Young Blood beat PMC Athletico 2-1 despite two sending offs

Lahore, 30 September : Despite the sending-off of Zain Khalid and Amir Yaqoob, Young Blood of Sahiwal registered their first away win when they edged out PMC Athletico Club Faisalabad 2-1 at Agriculture University Ground, Faisalabad in the 41st match of Pakistan Premier Football League.

It was also completion of double as Young Blood managed to win the first leg too on 16 September at Sahiwal by solitary strike. The visitors from Sahiwal gave no room to home team under Naeem Riaz captaincy and opened the scoring through striker Asim Mansoor in the 15th minute. Midfielder Abid Hussain consolidated the lead in the 24th minute with breath taking strike past keeper Zahid Iqbal. Young Blood led 2-0 at interval.

The second half was a quieter affair but there was still some enterprising attacking play from both sides and both benches gradually changed their teams around, bringing on several subs as the half went on. PMC’s speedy midfielder Hasham Chaudhry had the only real chance of note at the beginning of the half, storming into the area in the 50th minute before striking a low shot wide of the target. In the 65th minute, PMC’s Bashir Ahmed went close to getting on the scoresheet twice in quick succession. First, his powerful strike from a tight angle was cleared away by keeper Muzammil Yousaf and then his header from Naveed Mumtaz’s cross bounced agonisingly across the goal line before being cleared. YB Club threatened to come closes but the closest they came was to force PMC keeper Zahid into a good save when midfielder Muhammad Sajid shot at goal after good work from Abid Hussain. PMC earned honor-saving goasl in the 83rd minute through their skipper Haroon Yousof who utilized spot-kick. It was also 100th goal of the event.

The highly-absorbing match also saw two marching orders given by FIFA Referee Shahid Hussain when he flashed Red Card in front of Zain Khalid following his second caution card in the 83rd minute. His first booking was noted in the 34th minute. Amir Yaqoob had also received two Yellow Cards in the 56th and 82nd minute, which meant that Young Blood played last seven minutes with nine men. The Match Commissioner was Naveed Butt.

After the completion of 41 matches, Pakistan WAPDA led the table with 13 points. Afghan and Karachi Port Trust have also recorded same number of points but the goal counts of WAPDA 19-4 is much better than Afghan 9-3 and KPT 12-7. Four-times National Champion Pakistan Army produced ten points, followed by fifth placed PIA (9 pts)- the most successful team of Pakistan with nine titles. Nushki’s Baloch FC, who were relegated last year and recalled when PFF made mind for 16 team League instead of 14, are in sixth place with eight points.

KESC and PEL managed seven points, followed by Pakistan Navy, NBP, first-timers Young Blood who are on six. Holders KRL and 1986 National Champions PAF gathered five points each. PMC, back into league like Nushki out fit, secured three points. 1982 National Champions HBL failed to score a single goal in 450 minutes and they have only one point, followed by bottom-placed SSGC who lost all their five matches.

Friday (1 Oct) Fixture : Afghan v NBP Jamal Nasir Stadium, Chaman 3.30 PM), Nushki Baloch FC v KESC v HBL (Nushki Stadium, Nushki 3.30 PM), SSGC v HBL (KPT – Benazir Sports Complex, West Wharf Road, Kharadar, Karachi 3.30 PM)