KARACHI: Karachi Port Trust (KPT) on Tuesday dropped to the second-tier league after losing to Chaman’s Muslim FC 0-2 in their penultimate match of the 12th Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KMC Stadium.
The loss left KPT at only 17 points with a single game in hand. They have so far won only four matches, while lost 16 in the marathon which is inching towards its climax.
“It was a disappointing season for us,” KPT coach Fareed Majeed told ‘The News’ after his side relegated for the first time in the history of the country’s top-tier league. Fareed said that the strength was the real issue.
“This season we had hired around nine players on monthly stipends of Rs15,000 each. You know the players demand in market these days is around Rs80,000 to Rs100,000. And we had lifted the players from clubs and it’s not easy to click with such a stock,” Fareed said.
Because of the football situation in the country it is not yet confirmed what will in fact be the fate of KPT. After the control was taken over by the newly-elected body from FIFA-recognised Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) on December 31, the league’s status itself became a question mark.
Baloch FC had already fallen to the second-tier league. In the action-packed KPT-Muslim FC game, the latter went ahead through Sirajuddin who hit a clinical goal in the 48th minute. In the 85th minute, Mohammad Hanif doubled Muslim FC lead which lasted till full-time.
Muslim FC finished the season with 28 points from their quota of 26 matches.In another crucial game here at the KPT Stadium, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) recorded a much-needed 4-3 win over Chaman’s Afghan FC to avert demotion.
Mohammad Imran emerged as hero for SNGPL as he struck a treble, scoring goals in the 17th, 74th and 76th minute. Zeeshan landed the other goal for the winners in the tenth minute which also put SNGPL ahead.
Iftikhar (70th minute), Amanullah (72nd minute) and Umair (90+1) struck goals for Afghan FC.The win took SNGPL to 22 points from 25 games. Afghan FC, with the loss, finished the season with 28 points from 26 outings.
The league will conclude on January 13. The newly-elected PFF top officials including president Syed Ashfaq Hussain Shah will also grace the closing ceremony.