Lahore, 18 April: Gilgit-born Muhammad Rasool hit sparkling hat-trick as KESC did well to beat Railways 4-3 in a thriller at Agriculture Ground. The exciting win gave KESC quarter-final place. Army also enter the last eight with 1-0 win over host PMC Athletico Club Faisalabad. Meanwhile, depleted WAPDA team regrouped their chances of entering elimination phase with sensation 2-1 win over NBP while Navy also collected their first point, beating little known Ashraf Sugar Mills of Bahawalpur 1-0.
The Group-D match between KESC and Railways produced seven goal thriller and turned out to be the most exciting match of the event and it also dig out the first hat-trick maker in the shape of Muhammad Rasool who thumped a well-taken hat-trick. Rasool, a hero in 2007 Beijing Olympics double win over Singapore, struck his goals in the 10th, 71st and 77th minute while young Muhammad Riaz stepped in with the fourth goal in the 55th minute. With Imran pulling one back for the Railways in the 67th minute, KESC were 4-1 ahead after 77 minutes but Railways put up brave effort in last 13 minutes to make it 4-3. Wasim Abbas and Muhammad Usman were their scorers in the 80th and 86th minute respectively.
KESC get clearance from Group-D after the win and other team to join them from the same Group was Army who kept their slender 1-0 lead till final whistle. Faisalabad-born striker Muhammad Ikram did the damage as PMC suffered 0-1 defeat with goal coming in the 45th minute at PMC stadia.
WAPDA second string, as the main outfit involved in 7th AFC President’s Cup, caused sensation when they recorded 2-1 win at Bohranwali Ground over NBP in Group-A. Having players mostly from Multan, WAPDA struck once in each session to keep their hopes alive for last eight slot. Striker Shahid Baloch had given WAPDA 4th minute lead and they doubled the margin in the 54th minute through Ayaz Baloch in the 54th minute. The bankers earned consolation goal through international right full Misbah Ul Hassan in the second minute of injury time.
In same group Navy marched on for their first victory when they pocketted full three points after beating Bahawalpur’s Ashraf Sugar Mills at PMC Ground. Nimble-footed winger Asif Bakhsh was their hero again with lone goal in the closing minutes of first half.
Tuesday (19 April) Fixture : KPT v PIA (Bohranwali Ground 4 PM), Pak Television v Police (PMC Ground 4 PM), Pak Air Force v KRL (Bohranwali Ground 2 PM), ZTBL v Habib Bank (PMC Ground 2 PM)