KARACHI: Army’s hopes of finishing as the runners-up ended on Thursday when they went 0-1 down against National Bank, while Karachi Port Trust (KPT) held WAPDA to a 1-1 draw in the 9th Pakistan Premier Football League here.
At the Korangi Baloch Football Ground in Sharafi Goth, Army, who needed a win to keep their hopes alive for ending at the second place, failed to live up to the expectations when they were edged by the bankers who almost confirmed their sixth place in the season as they moved to 41 points from 29 games.
Mohammad Asif scored the winner for the hosts in the 40th minute.
Army’s defender Shakeel Ahmed was sent off for making foul in the area in the 61st minute which created problems for the visitors.
“Our main goal was to beat Army and we did that,” National Bank coach Nasir Ismail told ‘The News’. “Our defenders Rai Akmal Shehzad, Misbah-ul-Hasan and keeper Mohammad Omar did an excellent job,” said Nasir, a former Pakistan assistant coach.
“We were held to a 1-1 draw by Army in our away game and we wanted to beat them at any cost today,” said Nasir.
Army’s skipper Jaffar Khan blamed his frontline for the defeat. “We missed too many chances,” Jaffar said. “If you don’t convert chances then you will face a goal in response,” said Jaffar, also Pakistan team captain.
“Despite being a keeper I was playing in the centre but if one does not score goals what can be done then,” the dejected skipper said.
“We have been badly hit by the weakness of the frontline throughout the season and that is why we have slid and now it seems likely that we will finish at the fourth place,” Jaffar observed.
National Bank’s defender Rai Akmal Shehzad was adjudged the best player of the show.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) referees’ assessor from Hong Kong assessed the performance of FIFA referee Hidayatullah of Nushki during the match.
He will be assessed by another assessor in the coming days after which it will be decided if Hidayatullah is suitable for conducting international matches in Asia.
The loss left Army at 57 points from 29 meetings. They are to face KPT in their final match on January 14. Army’s fall against National Bank benefitted KESC who will end as the runners-up if they beat WAPDA in their last match on January 13.
Muslim FC, having 59 points, are sure to stretch their tally to 62 as PAF are unlikely to appear for their game on Saturday (tomorrow) at Chaman. PAF have already forfeited two games they had to play in Balochistan.
If KESC beat WAPDA then Muslim FC will end third.
Here at the KPT Stadium, the game between KPT and former four-time champions WAPDA ended in a draw. Mohammad Ahmed put WAPDA ahead in the 31st minute before defender Ghulam Raza hit an equaliser for hosts KPT on penalty in the 47th minute.
KPT inflated their tally to 31 from 29 matches, while WAPDA moved to 32 points from 29 appearances.
Navy are scheduled to face Afghan FC here at the Naval Sports Complex in Karsaz on Friday (today). But sources said that the Chaman-based outfit is not likely to come to the port city.
9th Pakistan Premier Football League-2012 (9th PPFL-2012)
Match Results (Thursday, December 10, 2013)
Match # 232
NBP beat Army 1:0 @ 14:30 PST @ Korangi Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan
Scorer NBP: Muhammad Asif (FW) 1 Goal @ 40 Mnt.
Yellow Card NBP: Rai Akmal Shahzad (DF) @ 79 Mnt and Muhammad Umar (GK) @ 90+3 Mnt.
Yellow Card Army: Muhammad Rizwan (FW) @ 10 Mnt.
Red Card Army: Shakeel Ahmed (DF) @ 61 Mnt.
Best Scorer: Muhammad Asif (FW) of NBP
Best Player: Rai Akmal Shahzad (DF) of NBP
Match Commissioner: Muhammad Iqbal Baloch Junior Cell # 0333-3329892
Match # 233
KPT Vs WAPDA 1:1 Draw @ 14:30 PST @ KPT Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan
Scorer KPT: Ghulam Raza (DF) 1 Goal through Penalty Kick @ 47 Mnt.
Scorer WAPDA: Muhammad Ahmed (FW) 1 Goal @ 31 Mnt.
Yellow Card KPT: Ahsan Ullah (GK) @ 88 Mnt.
Best Scorer: Muhammad Ahmed (FW) of WAPDA
Best Player: Junaid Qadir (MF) of
Match Commissioner: Abdul Shakoor Baloch Cell # 0321-9299986
9th Pakistan Premier Football League (9th PPFL-2012)
Tomorrow Fixture :( Friday, January 11, 2013)
Match # 234 Navy Vs Afghan FC @ 14:30 PST @ PNS Karsaz Ground, Karachi, Pakistan