KARACHI: Recovering from their narrow 0-1 loss to SSGC the other day, former four-time winners Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) surged to the top spot when they beat spirited National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) 1-0 thanks to the latter’s own goal in their crucial game of the 12th Pakistan Premier Football League here at Korangi Baloch Football Ground in Sharafi Goth on Thursday.
In the hotly-contested battle, KRL took the decisive lead in the 70th minute when Izharullah’s solid cross was headed by NBP’s defender Misbah-ul-Hasan into his own goal.“It was a tough game but we were lucky to get a goal,” KRL coach Sajjad Mehmood told ‘The News’.
He praised NBP for a fine display. “NBP played superbly today,” he added.The outcome enabled KRL to displace Pakistan Air Force (PAF) from the summit as they took their tally to 29 points from 14 matches if their win against Ashraf Sugar Mills is excluded. The ASM have pulled out of the top-tier league due to financial issues.
As per the rules, the record of their matches against the rivals in the first and second phases in Punjab will be removed.NBP coach Nasir Ismail was satisfied with his team’s performance despite the loss. “I am very much satisfied with the way my boys played as per the plan,” Nasir said.“Our defender Israr made a mistake when he left KRL’s striker unmarked and that cost us in the form of an own goal,” he added.
Nasir was also happy with Misbah’s perfromance.“Misbah played an outstanding game. He also kept guiding his juniors in the deep,” Nasir said. The loss left NBP on 17 points from 14 outings.
Meanwhile, in another match here at KPT Stadium, former four-time champions WAPDA overwhelmed former two-time winners Army 2-0 to take their points to 26 from 14 outings. International defender Mohammad Ahmed struck in the ninth minute and then in the stoppage time to seal a fantastic win.
The loss left Army on 24 points from 14 appearances.Later at the same venue, Chaman’s Muslim FC held Navy to a 1-1 draw to take their points to 15 from 14 outings.Bilal put Navy ahead in the 13th minute. Himmat Khan levelled for Muslim FC in the 69th minute.
According to a source, a Navy player got critically injured who was then rushed to the hospital in a hurriedly-hired pick-up in the absence of an ambulance. The one point took Navy to 15 points after 14 matches.
Here at Korangi Baloch Football Ground in Sharafi Goth, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) held strong Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) to a 1-1 draw. Mohammad Bilal put PCAA ahead in the 13th minute. However, SSGC fought back through Mohammad Lal who hit an equaliser in the 27th minute.
The single point took SSGC to 25 points from 14 matches. The outcome also enabled PCAA to take their points to 15 from 14 outings.