KARACHI: Pakistan Air Force (PAF) inflicted a narrow 1-0 defeat on National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to surge to the top spot on the points table in their crucial game of the 12th Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KPT Stadium on Saturday.
Faisal hit the lone goal of the match in the 34th minute.
“It was a much-needed win,” PAF coach Mohammad Arshad told ‘The News’.
“The players did a fine job and every one put in their hundred percent. If we are able to win our remaining three matches then we will surely press for the title,” said Arshad, also a former international.
He was also happy with the way his international striker Mansoor Khan is playing in the league.
“Mansoor is our main player and he is very much committed to the team cause. He had also played really well against Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC),” Arshad said.
The win took PAF to 46 points from 23 outings. They are now one point clear of second-placed Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) who stand at 45. However KRL have played 22 matches and still have four games in hand.
The loss left NBP at 33 points from 23 matches.
Meanwhile in the other show here at the Korangi Baloch Football Ground, Navy pulled off their 13th win when they edged past former two-time champions Army 1-0 after a tough clash in front of a sizable crowd.
After a barren but action-packed first half Navy eventually took the decisive lead through Hafiz Faiz in the 72nd minute.
The win took Navy to 27 points from 22 outings. This was the eighth victory for Navy this season.
The loss left Army at 37 points after 22 meetings.
At the Colony Sports Ground, Chaman’s Muslim FC held former four-time champions WAPDA to a goalless draw.
Both sides offered tough resistance but failed to strike due to poor finishing.
The single point moved WAPDA to 40 points from 23 matches. Muslim FC took themselves to 21 points after 23 appearances.
The league is in the decisive phase.
However, FIFA-recognised PFF has issued schedule of the 14-team event until December 31.
The issue is that on December 31 the control of the federation will be taken by the newly-elected PFF from the FIFA-recognised body.
And it is more likely that the control of the league will also be shifted to the new body being headed by Syed Ashfaq Hussain from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The players and officials were found confused on Saturday, not knowing about the fate of the league.
“It’s really a complicated situation. I think the league should stay as usual as teams have invested a lot.
The PFF has also invested in the league and it should not be stopped,” a team official told this correspondent. The newly-elected body is expected to keep the league.