Wapda stroll into AFC President's Cup

LAHORE - With Asian cupper Abdul Ghafoor scoring twice in the 28th, 79th minute, KESC forced their way to fourth place with 2-1 win over National Champions in the 240th and final league match of the Pakistan Premier Football League that concluded on Thursday with all-electricity clash at Peoples Sports Complex, Mauripur Road, Lyari Town. Wapda, who won the National Games football title at Islamabad the other day, secured the berth in the seventh AFC President's Cup event also when they clinched the Pakistan Premier League 2010 at Karachi on December 12 at Karachi's Kharadar. Wapda won the top prize with 67 points in 30 matches while KRL and PIA finished in second and third spot respectively with 58 and 57 points. KESC secured fourth place with 55 points. The soldiers were out of podium for the first time in last six years with fifth position (54 points). They were champions in 2005, 2006 and stood second in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. KPT (51) also entered the 50 points figure, finishing sixth. PAF (45), Afghan FC and Navy (both 42 pts) pocketed seventh, eighth and ninth place respectively. Lahore-based PEL did well to finish above bankers. The Asghan Anjum's team collected 10th place over 11th place NBP and 13th place HBL - the two bankers who commenced A Division soccer in early 80s as compared to PEL who made debut in 2008. Baloch FC of Nushki assured another fling in same status by finishing 12th with 34 points. Haroon Yousof-led PMC drifted away from relegation Zone in only their last match on Tuesday at Chaman, leaving newly-promoted SSGC and Young Blood to apply reverse gear - back to lower division with 20 and 18 points respectively. SVP SAFF and VP PFF Syed Khadim Ali Shah was the chief guest and presented cash prizes to teams and players. Wapda grabbed the winning trophy and gold medals from chief guest in addition to Rs 0.6 million while their last edition's National Champions KRL had to content with silver medals and Rs 0.4 million. PIA had grabbed bronze medals and Rs 0.3 million. PIA's stopper M Haji was adjudged most valuable player (MVP) and he was pocketed Rs 1,00,000 while leading marksman Arif Mehmood (Wapda 21 goals) and best goalkeeper M Omer (KESC) took Rs 50,000 each. In order to promote Sportsmanship, PFF chief had also decided to hand over Rs 1,00,000 to winner of Fair Play trophy and Chaman's Afghan FC deserved the award with sportsmanship throughout 106-day show. National Soccer title-holder from 1948 to 2010: 9 times: Pakistan International Airlines, 8 times: Punjab, Wapda, 6 times: Karachi, 4 times: Army, 3 times: ABL, Balochistan, 2 times: Dhaka, Sindh, Railways, Faisalabad's Crescent Textile Mills and 1 time: Peshawar, East Pakistan, Chittagong, HBL, Quetta, PAF and KRL.

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