KARACHI: Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) closed the gap on leaders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) after a 2-1 victory over Pakistan Army in an absorbing top-of-the-table Pakistan Premier Football League clash on Monday.
Meanwhile, Muslim FC defeated Wapda 3-1 for their third consecutive victory while the other match of the day between PMC Atletcio and Afghan FC ended in a 1-1 draw.
At the Army Stadium in Rawalpindi, Army had a chance to go joint-top with KRL on 34 points but they somehow fluffed their lines, losing to an inspired KESC side spearheaded by Mohammad Essa and Mohammad Rasool.
After a first period that saw no goals, the match exploded into action in the final 20 minutes as Essa scored KESC’s opener in the 70th before Rasool got on the act and doubled their lead six minutes later.
Army got a penalty in the 85th which was dispatched by their goalkeeper Jaffar Khan before KESC saw midfielder Wali Khan sent off in a thrilling finale to the game.The win lifted KESC’s point tally to 33 from 16 games while Army are third on 31 from 16 matches. Defending champions KRL still have two games in hand over their closest rivals.
Muslim FC raced to a 2-0 lead by the 26th minute at the Railways Football Stadium after goals by Saeed Ahmed and Haji Mohammad.
Zulfiqar Shah’s 37th minute strike put Wapda back in the game but Mohammad Dawood’s 88th minute goal extinguished any hopes of a comeback.
The three points took Muslim FC’s tally to 27 from 17 games, a point behind Wapda and Pakistan Air Forca (PAF).
Azizullah’s late leveller for Afghan FC gave them a share of the points against PMC at the PMC Football Ground in Faisalabad after the hosts had taken the lead through Ibrar Aslam in the 73rd. Both teams have 11 points.
Tuesday’s fixtures: Wohaib FC v Baloch FC (UMT Football Ground, Lahore); KRL v Navy (Railways Football Stadium, Lahore); ZTBL v HBL (Jinnah Football Stadium, Islamabad); PAF v NBP (PAF Complex Ground, Peshawar).