[By Alam Zeb Safi; The News]
KARACHI: One of the hot favourites for the current season Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) recorded their second consecutive win when they overwhelmed truncated Habib Bank Limited (HBL) 2-0 in their match of the Pakistan Premier Football League held here at the Peoples Sports Comnplex on Sunday.
Habib Bank, who were missing their main striker Muhammad Ishtiaq because of his transfer to PIA, suffered a blow when former FIFA referee Jehangir Khan sent off their midfielder Sameer Ahmed with a straight red card in the 23rd minute. International striker Abdul Rehman added to the misery of the bankers when he netted a fine field goal in the 27th minute for KESC.
KESC, led by former Pakistan captain Muhammad Essa, kept the pressure through incisive rallies. After the breather, Habib Bank showed some spark of aggression but were unable to strike. Moments before final whistle skipper Muhammad Essa scored a super goal to seal a convincing victory for KESC.
Meanwhile, in an other tie here at the CDGK Stadium National Bank (NBP) were held by PIA to a 3-3 draw. One of the probables for the Asian Games Saddam Hussain put NBP ahead with an excellent field effort in the 29th minute. However, nine minutes latter Hasnain Abbas brought an equaliser for Nasrullah-led PIA.
Nasrullah placed PIA 2-1 ahead in the 40th minute before former Pakistan vice-captain Abdul Aziz brought the parity for the bankers in the 57th minute. In the 69th minute midfielder Farooq Shah, who has also the experience of playing in the Swedish league, put NBP. But they failed to maintain the lead as Muhammad Ishtiaq landed the equaliser for PIA in the 86th minute.
At the KPT Stadium, SSGC suffered their second straight defeat when they went 1-2 down against hosts KPT. Their defender Abdul Samad was responsible for the defeat as in confusion he dragged the right wing cross of KPT winger Zafar Majeed into his own net in the 81st minute when the clash was evenly poised with 1-1. Winger Asim Faiz gave SSGC the lead just before breather. But Jalal Uddin made it 1-1 in the 69th minute before Samad’s own goal in the end which sealed the fate of the game in favour of the hosts.
Today’s fixtures: Afghan FC v Nushki’s Baloch FC (Jamal Nasir Stadium, Chaman), Army v KRL (Municipal Stadium, Rawalpindi), PAF v Navy (Qayyum Stadium, Peshawar).