Army, Afghan win as SSGC forfeits again

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Army pulled off their third win of the season when they defeated defending champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) by 2-0 while Afghan FC edged out Habib Bank 1-0 in separate matches of the 7th Pakistan Premier Football League held at different venues on Sunday.

At the Municipal Stadium in Rawalpindi, Army faced almost no problem against the depleted KRL who were missing their top six players due to their engagement in the national team camp in connection with the preparations for the Asian Games.

Army were off to a good start when Sharjeel Vicky provided them the lead in the seventh minute which lasted till breather. KRL also failed to bring discipline in their ranks and they conceded their second goal eight minutes before full time when Ansar Abbas struck for the soldiers.

The win helped Army join WAPDA on the top spot with ten points from five meetings while KRL have five points after four appearances.

Meanwhile, at the Government High School Ground in Chaman, Abdul Hadi struck the lone goal in the 52nd minute through a fine header on a corner kick to guide Afghan FC snatch a 1-0 victory over the struggling Habib Bank. It was a tough match in front of around 20,000 spectators with the Afghan FC having around 60 per cent of ball possession.

Habib Bank left-back Abdul Salam will have to miss his team’s match against KPT after he was shown second yellow card by referee Muhammad Saeed Bazai. He was shown first yellow card during Habib Bank’s match against Baloch FC at Nushki last week.

The triumph also propelled Afghan FC to share top spot with WAPDA and Army with ten points from four matches. Habib Bank, with the defeat, are struggling with one point from three meetings.

Similarly, in other tie in Rawalpindi, Navy held PAF to a goalless draw to move their points to three from four outings while PAF stretched their tally to five from five meetings.

At the Nushki Stadium in Nushki, Balochistan, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) conceded walkover to Baloch FC after they failed to visit Balochistan for the match citing security fears.

“Baloch FC was given walkover after SSGC did not turn up for the match,” match commissioner Salahuddin told ‘The News’ from Nushki.

Today’s fixtures: WAPDA v PMC Athletico (Garhi Shahu’s Railways Stadium, Lahore), PIA v KPT (Korangi Baloch Stadium, Sharafi Goth.