Karachi United FC (KU) and Baluch Mujahid concluded the last match of their ongoing friendly series in front of the Guest of Honour, Andreas Bruck (Fan Attendant from FC Bayern Munich) accompanied by football journalist Maaz Ahmed.
Andreas who is travelling to Doha, Qatar to accompany the Bayern team which is undertaking a short tour during the winter break was in Karachi for a few days and witnessed a few games of the ongoing 9th Pakistan Premier Football League 2012-13 as well (PIA vs KESC, HBL vs Army). He expressed his disappointment over prevalence of department teams and zero crowds in PPFL matches he saw.
KU hosted Andreas at the request of Maaz and they witnessed a last gasp KU win. The match itself was an up and down affair as both teams struggled to keep any meaningful possession. The first half also saw few clear cut chances, with the best falling to Baluch Mujahid, whose midfielder, Omar was at the heart of their best play. However, KU’s young keeper, Hamza Ayaz was in outstanding form and made some fine saves.
Although by German standards, it was still t-shirt weather, the teams appeared to be affected by the temperature in Karachi as they struggled with the elements. As a result, the game became more open in the second half. KU’s best attacking play came through midfielder, Shahrukh Chaudhary, winger Mehmood A. Shah and forward Usman ‘Kez’ Iqbal. In the 55th minute, Shahrukh lit up proceedings with a strong run and cross but Usman was unable to finish the move. Later, Athar Qadri scuffed his left foot shot when he was put through by substitute, Zain Siddiqi. Usman was also unlucky as after a good through ball by Shahrukh, his shot hit the woodwork.
Baluch Mujahid also pushed for the elusive winner and Naveed, Omar and Bilal tested the KU defence and keeper on multiple occasions but the back four of Moiz Salahuddin, Khurram Ibrahim, Saifullah Mengal and skipper, Hamza Khan held firm. Young keeper Hamza Ayaz was exceptional in goal but having taken a bad knock towards the end of the game, was substituted.
Finally, minutes before the end, a Shahrukh corner seemed to elude everyone but Saifullah was quickest to react as he headed home the bouncing ball in the roof of the net, his third goal in four games. KU held on for the last few minutes to win the game 1-0 and also the series 5-3 (with 2 draws).
Before the game, Andreas was introduced to the teams alongwith Master Ghulam Rasool and Abid of Baluch Mujahid and exchanged souvenirs. Imran Ali (Director Youth KU) and Riaz Ahmed of Karachi United Football Foundation were also present on the occasion.
KU Team: Hamza Ayaz, Osama Nini (goalkeepers); Moiz Salahuddin, Khurram Ibrahim, Saifullah Mengal, Hamza Khan (C); (defenders); Shahrukh Chaudhary, Athar Qadri, Ahmed Garib, Taha Alizai, Mehmood Shah, Zain Siddiqi, Omar Akhtar (midfielders); Usman Iqbal, Usama Nasim (forwards)