KARACHI: A hat-trick by striker Kaleemullah inspired Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) to a 4-0 demolition of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) on Thursday.
Meanwhile, National Bank (NBP) rebounded from their defeat to KRL in their last game which resulted in them losing their unbeaten record to beat Wohaib FC 2-0 to go top of the PPFL table.
In other matches, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) thumped a hapless Baloch FC 5-0 while Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) held Pakistan Navy to a 1-1 draw.
At the Railways Football Stadfium in Lahore, Kaleemullah was in inspirational form as he scored in the 18th minute to give KRL the lead before Saddam Hussain doubled their advantage when he struck two minutes into the second-half.
Kaleemullah doubled his tally in the 58th before completing his treble in the 85th to send KRL third in the table on 22 points, three points behind new leaders NBP but have four games on the table-toppers.
NBP went a point ahead of Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) at the PPFL summit after goals by Farooq Shah and Mohammad Asif in the space of four second-half minutes gave them victory over Wohaib.
Farooq struck in the 65th minute at Lahore’s UMT Football Ground before Asif scored in the 69th to seal all three points for Nasir Ismail’s side along with top spot at least until KESC play their next match on Friday.
PAF are also closing in at the top after Mohammad Mujahid and Mansoor Khan scored two goals each in their victory over Baloch FC to put them on fifth place with 21 points from 12 games.
Mujahid scored the opener at the PAF Complex in Peshawar in the 42nd minute before scoring his second in the 68th. Amir improved PAF’s lead a minute later before Mansoor struck his brace; his first goal coming in the 74th before he rounded off the scoring in injury time.
At the Jinnah Football Stadium in Islamabad, Asif Bukhsh’s 9th minute opener for Navy was cancelled out by Hanif Khan’s strike in first-half injury time.
Friday’s fixtures: Army v Afghan FC (Army Stadium, Rawalpindi); Wapda v KESC (Railways Football Stadium, Lahore); PMC Athletico v PIA (PMC Football Ground, Faisalabad).