KARACHI: Pakistan Premier Football League’s (PPFL) four-time winners Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) blasted their way into the quarter-finals when they overwhelmed spirited KMC 3-0 in their Group B outing of the First Naya Nazimabad Quaid-e-Azam Departmental Football tournament here at the KMC Stadium on Monday.
Umair emerged as hero for the winners with fine double to take KRL to six points with a game yet in hand.
“It was a nice progress from my side. Although we did not score more goals but it’s better as if a team score more goals the players get relaxed,” KRL manager Ayaz Butt told ‘The News’. “I am confident that my side will further raise their game as the players have started showing gradual progress in the event,” the official said.
It was in fact a contest between the skilled and experenced Rawalpindi-based side whose players get Rs5800 daily allowance during their stay in Karachi and an outfit of KMC which have assembled players from different clubs and are not paid.
Despite this, KMC’s troops also produced a few solid movements and showed great resolve in the entire game witnessed by a thick crowd being charged Rs10 in order to raise some fund for the venue where work is yet to start despite approval of Rs20million by the government.
KRL, who had defeated Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) in their first outing, got onto the scoresheet when Abdul Samad struck through solo effort due to goalkeeping blunder in the second minute.
It was also the fastest goal of the 14-team event, which also lost Asia Ghee Mills of Bahawalpur. They were scratched after not returning to resume their game against Karachi Port Trust (KPT) after walking out of the pitch in protest against decisions of the referee on Sunday.
At half time, KRL had 1-0 edge. In the second half, KRL further brought discipline in their ranks and it was Umair who struck twice, scoring in the 52nd and 72nd minutes to seal a comfortable win for his side. KMC, who had beaten Pak PWD, are still alive.
KRL’s Adnan Saeed and Murtaza Hussain were shown yellow cards in the 29th and 37th minute, while KMC’s Habib was booked in the 40th minute.
Mohammad Yousuf supervised the match. Pervez Yousuf and Naseer Papu were the assistant referees.
On Tuesday (today), a vital Group D game would be held between National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Chaman’s Muslim Trading. Both have a great rivalry in the Premier League.
“It would be an interesting game,” an official of Muslim Trading told this correspondent.
NBP, who have already been shocked 0-1 by Sindh Government Press (SGP) in their opener, need a win to qualify for the quarter-finals.