Clubs reign supreme in Pakistan Premier League


The News, Karachi

KARACHI: Muslim FC and Afghan FC recorded identical 1-0 victories over National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Habib Bank Limited (HBL), respectively, in the Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KPT Stadium on Thursday.

In another game Navy overcame Pak Afghan Clearing Agency (PACA), also with a 1-0 margin to secure three crucial points.

NBP, who had won a few consecutive matches in the start of the season, lost another game when they went down against Chaman-based Muslim FC after a tough fight.

Tahir hit the winner for Muslim FC at the start of the first half. The victory took them to 21 points from 11 appearances.

Muslim FC’s coach Dawood Khan said it was a good victory. “We were missing some of our key players due to injuries and illness. I am really happy that we grabbed full points by beating the tough National Bank side,” Dawood told ‘The News’. “There is a great difference between departments and clubs. Unlike the departments we are short of players, which creates a big problem for us,” Dawood said. The loss frustrated NBP’s coach Nasir Ismail. “I am really disappointed as luck has not been favouring us for the last four matches despite our top effort,” Nasir told this correspondent. “The players played with great spirit but I don’t know why most of our shots either crashed goal post or the cross bar,” said Nasir, an AFC License A coach.

The defeat left the bankers at 16 points from 12 matches.

Nasir admitted that NBP were in trouble. “Yes, we are in great trouble as other teams are moving up the table while we are going down.” Niamatullah’s second half winner gifted Afghan FC a narrow 1-0 victory over struggling Habib Bank.

“Our team missed a lot of chances,” HBL coach Yousuf Khan said. “We had dominated the game throughout and it has shocked me a lot that we lost in spite of great effort,” he said.

The victory elated Afghan FC’s manager Adam Khan. “It was a great win,” he said. “Both sides played tough football and several counterattacks were witnessed,” Adam said.

The victory helped Afghan FC move to 15 points. HBL are reeling at 16 points.

At the Korangi Baloch Football Ground in Sharafi Goth, Amin Khan’s solitary goal in the 54th minute guided Navy to a narrow triumph over Chaman-based PACA.