Alam Zeb Safi [The News]
KARACHI: Chaman’s Muslim FC pulled off a major upset when they blanked star-studded National Bank (NBP) 2-0 while Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) overwhelmed Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) 3-0 in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) here on Sunday.
At the KPT Stadium, newly-promoted Muslim FC played intelligent football against the formidable bankers and took their points tally to 15 from 10 appearances.
Mohammad Hanif put Muslim FC in front with a fine field goal in the 19th minute. After going 0-1 down, NBP should blame themselves for their weak effort as they squandered a series of chances throughout the game. In injury-time, Muslim FC doubled their lead with Saeed Ahmad’s strike from close range.
Muslim FC skipper Abdul Qadeer hailed his players’ commitment.
“We have young players in the side and all of them played with great commitment. We will continue to produce more such upsets in the days to come,” Qadeer told ‘The News’.
Meanwhile, NBP coach Nasir Ismail said that it was a bad day for him and his team.
“I think our bad patch started today as we missed a dozen of chances. Our three main strikers are on the injury list and we had to field our midfielders in the frontline which failed to click,” said Nasir, also an assistant coach of Pakistan senior team.
NBP are trailing at the fourth place with 21 points from 12 meetings.
At the Peoples Sports Complex, PIA displaced KESC from the second spot after beating PEL with an enviable ease to raise their tally to 25 from 12 matches.
Shakir Lashari scored a brace in the 25th and 38th minute to give PIA a 2-0 lead. Imran Hashmi added to the PEL’s misery after he scored from tight angle in the 39th minute.
After the breather, PIA could have stretched their lead but Lashari missed a penalty in the 75th minute.\ The defeat left PEL struggling with six points from 12 appearances. PIA coach Shamim Khan was not satisfied with his frontline’s strike rate.
Meanwhile, AFC referees’ recruiter Saad KM Alfadhi from Kuwait watched referee Khurram Shehzad whose’ performance is being assessed for continental assignments.
Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) resumed their campaign from where they had left before Eid-ul-Fitr when they beat Punjab Medical College (PMC) Athletico 1-0 at the Agriculture University Ground in Faisalabad. Captain Samar Ishaq scored the lone goal of the game from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.
The victory took KRL’s points to 31 from 11 games at the top of the table while PMC are struggling in the relegation zone with six points from 12 matches.
Today’s fixtures: HBL v Baloch FC (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi), KPT v Afghan FC (KPT Stadium, Karachi).