Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) defeated Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 2-1, while four-time champions WAPDA rose to the top after outclassing Pakistan Air Force (PAF) 3-0 in the Pakistan Premier Football League on Friday.
Here at the KPT Stadium, KESC’s left-winger Sohail Nawaz, who came in the second half in place of Mohammad Yaqoob, capitalised on a nice volley from skipper Mohammad Essa with a splendid header in the 83rd minute.
Earlier, after a goalless first half, international striker Mohammad Rasool put KESC ahead when he converted a penalty in the 55th minute. However, Naveed Ahmed brought parity for KPT in the 75th minute.
In the 80th minute KPT were awarded a penalty but defender Akhtar Mamol’s kick from the spot was excellently gathered by keeper Mohammad Jehangir.
KESC manager Zabe Khan was elated by the victory. “The team played well,” Zabe told ‘The News’. “We played the newly recruited striker Mohammad Yaqoob but he was not impressive. And after we replaced him by sending Sohail Nawaz in the second half the team clicked and Sohail like the previous match scored the winner,” Zabe added.
KESC skipper Mohammad Essa said it was not easy to beat KPT in their own backyard. “We could have scored another goal had Rasool’s drive in the second half not crashed the pole,” he said.
The victory took KESC to 11 points from five matches. They are only one point behind the leaders WAPDA.
KPT coach Mohammad Asif said that missed chances harmed his side. “We not only missed a few chances but also missed a penalty,” Asif said. But in spite of the loss Asif was happy with the way his team played against a tough side. “You know KESC are a good side but we kept them under pressure throughout and this is a plus point for us,” said Asif, a former international.
The loss left KPT at seven points from six meetings.
At the Railways Stadium in Lahore, WAPDA looked in terrific mood when they overwhelmed PAF with an enviable ease to move to the top spot with 12 points from six appearances.
Zulfiqar Shah put WAPDA ahead in the 22nd minute before international striker Arif Mehmood doubled their lead with a nice field effort three minutes later.
At half time, WAPDA were leading 2-0. In the second half a grueling fight was witnessed but it were WAPDA that inflated their tally through Zainullah in the dying moments.
PAF, with the loss, stand at eight points after six meetings.
Today’s fixture: Navy v PIA (KPT Stadium, Karachi).