Alam Zeb Safi [The News]
KARACHI: Pakistan Air Force (PAF) stunned Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) with a 1-1 draw while Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) thrashed Muslim FC 4-0 and defending champions WAPDA defeated Lahore’s Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) 2-0 in matches of the Pakistan Premier Football League held on Sunday.
At the Peoples Sports Complex here, PAF broke their losing spree with a 1-1 draw against favourites KESC. KESC, led by former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa, opened the scoring in the 20th minute through a powerful drive from Mohammad Rasool before PAF netted an equaliser when Mohammad Sher converted a penalty in the 36th minute.
“The poor refereeing from Waheed Murad cost us a sure win. He first awarded a wrong penalty to PAF in the first-half and in the start of the second-half Rasool was pulled from behind inside the goal area but he did not give us the penalty. He is a patient of high blood pressure and he should not be given assignments in the prime league,” a frustrated KESC manager Hasan Baloch told ‘The News’ after the match.
However, PAF coach Mohammad Arshad termed poor finishing of his players as the sole cause why they failed to pull off their first win of the season.
“We were dominating the show but our players missed out at least four sure chances. We should have won the game. But still I’m happy that my team put one of the strong sides of the competition in trouble,” Arshad said.
With the draw, KESC stretched their points to four from two games while PAF opened their account with a single point from three meetings.
At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, former champions KRL inflicted a crushing 4-0 defeat on Muslim FC to take their points to nine from three meetings.
Yasir Afridi, cousin of Test cricketer Riaz Afridi, put KRL 1-0 ahead with a fine field effort in the first-half. Soon after half-time, the same boy from Landi Kotal fired his second when he capitalised on a through ball from left full-back Mohammad Shahid. Local boys Mehmood Khan and Kaleemullah, who both played in World Cup qualifiers, landed a goal apiece to help their side seal a comfortable victory.
“The players have so far shown fine form by winning all their matches in style. If they kept with the same fashion then I am hopeful that we will reclaim the title,” KRL assistant coach Sajjad Mehmood said.
Muslim FC have three points from two appearances.
In another game at the same venue, holders WAPDA notched their first win when they conquered PEL 2-0 in front of a thick crowd. Skipper Zulfiqar Shah, wearing the arm-band in the absence of injured Arif Mehmood, put WAPDA 1-0 ahead after a barren first-half before Khuda Baksh scored through an excellent effort.
WAPDA missed a penalty between their two goals when Khuda Bakhsh’s kick went over the bar.
PEL skipper Altaf was shown direct red card in the second-half.
The victory pushed WAPDA’s points to four from three matches while PEL are yet to open their account after playing two games.
Today’s fixtures: Baloch FC v PMC Athletico (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium, Quetta), NBP v Army (KPT Football Stadium, Karachi), PIA v Navy (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi)