KARACHI: The final round of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Cup kicked off with a huge upset as Karachi United won 2-0 against Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to put themselves in the driving seat in Group ‘A’ alongside Pakistan Army.
Fazal Mohammad’s brace saw B-division United upstage top-tier KPT at the Raiders Football Ground in Lahore while Army had a double hero in Mohammad Sarfaraz as they cruised 4-1 past Saif Textiles.
The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the quarter-finals but United, who came through to the final round through the qualifiers, are now with a big chance of making the final eight.
“Our next match against Army will be more testing but the players are now motivated and looking forward to it,” United head coach Adeel Rizki told Dawn after the match. “It’s a big step forward for us as we’re slowly starting to make a mark against the top teams of the country.”
In the three-team Group ‘D’, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) overcame Bhatti United Faisalabad 2-1 to take a huge step towards qualification to the quarter-finals and now need only a draw against Pakistan Railways on Thursday to book their spot.
Fazal was the key for United as he struck just a minute from half-time and then sealed the three points with his second in the 54th.
“It was an open match with both teams playing well and having chances,” Rizki said. “Defensively, we kept a good shape and were organised while we took the chances that came our way.”
At the Fame Sports Football Ground, Army striker Sarfraz put them ahead in the 20th minute before full-back Nisar doubled their advantage in the 58th.
Substitute Zahid Naveed made it 3-0 on the hour mark, converting a cross by Sarfraz who scored his second and Army’s fourth in the 82nd.
Saif Textiles pulled one back four minutes from time when Waqas capitalised on a defensive error PAF had Arif Nawaz to thank as they edged past Bhatti United. Arif struck in the 71st after Mohammad Latif of Bhatti United scored in the 34th to cancel out Salman Khan’s opener a minute earlier.
Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2016