PIA bounce back to second spot with 2-0 win

[From: The News]
Friday, October 07, 2011
KARACHI: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) regained the second spot after beating Habib Bank Limited (HBL) 2-0 while former champions Army snatched a 1-0 win against defending champions WAPDA in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League held on Thursday.

Here at the Peoples Sports Complex, PIA recovered from their 0-2 mauling by National Bank the other day to whack Habib Bank in a one-sided affair which also stretched their points to 32 from 16 games, just two points behind leaders KRL (34 from 12 meetings).

After a barren first half, PIA drew first blood through Ali Adeem Shehzad when he tapped in a cross through the crowded defence in the 75th minute before Ishtiaq Ahmad doubled their lead with a goal in the same style in the 81st minute to seal a comfortable victory.

“All my boys played well today but we now will have to embark upon a very testing tour of Quetta where we will have to confront different problems like manipulated refereeing, bumpy ground, security and other complications,” PIA coach Shamim Khan said.

“Our boys were off-colour today. We wasted chances while our rivals PIA availed two of the three opportunities they got in the second half,” said HBL manager Yousuf Khan.

This was the first loss from Habib Bank in the eight matches they played in the second phase which had started after Eid-ul-Fitr, leaving them at the fourth place with 29 points from 17 games.

Habib Bank, PIA and KESC will now head towards Quetta while National Bank and KPT will proceed after meeting each other here on Friday (today).

Meanwhile, at the Agriculture University Ground in Faisalabad, Shakeel Yousuf scored the lone goal in the 29th minute to guide Army to a narrow victory over holders WAPDA.

This was the sixth win from Army which catapulted them to 19 points from 12 matches while a demoralised WAPDA suffered their eighth defeat and are now reeling at 17 points from 15 appearances.

At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Chaman’s Muslim FC came from 0-1 down to outclass Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) 4-1 to inflate their tally to 24 from 12 outings. PEL were the first to settle down with a strike from Rizwan in the 29th minute. After the breather, Muslim FC bounced back with an equaliser in the 47th minute through Hayatullah’s strike. Inayatullah put them in front in the 55th minute before Saeed Ahmad hit in the 69th and Mohammad Tahir added to the misery of PEL with fourth goal for Muslim FC in the last minute.

The defeat left PEL struggling in the relegation zone with just six points from 15 meetings.

Today’s fixture: NBP v KPT (KPT Stadium, Karachi).