by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) recorded a huge 5-0 win over Chaman’s Afghan FC to strengthen their position at the summit in the Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KPT Stadium on Sunday.
With their 12th win, KRL now have 44 points from 21 outings, three points clear of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC), who beat WAPDA 1-0 to displace Pakistan Air Force (PAF) from second place.
PAF were downed 1-0 by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) in another crunch game of the day that saw four matches played at different venues.KRL’s frontline put to shreds Afghan FC’s defence through aggressive display that saw midfielder Imran Khan and striker Zeeshan Siddique score a solid brace each. They were joined on the score-sheet by striker Iftikhar Ali who struck a clinical goal.
In the one-sided game, KRL went ahead through Imran who opened the scoring in the first minute of the game, witnessed by a sizable crowd. In the ninth minute, Zeeshan doubled KRL’s lead. He struck again in the 33rd minute to inflate his team’s score to 3-0. At half time, KRL were leading 3-0.
Iftikhar struck for them in the 60th minute. In the 83rd minute Imran completed his brace, sealing a thumping victory for KRL who have to their credit titles in 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The huge win made KRL manager Ayaz Butt happy. “Yes, I am glad the boys played well today,” Butt told ‘The News’. “We have a new team as you know our key players left for SSGC before the start of the season but thanks God the new lot is doing a great job,” Butt said.
With just five matches left, KRL’s official said he was hopeful that they would be able to reclaim the title.“We are to play five more matches. All are tough. We will need to win at least four. That’s not an easy thing but I am confident we will overcome all the odds,” Butt hoped.
The loss left Afghan FC reeling at 22 points from 21 matches.In a hotly-contested battle at the same venue, Navy overcame Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 1-0 thanks to Rana Zafaryab’s 54th minute strike. The seventh win took Navy to 24 points from 21 outings.
KPT are gasping at 13 points from 20 outings. At Korangi Baloch Ground, Ubaidullah landed a superb goal in the 42nd minute to enable SSGC to beat WAPDA 1-0.
SSGC jumped to the second place with 41 points which they earned through their 12th victory in 21 matches. The loss left WAPDA at 36 points from 21 encounters.
In another fixture at the same venue, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) shocked PAF 1-0 to take their points to 30 from 21 matches. Mohammad Waheed scored a clinical goal in the 70th minute.
Because of the loss, PAF dropped to the third place. They have 40 points from 21 encounters.With a few matches yet to go, the officials of the participating teams are under immense pressure keeping in view the prevailing situation of the country’s football.
The Supreme Court on Monday (today) will review the report of the elections of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).If the PFF headquarters are handed over to the newly-elected office bearers then the league may face issues.