Matchweek 5 wraps up with some huge upsets that shift the balance of power in the tables. We take two weeks off to enjoy the holidays and then we return on January 8th. Here are the outcomes from Sunday:
Jerusalem FC 3 | 2 Andalusia FC
Jerusalem were once again out numbered and had to reach into the reserves while Andalusia were missing striker Ali Chaudhry. Andalusia played their full press style while Jerusalem were just sitting back and taking the pressure. Midway through the first half, Jerusalem caught them on the counter with keeper Zahid Merchant finding Furhan Azmat with a pass that Furhan bowled over a defender and keeper to put in the net. Andalusia kept getting chances with a few point blank opportunities but they were unable to beat the keeper or find the net. Majority of the match was played in the Jerusalem end with Andalusia playing keep away. In the second half, Jerusalem once again caught Andalusia on the counter with sub Hassan Syed beating the last defender and setting up Raza Ali for a 2-0 lead. Omar Sheikh would add another to give JFC a shocking 3-0 lead with 7 men. Andalusia finally found an opening with Shaharyar Khan setting up Fahim Karamat twice in less than 2 minutes for two straight goals. Jerusalem would hang on in the final few minutes for a huge three points to take them top of the table. Andalusia lose their second in a row after a brilliant start to the season.
Man of the Match - Zahid Merchant
Hejaz FC 3 | 2 Anatolia FC
Hejaz entered this match with six men against an Anatolia squad missing two crucial pieces in Nehad Shihab and Kamil Lotia. Hejaz would strike first with Muhammad Shah taking a nice feed from Fawad Akram for an early lead. A few minutes before halftime, Zain Khilji would wiggle his way through and blast one home to tie up the match. In the second half, Hejaz kept getting quality chances while Anatolia keeper Umair Sheikh would stand on his head to keep his squad in the match. Hejaz would break a record for most shots in a game with 41 while Umair Sheikh would break the record for most saves in a match with 18. In the dying seconds on the match. Junaid Akram laid a throughball for Fawad Akram who slid it far post for the winner. Anatolia falter in the final minutes after a brilliant showing but Hejaz showed grit and determination to win with six men and no subs. Hejaz now move within striking distance of the playoffs while Anatolia drop down into second place going into the break.
Man of the Match - Fawad Akram
Sham FC 2 | 3 Samarra FC
In the late match, Sham was looking to enter the break on a winning note while Samarra wanted to continue their solid run over the last few weeks. This match had some brilliant goals from youngsters of the league. Ahmad Alvi opened the scoring for Sham with a brilliant run through three defenders and then blasted it top shelf to give orange the lead. A few minutes later, Samarra got a long shot that was deflected in by Numair Bari to tie up the match. Early in the second half, Numair Bari put in perfect cross which Khizar Shahdzad met with the perfect header to give Samarra the lead. Sham would tie up the match with Samarra defender Umair Jabbar Jr. heading into his own net for an own goal. Samarra would recover with Samarra putting on their best hockey play, Numair Bari screening the goalie and Danish Khan taking a shot from the point which Sham keeper Yasser Zia couldn't see to give Samarra the lead. Sham had some great oppportunities late in the match with Adeel Ansari and Mohammad Mahmood missing shots by inches. Samarra move into a three way tie for second place with the win while Sham have a 2016 to forget and will be hoping 2017 will be much kinder to them.
Man of the Match - Numair Bari
That ends the first half of the season and wraps up 2016. We wish everyone a Happy New Year and we will see you back on January 8th.