KARACHI: Poor defence and weak finishing denied Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) a sure win as they were held by Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to a 1-1 draw while Afghan FC crushed Police 6-3 in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League held at different venues of the country on Wednesday.
Here at the KPT Stadium, KESC, having several stars including captain Mohammad Essa in their ranks, did not look a disciplined side on the field. Several angry exchanges among KESC players added to their problems which ultimately led to their failure to beat KPT which have been passing through the most critical stage of its football history because of its poor administration.
After a boring few minutes of play, Essa opened the scoring for KESC in the 29th minute when he superbly converted a combined move that was created by Mohammad Moosa and Mohammad Rasool from the left through one-two exchanges.
At half-time, KESC were leading with 1-0. Soon after the breather KESC were reduced to ten men when their key midfielder Mohammad was sent off by referee with a straight red card for a nasty foul on Mohsin Shah.
KESC, who had lost their previous two matches against PIA and National Bank, needed a solid approach after their player was shown red card but they did not bother, allowing their opponents to attack. And finally, KPT were able to earn an equaliser when Aamir’s drive on free-kick went past the keeper Jehangir Khan in the 71st minute. In the last 19 minutes, KESC applied different tactics and created several chances but Mohammad Rasool and Aurangzeb failed to convert them.
“Our team played poorly today. We made mistakes in finishing and our defenders also disappointed us,” said KESC manager Hassan Baloch. KESC, with the draw, moved to 28 points from 16 appearances while KPT raised their tally to 18 from 15 meetings.
In a high-scoring Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) encounter, Afghan FC prevailed over Police 6-3 at Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta.
Captain Jadeed Khan Pathan scored the opener in the 17th minute before Zabeeullah doubled the lead a minute later. However, Police fought back and reduced the deficit with a 36th-minute strike from Abdul Zahir.
Pathan, who has five goals to his name in the tournament, put Afghan FC in the driving seat again in the 40th minute with another fine strike with the team leading 3-1 at the half-time interval.
The second-half saw a more fluctuating match with Zabeeullah adding his second in the 51st minute before Badshah Gul made it 4-2 with a 60th-minute goal. The goals continued with Abdul Hadi extending Afghan’s lead in the 68th minute before Azizullah put Police out of the game with another in the 79th minute. Abid Ali scored the third for Police, in the 88th minute, but by then it was too late.
Pathan admitted the turnout was less after the unfortunate incident on Tuesday where 14 people were killed.
“Quetta is like a second home us,” Pathan told The Express Tribune. “The crowd always cheers for us but this time there weren’t enough people in the stadium.”