Mighty Mathur hits three as APSA reach Asian final

MAN OF THE MATCH Umair Mathur scored a sensational hat-trick to earn APSA a place in the Asian Football Challenge Cup final. Mathur was industrious from the start. At 19, and a new recruit courtesy of Khalid Pervaiz, it took him just four minutes to get

MAN OF THE MATCH Umair Mathur scored a sensational hat-trick to earn APSA a place in the Asian Football Challenge Cup final.

Mathur was industrious from the start.

At 19, and a new recruit courtesy of Khalid Pervaiz, it took him just four minutes to get on the scoresheet, after letting loose an excellent drive from just inside the area, leaving Bulwar keeper Khan with little chance of making a save.

APSA continued attacking and Mathur's second came 10 minutes later.


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APSA's captain and play maker Imran Khan slid a perfect ball through, taking out two defenders and leaving Mathur an easy one-on-one with the keeper. He made no mistake and finished like a seasoned striker.

Bulwar came close through Akinjonge and Ali, but both were thwarted by the post and a resilient APSA defence.

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APSA came out of the blocks quickly at the start of the second half and Mathur showed his class once more as he played intricate passes, with Safy, Khan and Zain.

Zain chipped clear over the head of the keeper only to hit the bar and gift the hat-trick to Mathur.

Substitute Pervaiz's skill and trickery earned him an immediate goal, as he rounded two with comfort and rifled home from close range.

His second was made to look so easy as he latched on to a pass from the excellent youngster Irfan Ali and helped the ball on it's way, sailing over Khan's head and into the top corner.

Manager Sami Mohammed said: "We've had a tough season this year and have struggled immensely with injuries. I am glad I have stuck to the players available and resisted the temptation of drafting help from the first team.

"It's times like this when the fruits of the hard work are seen through excellent youngsters like Zain, Irfan and Umair."

APSA beat Manor Park, Inter Asia, Bari B and now Bulwar en-route to the final and will now take on league leaders Plaistow Sanjaman in the final to be held at Wadham Lodge, Walthamstow, or the Terence McMillan Stadium in May.

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