SSGC remain goalless, Mansoor keeps Army at bay

SSGC remain goalless, Mansoor keeps Army at bay

Multan, 6 October 2018: The 12th Pakistan Premier Football League 2018 – Multan leg at the Qilla Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium continued with another round of drawn results last night on Thursday, 5 October.

Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and its goalless miseries continued as they were held to another 0-0 draw, this time against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). Desperate for a win after a 1-0 loss to Army on 2 October, SSGC’s star studded lineup again stuttered against a cautious NBP in the 8:30 PM kickoff.

Match was largely confined to midfield with both sides lacking finishing touch to break the deadlock. Result means SSGC remain on 2 points after 3 games with no goals to their name while NBP with 4 points in 3 games would be satisfied for now.

The return of coach Tariq Lutfi from Socca World Cup duty with Leisure Leagues’ Pakistan team would be hoped to make SSGC more incisive if they are to justify their chances of challenging for the PPFL.

The 10:45 PM kick-off saw Pakistan Army take on Pakistan Air Force (PAF), with PTI MNA from Multan Mian Aamir Dogar in attendance as chief guest.

The match was a cracking encounter between the two armed services as the winner could leapfrog KRL and be top of the table. PAF, looking to stake their claim to PPFL title chances, dominating opening minutes and looked threatening to score. PAF skipper and former Pakistan international Muhammad Mujahid came close forcing a save from Army’s veteran goalkeeper Jaffar Khan.

But the star of the show was PAF winger Mansoor Khan. The Kohat-born hero of Pakistan’s 2011 SAFF U16 Championship win was in fine form and constantly troubled Army’s defences. A speculative ball from team-mate Ali Raza found Mansoor in acres of space down the left flank as he surged towards goal and smartly finished to make it 1-0 to PAF after 27 minutes played.

Not to be outdone, Army pressed hard for equaliser and some uncertain PAF defending allowed vice-captain Anser Abbas to smash home the equaliser in 38th minute. Anser has been crucial for Army’s chances going forward as the game was poised an even 1-1 at half time.

The second half saw Army take the lead themselves when international defender Shahbaz Younas’ looping header off a corner kick beat PAF goalkeeper Aamir Shafiq to make it 2-1 in 49th minute. PAF tried to assert themselves for an equaliser but Army looked threatening on the counter.

However, Mansoor saved his best for last when an Army clearance fell just right form him in the box and he superbly volleyed past Jaffar Khan with his left foot in 69th minute to make it 2-2. The game eventually finished with this score with KRL remaining top the table on superior goal difference with SNGPL, K-Electric, Army and PAF all tied with them on 5 points after 3 games.

With PIA vs Navy to be postponed due to PIA’s continued absence from Multan, tomorrow night sees Baloch FC Nushki face Ashraf Sugar Mills of Bahawalpur at 8:30 PM kick off.