KARACHI: Habib-ur-Rehman’s first half goal enabled Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to break the unbeaten run of former four-time winners Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) when they defeated them 1-0 in their crucial outing of Pakistan Premier Football League here at KMC Stadium on Monday.
In front of a sizable crowd, Habib provided lead to SSGC in the 13th minute which the hosts defended till the end. “It was a good match,” SSGC coach Tariq Lutfi told ‘The News’. “We played much better in the first half. We also missed a couple of chances. In the second half we faced some pressure from KRL but I am happy we controlled the situation till the end,” Tariq said.
He said he had tested some young talent in the game. “We gave chance to rookies Ubaid and Amanullah who made their league debut. I am happy with the way they played in the tough game,” said Tariq, who has also coached KRL.
Sajjad Mehmood, the KRL coach, said SSGC won because they played better. “It was a superb game. SSGC played well. We had an upper hand in the second half but we squandered two chances. In the dying moments Danish squandered a good opportunity,” Sajjad said.
This was the seventh win for SSGC. They have 24 points from 13 outings. KRL, who faced the first loss this season, still lead the race with 26 points from 13 matches.At the same venue earlier in the day, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) pulled off their fourth win when they overcame Navy 2-0. Dawood and Sher Ali hit one goal apiece in the first half.
“It was a hot and humid day. The pitch was also hard but I am happy that we managed a victory,” NBP coach Nasir Ismail told this correspondent.“We also missed three to four goals. But it’s fine. We will try to further raise our performance,” Nasir said.
The victory enabled NBP to surge to the seventh place from 11th, with 17 points from 13 meetings.The loss left Navy struggling at 14 points from 13 outings.
At KPT Sports Complex, former two-time champions Army jumped to the third spot when they defeated Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) 2-1 thanks to first half goals from Ansar Abbas and Umar Waqar.
PCAA reduced the deficit through Saeed in the 56th minute. Army have 24 points from 13 matches. PCAA are gasping at 14 points after 13 appearances.