The PFF Cup 2016 saw a further 3 more group stage games decided today (11 February 2016) at its two venues in Lahore.
The day began with Group D game at Raiders FC Ground in Faisal Town as Pakistan Air Force earned a hard fought 2-1 win over Railways. PAF, National champions in 1986, took the lead in 28th minuter after Pakistan international striker Mansoor Khan curled in a freekick from 20 yards out. PAF then led 2-0 when Muhammad Sohail Jr coverted a cross from Irfan Ali just before half time.
Railways – national champions in 1969 and 1984 – responded in 2nd half as Wajid Ali Khan blasted the ball from outside the box to make it 2-1 in 51st minute. However, PAF held their nerve in remaining minutes to hold onto their lead to win Group D and qualify for quarterfinals of the PFF Cup. The winner of the Railways vs Bhatti United game on 13 February will confirm the other side that joins PAF in next round from the three team group.
Later the day at same venue, Karachi United’s young side went through a baptism of fire as an aggressive and physical Pakistan Army beat them 2-0. Army, 4 time former national champions and twice PFF Cup winners, dominated Karachi United from the start as Najeeb ur Rehman gave the Soldiers the lead after just 3 minutes played.
Both sides created ample opportunities but Army outmuscled their opponents as their skipper and former Pakistan U21 international Ansar Abbas – infamously sent off against Malaysia U21 back in 2011 Olympic football qualifiers – made it 2-0 in 73rd minute to decide the tie. Army’s aggressive tackling earned them 4 yellow cards from referee Shahid Hussain. The win guaranteed Army’s progress to next round while Karachi United now needing a win against Saif Textiles two days later to enter next round.
At Fame FC Ground in Model Town, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) recovered from a shock loss to Karachi United two days back to trounce lowly Saif Textiles 3-1 in other Group A encounter. Muhammad Jalil scored for Portmen after just 2 minutes, yet Saif Textiles equalised just before half time through Ali Raza. But KPT – PFF Cup winners in 1990 – dominated the 2nd half with goals from internationals Junaid Qadir (70th minute) and Shakir Taj (90+1 minute) to win and earn three precious points.
On 12 February 2016, 4 more PFF Cup group games will be held. In Group B, WAPDA face SSGC while Navy face Police. In Group C, KRL face SNGPL while NBP face Ashraf Sugar Mills.
From PFF Cup 2016 Media Coordinator Riaz Ahmed