Leaders KRL continue trailblazing run

A KRL player (white) shields the ball against a KESC player (green)
KARACHI: Keeping their glorious run intact, leaders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) snatched a 1-0 victory against Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to stretch their lead at the top of the Pakistan Premier Football League here on Tuesday while Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crushed holders WAPDA 4-1.

At the People’s Sports Complex, substitute striker Mohammad Qasim struck the lone goal in the 50th minute to guide KRL to their eighth win of the season from nine games while KESC have 12 points from eight appearances.

“It was a tough game and was out of control of the referee so I think that a 1-0 victory was sufficient,” KRL coach Tariq Lutfi told ‘The News’.

KESC manager Zeb Khan also voiced similar views.

“It wasn’t a game but a battle as both sides struggled hard to gain an upper hand. KRL got one chance and converted it,” Zeb said.

FIFA referee Khurram Shehzad showed seven yellow cards, three to KRL players and four to KESC during the game hit in the end by a light drizzle.

This was KESC’s last match of before Ramadan while KRL face National Bank at the same venue on Thursday (tomorrow).

At the KPT Stadium, defending champions WAPDA continued to bear the brunt of the poor decision of their administration to demote their most successful coach Khalid Butt from top position of head coach as they suffered their fourth defeat of the season.

WAPDA took the lead when Zeeshan Javed scored in the 10th minute.

Their lead lasted just seven minutes as Saddam Hussain equalised for PIA after he dribbled past a row of defenders before nestling the ball exquisitely past the keeper.

Skipper Nasrullah then put PIA on the front foot with a 24th minute strike.

In the second-half, PIA added two more goals in the injury-time through Saddam Hussain and Zeeshan Ali.

The triumph helped PIA to jump to the fourth spot with 15 points from seven meetings while WAPDA are struggling at 11 from nine matches.

At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Chaman’s Afghan FC defeated former champions Army 2-1 to move to third spot with 15 points from seven games while Army have ten from nine.

Abdul Nasir gave Afghan FC the lead in the 15th minute before Akhtar Ali leveled the game for Army in the 35th. Moments into the second-half, Afghan FC struck through Himmat Khan to seal victory. Army’s Shakeel Ahmed and Imran Hussain recieved red cards.

Today’s fixtures: PEL v Navy (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium, Quetta), Muslim FC v PAF (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium, Quetta), HBL v PMC Athletico (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi).