Lahore, 31 October; Pakistan Premier Football League resumed at Karachi after 30-day break as the six Karachi-based outfits faced other ten opposition from Nushki, Chaman, Lahore, Faisalabad, Sahiwal, Rawalpindi, Peshawar.
PIA edged out Afghan FC 2-0 with two terrific second half strikes in the first leg at Korangi Baloch Stadium, Sharafi, Karachi, with second leg coming up at Chaman’s Govt. High School ground in 15 days time.
After 0-0 tense first half, the game plan of Tariq Lutfi and Muhammad Shamim was fully utilized by the airliners as they struck two goals in the last 24 minutes. Left full Ali Ehsan, a Faisalabad-born twenty years old wing full back caught Afghan keeper and skipper Jehangir Khan stranded with 30 metre angular drive in the 66th minute. It was first goal for Ehsan – gold medallist for Wohaib in the National U21 Championship four years ago- in the event that crossed halfway mark. Karachi-born Muhammad Ishtiaq, who joined PIA from HBL this year, sealed the fate of the match with sweetly-timed drive in the 75th minute from the edge of the area. It was 15th match for both teams with PIA overtaking Afghan with 29 points leaving on Afghan 26. PIA is now third behind Pakistan WAPDA (41) and Army (33 pts).
KPT- Baloch FC clash at KPT – Benazir Sports Complex, West Wharf Road, Kharadar,Karachi also turned out to be the first leg with KPT winning thriller 4-3. Both will face each other again in 15 November second leg at Nushki Stadium, Nushki. KPT, under skipper Naseer Ahmed, occupied supremacy in the match with international winger Zafar Majeed (19 min) and shortly-built opportunist speaerhead Muhammad bin Younos (31 min) giving them 4-1 lead in the initial stages. Naseer was one of the scorer in the 36th minute – the 300th of the event – and Naveed Ahmed enhanced the lead to 4-1 four minutes after re-start.
Baloch Club did well to score three goals against the tough opponents with spearhead Zafar Ahmed scoring in the 30th minute while defender Muhammad Akbar and winger Habib Ullah did the damage in the closing minutes, hammering the ball past Sajid Hussain in the 80th and 87th minute respectively. 1990 NFCC Gold medallist KPT earned 26 points in 15 games while as many games saw Baloch FC producing 13 points. Baloch FC finished 14th and last in the last edition with eight points in 26 matches.
Monday 1 November Fixture
Pakistan Navy v PMC (Municipal Stadium, Saidpur Road, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi 12.30 PM), KRL v PEL (Municipal Stadium, Saidpur Road, Satellite Town, Rawalpindi 3 PM), SSGC v KESC (KPT – Benazir Sports Complex, West Wharf Road, Kharadar,Karachi 3 PM), HBL v NBP (Peoples Sports Complex, Mauripur Road, Lyari Town, Karachi 3 PM)