By our correspondent
KARACHI: Keeping their splendid advances in tact, former champions WAPDA went clear at the top of the standings with a 4-1 victory over PMC Athletico while Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) held spirited Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to a goalless draw in their Pakistan Premier Football League matches on Monday.
At the Railways Stadium in Lahore, hosts WAPDA showed their determination to reclaim the title that was theirs for two years before KRL won it last season. Midfielder Imran Niazi struck twice while Arif Mehmood and Mehmood scored a goal each for as WPADA took their points tally to 13 from five games.
WAPDA kept the pressure right from the first whistle and it was mercurial striker Arif Mehmood who put the hosts 1-0 ahead in the 12th minute. Mehmood made it 2-0 in the 28th minute.
Faisalabad-based PMC Athletico reduced the deficit through Naveed Mumtaz in the 35th minute. But any signs of a PMC comeback diminished when former Pakistan vice-captain Imran Niazi scored a brace; his goals coming in the 70th and 80th minute to seal a comfortable victory. It was PMC Athletico’s fourth defeat who have three points from five outings.
Meanwhile, here at the Korangi Baloch Football Ground in Sharafi Goth, PIA held KPT to a goalless draw. In one of the finest shows of the season so far as either side played an open game.
PIA’s Ali Ihsan came closest to breaking the deadlock when his shot struck the cross-bar in the second-half. “It was a fine game but both sides missed quite a few chances. Though in the last 20 minutes we had an upper hand but I would appreciate KPT who gave an excellent performance,” PIA manager Tariq Lutfi told ‘The News’.
The single point stretched PIA’s points to six from five matches while KPT advanced to ten points after five appearances.
Today’s fixtures: Army v Navy (Municipal Stadium, Rawalpindi), Nushki Baloch FC v NBP (Nushki Stadium, Nushki), Afghan FC v KESC (Government High School Ground, Chaman).