Kaleemullah stars in KRL win over WAPDA

KARACHI: Kaleem Ullah struck his seventh hat-trick of the season to help holders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) whip WAPDA 4-1 to consolidate their position at the top of the Pakistan Premier Football League on Monday.

Kaleem, who also led Pakistan Under-23 team on the tour of Sri Lanka recently, fired four effortless goals against four-time former champions to help KRL inflate their tally to 55 from 21 meetings.

“We played a controlled game and the result is encouraging,” KRL coach Tariq Lutfi told ‘The News’ after the match held at Railways Stadium in Lahore.

“Kaleem has learnt a lot and has turned out to be a goal-scoring machine by scoring yet another hat-trick but in reality left-back Mohammad Aadil did the damage as he did a fine job with super crossings,” said Lutfi, also a former Pakistan coach.

KRL, who recorded their 17th victory on their way towards what would be their third successive title, put themselves really in control when Kaleem landed three goals inside 14 minutes, finding the target in 20th, 27th and 33rd minutes as at half-time the visitors were leading 3-0. Kaleem then hit his fourth in the 65th minute before international Mohammad Ahmed scored a consolation goal for the hosts in the 82nd minute.

“In the second half WAPDA had started playing with long passes but we did not let them succeed by making certain adjustments in the middle,” Tariq said.

The loss left WAPDA at 26 points from 24 appearances.

Since the forced ouster of former coach Khalid Butt two years back, the once invincible WAPDA have been suffering badly due to poor coaching officials who have completely failed to get from the players what Butt used to secure from them. Although a few youngsters have been inducted into the side but the team mostly comprises those senior players who were playing under Butt.

KRL played their last game in their Punjab round and they are now scheduled to fly for Quetta on Wednesday (tomorrow) for playing three games there against Afghan FC, Muslim FC and Nushki’s Baloch FC and will land here in the port city to kick-start their last round with the clash against Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) on January 2.

Today’s fixtures: PIA v PAF (Korangi Baloch Stadium, Sharafi Goth, Karachi), NBP v PMC Athletico (KPT Stadium, Karachi), Navy v Wohaib FC (Naval Sports Complex, Karsaz).

From: The News