Lahore, 11 November: Islamabad-born lanky right-winger Muhammad Qasim struck ninth hat-trick of Pakistan Premier Football League as holders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) trounced PEL 4-0 at Model Town Football Ground, Lahore. KRL manager Ayaz Butt asked Qasim, Mudassar Saeed and Ghazi Khan to take responsibility in frontline as their six key players Samar Ishaq,Yasir Afridi, Muhammad Adil, Kalim Ullah Khan, Rizwan Asif, Mehmood Khan were called for China’s Asian Games 20-player squad.
Qasim, who struck hat-trick against Guam in 9-2 win in AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers (Group-A), 6 April 2008 at Chinese Taipei’s Chungshan Stadium in Taipei, proved himself sharp shooter with three dazzling goals against PEL’s keeper Saqib Hanif. It was ninth hat-trick of the event providing Qasim three goals in the 23rd, 33rd and 52nd minute.
Ace Pakistani striker Muhammad Rasool, top scorer in 2008 PPFL as well as 2010 SFL, slammed slammed 8th hat-trick in KESC’s 4-2 resounding win over Afghan FC on Monday.. Earlier on 1 November, Pakistani and KESC skipper Essa, SAG Gold Medallist in 2004, 2006, hammered his three goals past keeper Zaman Ghani (SSGC) to complete seventh hat-trick of the event. Arif Mehmood (WAPDA) struck first two against Sahiwal’s Young Blood at Rai Ali Nawaz Stadium, Sahiwal and Railway Stadium, Lahore on 21 and 24 Sep 2010, followed by international Zafar Majeed (KPT)’s heroic against NBP at Korangi Baloch Stadium, Karachi on 25 September 2010. The fourth hat-trick went into record book when Jadeed Khan (Afghan FC) did the feat against Young Blood at Rai Ali Nawaz Stadium on 14 October 2010. Ageing Super Sub Khuda Bakhsh (WAPDA) followed it with memorable three goals against KPT at Railway Stadium, Lahore on 22 Oct 2010 and three days later Nomi Martin Gill (Navy) proved too smart for SSGC at Municplal Stadium , Rawalpindi.
Qasim showed his effectiveness when KRL won the National Football Challenge Cup (NFCC) and Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL 2009). He, infact, struck the winning goal of the NFCC final when KRL brushed aside PIA 1-0 at HESCO-controlled Shaheed Umaid Ali Kaimkhani Stadium, near Qasimabad Police Station on 28 April 2009. KRL retained the NFCC title when they imposed 4-0 win over Pakistan Navy to win final of 20th NBP NFCC at Multan’s Qila Kuhna Qasim Bagh on 29 April 2010 under flood-lit system.
Born on 1 May 1984, Qasim earned gold medal during 10th South Asian Games 2006, followed by 19th World Cup Qualifier 2007, Pokhara Series at Nepal 2008, SAFF Championship 2008, Malaysia Test 08, Prime Minister Cup 2009.
With PPFL’s 86 matches, still to come, KRL are in third spot with 36 points after league leaders WAPDA (50) and Army (40). Qasim had slammed seven of the 25 goals of KRL in ongoing show while other scorers of Rawalpindi-based team are Zia Us Salam 4, Syed Ghazi Khan 3,Muhammad Shahid 2, Mudassar Saeed 2, Abid Ghafoor 2, Jalil 1, Luqman Amir 1, Kalim Ullah 1, Samar Ishaq 1, Shahid Ahmed 1.
Friday matches: WAPDA Vs KRL (Railway Stadium, Lahore 2.30 PM), Young Blood FC, Sahiwal v Pakistan Army (Rai Ali Nawaz Stadium, Fareed Town, Sahiwal 2.30 PM)