KARACHI: Adam Hameed’s fine brace put National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in the quarter-finals when they overpowered Chaman’s Muslim Trading Company 3-2 after a tough Group D outing of the First Naya Nazimabad Quaid-e-Azam Departmental Football tournament here at the KMC Stadium on Tuesday.
Muslim Trading Company, who had beaten Sindh Government Press (SGP) in their three-outfit group, also qualified for the quarter-finals as group leaders. NBP finished group runners-up as their goal average was less than Muslim Trading Company, Pakistan’s top-tier football league side.
“The team played really aggressive. It was the only way to play because we had no option but to win the game to qualify for quarter-finals,” NBP coach Nasir Ismail told ‘The News’.
Meanwhile, Muslim Trading Company’s coach Khalid Nawaz said that his team missed a few chances.“The problem with us was that we did not avail of optimum opportunities which came in our way. NBP on the other hand converted chances that benefitted them,” he said.
He praised striker Tahir who played really well in the event so far.“Tahir has quality, confidence and his shooting is also fairly good,” Khalid conceded. The group had been reduced to three teams after Chaman’s PACA did not turn up despite confirming their entry.
In a tough game witnessed by a large crowd, Adam put NBP ahead in the 65th minute after a barren but action-packed first half. However, Muslim Trading Company were able to bring an equaliser in the 74th minute through a solid strike from international striker Mohammad Tahir.
But all this did not deter NBP who once again put themselves ahead through Adam who completed his brace in the 76th minute. Two minute later, Maqbool inflated the bankers’ tally to 3-1 before Muslim Trading Company pulled one back in the 79th minute.
In the last few minutes, outfit from Chaman made concerted efforts to bring an equaliser but failed to do so due to strong defence work from NBP.
Younis Lal supervised the match. Pervez Yousuf and Javed Ibrahim served as his assistants. Abdul Shakoor Baloch acted as match commissioner.
On Wednesday (today), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) face KMC in their vital Group B meeting. The winners of this outing would qualify for the quarter-finals.
Former four-time Pakistan Premier League champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) have already made it to the quarter-finals following two wins on the trot.