KARACHI: Karachi Port Trust (KPT) survived a scare when they struck in the last few seconds to hold Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) to a 2-2 draw in their match of the 12th Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KMC Stadium on Tuesday.
SNGPL, who qualified for the top-tier league through play-offs last summer, got onto the scoresheet in the 33rd minute when Mohammad Shoaib’s pile-driver from the edge of the area went into the net.
However, KPT did not lose momentum and were able to bring in an equaliser in the 41st minute through Fareed when he steered a solid pass from the right flank into the net. At half time, the match was evenly poised at 1-1.In the second half, a gruelling fight was witnessed with either side going all out for taking the lead .
And eventually SNGPL succeeded in securing the lead when Sada Bahar hit one on rebound in the 76th minute. At this stage KPT expedited their efforts and it paid dividends when they were awarded a controversial penalty in the last few seconds. And experienced Zubair did not make any mistake from the spot to make it 2-2 and earn a crucial point for KPT who were playing as guests in the game.
KPT moved to nine points from 13 outings, SNGPL, who entered football circle about four years ago, stretched their points tally to 12 from 13 matches. Balochistan’s Abdul Sattar Badeni supervised the match which was witnessed by a sizable crowd.
The league has become limited to only 14 teams following the pull out of Bahawalpur’s Ashraf Sugar Mills who did not turn up for the Karachi’s final round after having played ten matches in the Multan and Lahore rounds. As per rules they have been relegated.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), who did not appear in the event from the start due to financial issues, have also been demoted.
Now two more outfits will go to the second-tier football. There are a handful of teams who are in the relegation zone with Nushki’s Baloch FC, KPT and SNGPL are on the razor’s edge.