KARACHI: Following a few bad days, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) defeated strong Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) 2-1 in their important fixture of the 12th Pakistan Premier Football League here at KPT Stadium on Wednesday.
Discarded international Mohammad Mujahid provided lead to PAF in the 20th minute. Seven minutes later international striker Mansoor Khan, who joined his team hours after returning from Doha, doubled their lead in the 27th minute when he hit from the spot.
In the 29th minute SSGC reduced the deficit when Mohammad Tahir landed a clinical goal. At half time PAF were leading 2-1. In the second half, a tough fight was witnessed with both sides doing their best.SSGC, being coached by former Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi, created a few solid opportunities but failed to level the score.
PAF’s coach Mohammad Arshad said it was a tough match. “It was a tough game as SSGC also played well,” Arshad told ‘The News’. “We were lucky to have got our front-runner Mansoor and defender Mehdi Hasan who were with Pakistan team. They reached early this morning and we told them to take some rest as we needed their services due to injuries to some of our key players. Both played well,” Arshad said.
“We have to play four more matches and we hope to produce hundred percent results which will enable us to press for the crown,” said Arshad, a former international. With the three points, PAF now are at the second spot, having 43 points from 22 outings. The loss left SSGC at 41 points from 22 encounters.
At Korangi Baloch Football Ground, former four-time champions WAPDA recorded their 12th win of the season when they downed National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) 2-0 to take their points to 39 from 22 outings.
After a barren but action-packed first half, Usman Mansoor put WAPDA ahead in the 48th minute. Arbab Basit doubled their lead in the 82nd minute to seal a comfortable win for the Lahore-based side. The loss left NBP at 33 points from 22 meetings.
In the other clash at the same venue, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) held former four-time winners Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) to a goalless draw.Both sides offered tough resistance to each other through fine rallies but failed to score.
KRL took their points to 45 at the summit after 22 meetings. KPT are gasping at 15 points from 22 matches.