Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Debutants Lyallpur FC surprised former champions Army with a goalless draw in the Pakistan Premier Football League at the Railways Stadium in Lahore on Thursday.
Lyallpur FC, who opened their account with a single point after four appearances, gave tough time to the soldiers, who joined Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) on eight points.
Faisalabad-based Lyallpur FC coach Mohammad Habib was very happy with the outcome. “I had told you that we would make a comeback. Our team is not so bad and today the lot played technical football and the result is before you,” Habib told ‘The News’ from Lahore.
He said that they had good ball possession throughout, which was a plus point for his side. “The team has shown real spark. It played like a unit, had good control and you will get further good news against tough sides,” Habib said.
Habib is counted among the best young coaches in Pakistan and is an AFC License B holder, which is a requirement of the league for supervising a team.
The Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is imposing Rs25,000 fine per match on teams that do not have a License B coach.
Around nine players of WAPDA are playing for Lyallpur FC in the league.
Army skipper Mehmood Ahmed said that they missed a few open net chances.
“Our rivals played well but we were harmed by the missed chances,” said Mehmood, who has replaced Jaffar both as skipper and goalkeeper in the league because of Jaffar’s injury.
Jaffar, who is nursing a serious knee injury, is not likely to feature in any event for one year. He was dropped from the national squad just a day before the outfit’s departure for Kabul for a friendly against Afghanistan last month.
“We were unlucky when Imran Hussain’s drive crashed the pole in the last minute,” said Mehmood, who belongs to Faisalabad, which has been producing top players for the country.
Today’s fixtures: KPT v KESC (KPT Stadium, Karachi), WAPDA v PAF (Railways Stadium, Lahore).