KESC edge KPT in thriller, Muslim FC win Chaman derby

Alam Zeb Safi [THE NEWS]
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
KARACHI: Mohammad Rasool scored a brace as Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) beat Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 3-2 to jump to the fourth place while Muslim FC displaced Afghan FC from second place with a 1-0 triumph over them in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League held at different venues of the country on Tuesday.

At Peoples Football Stadium in Karachi, dashing striker Rasool was joined by Mohammad bin Younus on the score-sheet while substitute Aamir struck twice for KPT as KESC survived some anxious moments in the end to inflate their points tally to 43 from 23 games, just behind the third-placed Afghan FC on goal-difference. In front of a thin crowd, Rasool, who also fell prey to the PFF’s defective policy of ignoring the seniors for national duty, opened the scoring for KESC in the 11th minute when his thunderbolt drive from 18 yards went past the diving keeper Sajid Hussain.

In the 40th minute, Aurangzeb surged forward and placed a juicy ball in front of Abdul Rehman who hit the nets but the lineman signalled for an off-side that sparked an angry reaction on the KESC bench.

Following a host of incisive rallies, KESC were able to double their lead on the stroke of half-time when strongly-built Mohammad lobbed it over the advancing KPT keeper with an enviable ease. At the breather, KESC were leading 2-0.

Soon after the breather, Rasool added to the misery of KPT with his second goal of the game and 15th of the league, sharing the top spot on the chart of the leading scorers with Jadeed Khan Pathan from Afghan FC.

“I am trying my level best and hopefully will be able to emerge as leading scorer of the league,” said Rasool.

A couple of minutes later, KESC survived a scare when their goalkeeper Jehangir Khan gloved away a header that could have been dangerous.

KPT could have reduced the deficit in the 63rd minute but full-back Ubaid could not place the ball into the vacant goal. In the 72nd minute, KESC’s Aurangzeb Junior’s drive on free-kick just missed the cross bar.

In the 80th minute, KPT defender Naseer could have struck but his undue delay in front of the goal mouth offered goalkeeper Jehanghir enough chance to block him.

At this stage, KPT sent in forward Aamir who instilled life into what was a one-sided game by scoring twice in the 83rd and 86th minutes. In the last few minutes KESC looked shaky in their defence but were lucky not to concede any further goal.

“After taking a 3-0 lead our defenders turned relaxed which gave the rivals chance to score twice within no time,” KESC manager Hassan Baloch told ‘The News’ after the match. The loss left KPT at 28 points from 23 meetings.

Meanwhile, at the jam-packed Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Haji Mohammad landed the lone goal in the 22nd minute to guide Chaman’s Muslim FC to a 1-0 victory against neighbours Afghan FC in the return fixture of the Chaman Derby. The triumph catapulted Muslim FC to the second spot with 44 points from 23 matches, while Afghan FC went down to 3rd with 43 points from 21 games.