Sunday, March 18, 2012
KARACHI: Mohammad Rasool’s treble helped Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) to overwhelm Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 3-1 and set a quarter-final date with National Youth A who prevailed over Police 2-1 as the league rounds of the National Football Challenge Cup concluded here on Saturday, 17 March 2012.
Meanwhile, holders KRL kicked National Bank out of the tournament after holding them to a 2-2 draw to join KPT in the quarter-finals to be held on Monday (tomorrow).
Here at the KPT Stadium, Chitral-born Rasool looked in terrific touch, scoring goals in the 8th, 49th and 56th minutes enabling KESC to top Group B with seven points. KPT, who missed a penalty when Mohammad bin Younis failed to beat KESC goalkeeper Jehangir Khan in the 76th minute, scored a consolation goal in the 22nd minute through Jamaluddin.
“The players played according to the plans. Essa’s presence in the team is a big advantage and I am hopeful that we will perform much better in the knock-out stage,” KESC coach Akbar Ali told ‘The News’.
KPT skipper Zafar Majeed was satisfied with his team’s performance.
In a Group C vital clash at the same venue, National Bank were shown the door when they were held by KRL after an entertaining game to finish as group leaders with seven points.
KRL went ahead through Rizwan Asif in the 18th minute before midfielder Abdul Aziz brought parity for the bankers in the 56th minute. Three minutes later, National Bank were put 2-1 ahead by Muhammad Asif with a fine field effort but in the 62nd minute KRL bounced back when Kaleemullah struck for them due to a blunder from goalie Mohammad Umar and defender Akmal.
“In spite of the absence of a few key players, we played well against a top national team,” NBP coach Nasir Ismail said.
KRL coach Tariq Lutfi said, “It was a fine game as NBP too offered tough resistance but I am hopeful that we will give our hundred percent in the quarter-final.”
Meanwhile, in a Group C match at the Peoples Sports Complex, National Youth A, which played in the AFC Under-19 Championship Qualifiers last year in Iran, moved into the last eight stage after edging out Police to end as group runners-up with four points.
Saadulah and Abdul Salam scored one goal apiece to put National Youth A 2-0 in front in the fist half. After the breather, Police, whose six players were suspended on Friday for assaulting a referee during their match against KRL on Thursday, scored the lone goal through Wasim Abbas in the 75th minute to end the league stage with just a single point.
In a Group B dead-rubber, Pakistan Steel crushed Gwadar Port Authority 4-0 for their first victory in the event. Abdul Wahab scored a brace while he was joined by Naveed Raza and Mohammad Akram on the scoring chart with one goal apiece.
Today’s fixtures: Quarter-finals: WAPDA v Pak PWD (KPT Stadium, 1:00pm), Army v Navy (KPT Stadium, 3:45pm).