By Faizan Liaqat, FPDC Correspondent, Karachi
So the month long festival of football came to a smashing end on 10th December 2017 in Karachi as KRL ousted KPT in the final to be crowned inaugural champions. The match at the KMC Stadium saw an enthusiastic crowd that gathered to watch the football action and witnessed a feisty encounter between two of Pakistan’s biggest teams in recent times.
The game started with a great chance for KRL hotshot Murtaza Hussain, whose headed effort on the 4th minute was parried away by the KPT gloveman. Murtaza, who was in fine form during the tournament, had a lackluster outing in the final. Instead it was teammate Umair Ali’s chance to shine and the midfielder took it with both hands, notching a brilliant free-kick from 22-yards inside 10 minutes to give his side the lead.
KRL manager Ayaz Butt made a startling choice to omit Quetta-based midfielder Rajab Ali from the starting XI, but the former Premier League champions controlled the first half in its entirety despite not being able to add to their score-line.
With the front-line struggling to convert chances, KRL sent on Rajab in the 2nd half and it was his deft pass on the 90th minute that helped Murtaza seal the win.
The well-organized tournament saw a 4000-strong crowd descend on the KMC Stadium, where the management did a great job with the organization and sent out a strong message that despite the FIFA ban, football is alive and kicking in Karachi.