Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) ended their campaign on a winning note as they came from behind to defeat former champions Army 3-1 in their last game of the Pakistan Premier Football League at the Battle X Ground in Lahore on Friday.
PIA coach Shamim Khan was happy with the performance of his players. “Today the team did a fine job,” he told ‘The News’.
PIA were playing without their key players Shehram Babar, Waseem Ullah and Abdul Ghaffar but they managed to pull off their 13th victory from their quota of 30 appearances. They ended their journey at 46 points.
“Last season we had finished eighth and this time we may end at the sixth position, so we have improved,” said Shamim, a former international.
Army went ahead through Zafarullah Javed in the 43rd minute.
PIA brought discipline in their ranks after the breather and scored three goals inside 20 minutes. Kamran (53rd minute), Shakir Lashari (54th) and Ghulam Fareed (73rd) struck these goals for the national carrier.
Due to a ban on recruitment, PIA used 14 colts this season that instilled in them a new life. Two of the three goals they scored against the soldiers also came from the colts.
These boys are yet to get employment, although proposals for their recruitment have been presented three times before the top authorities, sources said. The loss left Army at 45 points from 26 outings.
On Saturday (today), defending champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) will lock horns with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in a crucial match at the Model Town Academy Ground in Lahore.
If KRL win, they will supersede KESC on the top spot on goal-average.