Pakistan Premier Football League – Essa shines as KESC rout KPT

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LAHORE: Pakistani skipper Muhammad Essa put up sparkling striking power as KESC edged out KPT 2-0 in the 194th match of Pakistan Premier Football League at Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi. KESC, who remained in third place, were lucky to win the match as KPT controlled most of the game, but missed opportunities to score.
Both the teams missed opportunities in the first eleven minutes. The 24th minute saw KPT skipper Akhtar Mamil clear the ball from the goal line after Riaz’s attempt into the net. KESC finnaly scored in the 36th minute with midfielder Muhammad Moosa’s free kick finding Essa.
The SAF Games gold medalist controlled the ball down before dispatching a volley which went past keeper Ehsan Ullah’s left hand. KPT’s protested in vain against the goal, feeling Essa was off-side. KPT suffered further frustration when lanky Ismail Baba was sent off by the referee after he used abusive language during the protest.
KPT dominated the second half after the arrival of right winger Zafar Majeed infused new spirit among the players. KESC consolidated the lead in the fourth minute of injury time when Essa met a right wing cross from winger Orangzeb Shahmir and his header was too smart for young keeper Ehsan. With two goals, Essa joined Muhammad Rasool and Abdul Rehman as joint top scorers for KESC with ten goals each, followed by Orangzaib Shahmir (8 goals).
Placed third after League leader WAPDA and Army, KESC managed 44 points from 23 matches while fifth-placed KPT, having a game in hand, gathered 40 points in 22 matches. Monday Fixtures: Afghan FC v KRL (Govt. High School, Chaman 2.30 PM), Baloch FC v WAPDA (Noushki Football Stadium 2.30 PM).