KARACHI: In the end, the quarter-final against Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was a hurdle too high for Karachi United.

United’s glorious run in the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Cup came to an end on Tuesday when the second-division side lost 1-0 in their last-eight clash at the Raiders Football Club Ground in Lahore.

But they did give a good account of themselves, negotiating two rounds — qualification and the final — to reach the quarters.

Ultimately, a goal by Pakistan international striker Mohammad Mujahid proved to be their undoing.

“Overall it was a good tournament for us,” United coach Adeel Rizki told Dawn after his side’s best-ever performance in a national-level event.

“Now we go back to the drawing board and sort out how to overcome our weaknesses. The bar has been set now and hopefully we will come back stronger.”

United had kept PAF’s Mujahid and exciting winger Mansoor Khan at bay during the first half.

But their defence was eventually breached when Mujahid turned in a sumptuous cross by Mansoor in the 73rd minute.

United pushed for an equaliser, looking to extend their run in the PFF Cup, but PAF held on for victory to advance to a semi-final clash against either Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) or Wapda.

“They [United] gave us a tough time,” PAF coach Arshad Khan said. “They are an improving team and one to look out for in the future.”

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2016

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