The Pakistan Premier Football League 2018 – Multan leg continued on Days 2 and 3 as Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Afghan FC Chaman, and Pakistan Navy opened their season with wins at the Qilla Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium in Multan on 26-27 September.
On 26 September, KRL steamrolled past helpless National Bank of Pakistan 3-0 thanks to an Iftikhar Ali Khan hat-trick – the first of the PPFL 2018 season. Under captaincy of Zia Us Salam, a new look KRL side dominated the whole game and gave little respite to NBP. After losing many of its key players to rival department teams in recent years due to domestic league inactivity as a result of PFF crisis, KRL aims to re-establish itself as title challengers.
Later that night, Balochistan’s storied clubs battled out in a crazy game. Afghan FC Chaman fought back multiple times against Baloch FC Nushki in a very fast paced thriller that saw five goals in the first half alone. Baloch FC Nushki took an early lead through Azharuddin before Afghan FC’s Saddam Hussain (no relation to Pakistan NT captain of the same name) equalised a few minutes later. Baloch FC again took the lead a short while later through Ali Khan before Afghan FC struck twice through Umer Daraz and Abdul Rahim to make it 3-2 by half-time. No further goals were scored in second half as both sides tried to score more, and eventually Afghan FC prevailed with a 3-2 win.
On 27 September, another Balochistan side Muslim FC Chaman rued missing multiple chances against Navy as the Sailors managed to win a penalty in the dying minutes of the game. Navy’s Muhammad Amin scored from the spot to make it 1-0 and win all three points for his side. All three Balochistan clubs will be at a disadvantage throughout this season as they have been denied to play in their home grounds that often attract thousands of ticket-buying fans that essentially keep these teams afloat all year.
The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) versus Karachi Port Trust (KPT) game was postponed to a later date owing to the PIA team being unable to reach Multan yet due to unknown reasons.
Today, on 28 September, the four newly promoted sides battle it out. Potential title challengers Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) face Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) at 8 PM whilst Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) face Bahawalpur’s Ashraf Sugar Mills in other clash at 1015 PM at the Qilla Kohna Qasim Bagh Stadium.
EDIT: In earlier version, this report erroneously said Navy goal scorer was Naveed instead of Muhammad Amin. The actual goalscorer has been properly named.