Essa hat-trick helps KESC crush Police

KARACHI: Mohammad Essa scored a hat-trick as Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) leapfrogged to the second spot after inflicting a crushing 4-1 defeat on Police in their match of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) held here at the Peoples Sports Complex on Saturday.

Mohammad scored the other goal for KESC while Waseem Abbas hit a consolation goal for newly promoted Police which had won the PFF League Second Division last year.

The victory also catapulted KESC to 24 points from 12 games, just four points behind leaders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) while the loss left Police struggling with 15 points from 11 appearances.

In front of a capacity crowd, KESC opened the scoring when Mohammad’s pile-driver went past the keeper in the 16th minute before Mohammad Essa extended his team’s lead with a 33rd minute header. In the 43rd minute, Essa again struck for KESC with a 20-yard shot and the captain could further add to the misery of Police but he failed to convert a penalty on the stroke of half time.

At half-time, KESC were leading 3-0. KESC kept putting pressure on the visitors after the breather and it was Essa again who inflated the hosts’ lead with a 40-yard drive in the 69th minute to complete his treble, his first in the season.

Police pulled one back when Mohammad Waseem scored from distance which proved to be the only goal they could score in the KESC-dominated meeting.

Mohammad Essa hailed team effort as the sole cause behind the splendid victory.

“Our team played outstandingly today as we were in complete command right from the start. If we keep playing the way we did in the last four games then I am confident that we will improve further our position,” Essa, also a former Pakistan captain, told ‘The News’. FIFA assistant referee Shafaat Habib supervised the match.

Today’s fixtures: PIA v PEL (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi), PMC v KRL (Agriculture University Ground, Faisalabad), NBP v Muslim FC (KPT Stadium, Karachi).