC Vs Afghan FC 1:1 Draw @ 1600 PST @ Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium, Quetta, Pakistan
Scorer Muslim FC: Muhammad Hanif (FW) 1 Goal @ 45 Mnt.
Scorer Afghan FC: Jadeed Khan Pathan (FW) 1 Goal @ 17 Mnt.
Yellow Card Afghan FC: Abdul Ali @ 27 Mnt and Khan Junaid @ 65 Mnt.
Yellow Card Muslim FC: Muhammad Hanif @ 39 Mnt.
Match Commissioner: GM Samad Cell # 0333-7828087
Match # 2
KRL beat PAF 2:1 @ 1600 PST @ Jinnah Football Stadium, Islamabad, Pakistan
Scorer KRL: Hussnain Abbas (MF) 1 Goal @ 9 Mnt and Ahsan Ullah (DF) 1 Goal @ 90 Mnt
Scorer PAF: Muhammad Mujahid (FW) 1 Goal @ 77 Mnt.
Yellow Card KRL: Ehsan Ullah (DF) @ 83 Mnt.
Red Card PAF: Muhammad Asif (MF) @ 40 Mnt.
Match Commissioner: Zaman Khan, Cell # 0300-5343428
Match # 3
NBP Vs KESC 1:1 Draw @ 1600 PST @ Agah Khan Gymkhana Ground, Karachi, Pakistan
Scorer NBP: Misbah (FW) 1 Goal @ 29 Mnt.
Scorer KESC: Aurangzaib (FW) 1 Goal @ 88 Minute.
Red Card NBP: Farooq Shah @ 74 Mnt.
Match Commissioner: Ahmed Ali Wasti Cell # 0334-3420304
Match # 4
Navy beat KPT 2:1 @ 1600 PST @ KPT Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan
Scorer Navy: Sajjad 1 Goal @ 7 Mnt and Farhan 1 Goal @ 53 Mnt.
Scorer KPT: Naveed Ahmed (FW) 1 Goal @ 70 Minute.
Yellow Card Navy: Shahid Naveed @ 45 Mnt.
Match Commissioner: Abdul Shakoor Baloch, Cell # 0300-5343428
Match # 5
WAPDA beat PMC ATH FC 1:0 @ 16:00 PST @ Railway Football Stadium, Lahore, Pakistan
Scorer WAPDA: Shahid Mahmood (DF) 1 Goal @ 71 Minute.
Yellow Card PMC ATH FC: Muhammad Sufian @ 61 Mnt.
Match Commissioner: Rashid Mahmood Butt, Cell # 0333-4349648
Tomorrow 9th PPFL-2012 Fixture :( Thursday, September 06, 2012)
Match # 6 HBL Vs PIA @ 1600 PST @ Peoples Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan