KARACHI: SSGC’s Saadullah controls the ball during the PFF Cup qualifying round match against ASM at the KMC Stadium on Monday.
KARACHI: SSGC’s Saadullah controls the ball during the PFF Cup qualifying round match against ASM at the KMC Stadium on Monday.

KARACHI: Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) clinched top spot in Group ‘I’ of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Cup qualifying round on Monday with a 2-1 win over Ashraf Sugar Mills (ASM), while a hat-trick by Mohammad Asim saw Pakistan Railways open their Group ‘III’ campaign with a 4-0 hammering of Insaf Afghan Goods Trading Company (IAGTC).

In a match to decide the winners of the three-team Group ‘I’, goals by Saadullah and Mohammad Lal in each half saw SSGC past ASM to finish their qualifying campaign with two wins out of two after both teams had beaten Pakistan Steel in their opening games.

Saadullah opened the scoring from a penalty in first-half injury-time here at the KMC Stadium before Lal doubled their advantage in the 77th minute.

Zeeshan Rafiq pulled one back for ASM but they couldn’t force a leveller as they join SSGC in the final round of the tournament as runners-up from the group which was reduced to three teams following Social Wefare Team (SWT) Chaman’s pullout.

Matches in Group ‘III’, being played at the FAME Football Club ground in Lahore, finally kicked off on Monday after they had been called off due to a water-logged pitch at the venue following heavy rains over the last week.

There was nothing damp about Railways’ performance, though as Asim opened the scoring in the 26th before Umer Zafar increased their lead two minutes into the second half.

Asim then scored twice in the space of five minutes to complete his treble in the 77th minute and put Railways in control of the group.

In the other group match, Falcon Company Quetta and Saif Textile Mills both squandered penalties in each half respectively as they played an entertaining goalless draw.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2016

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