KARACHI: The 2014 edition winners Pakistan Air Force (PAF) set final date with WAPDA when they snatched a sensational win in sudden death over fighting Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) in the second semi-final of the PFF National Challenge Cup 2018 here at KPT Sports Complex on Tuesday.
Both teams managed a goal each in the scheduled and extra time and were leveled at 3-3 after taking five penalties each. In the sudden death, Saeed Babar of PCCA missed his penalty when it was splendidly saved by PAF goalie Ghazanfar.
Salman Khan of PAF then had a solid chance to put his side in the final and he did exactly that when he scored from the spot. In the first five penalties, Zain, Ubaid and Dawood struck for PCAA, while Nouman and Zaid Umar missed the target.
For PAF, international Mansoor Khan, Samad Khan and Abdul Rehman hit the net, while Mohammad Sohail Senior and Ghazanfar’s spot-kicks were acrobatically saved by PCAA keeper Sameer who had been brought for penalty shootout in place of Junaid who served under the cage for the entire field game.
Earlier, PCAA took the lead in the first half through their captain Saeed, who hit a fine field goal. Lakki Marwat-born young striker Sohail Khan leveled it for PAF in the second half. PCAA coach Siddique Sheikh was happy with his boys’ spirited display. “The boys played really well in the first half. But in the second they did not keep the pressure and conceded a goal,” Sheikh told ‘The News’.
PAF coach Mohammad Arshad said: “We had been given very tough time by PCAA in the first half in which they played extremely well,” Arshad said.“In the interval I told my boys to play long ball for the entire half and that paid dividend as we broke the momentum of the opponents,” said Arshad, a former international.
PAF will face WAPDA in the final on Thursday (tomorrow). The newly-formed PCAA will meet Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) in the bronze medal match the same day.