KRL cruise past Navy despite missing key players

LAHORE (October 04, 2010) : Title-holders Khan Research Laboratories struck twice within nine minutes to inflict 2-0 win over Pakistan Navy in the 46th match of Pakistan Premier Football League. KRL started the game well, availing the opportunity to goal in the fifth minute when Mudassar Saeed provided a cross for Abid Ghafoor who shot wide from 20 yards.

But a minute later, ball was in Navy’s net as KRL lanky Islamabad-born winger Muhammad Qasim, one of the hat-trick makers in international soccer arena for Pakistan, slipped the ball past seamen’s keeper Ishaq Ahmed.

Despite weakened by the absence of six players due to National duty – Samar Ishaq, Kalim Ullah Khan, Mehmood Khan, Yasir Afridi, Muhammad Adil, Rizwan Asif in Pakistan U23 Camp – KRL doubled the margin in the ninth minute through Chitral-born Zia Us Salam who out-muscled Navy defence, whipping a powerful shot that found the left corner.

Navy could have reduced the arrears in the 23rd minute when Asif Bakhsh curled in a cross, but Muhammad Basharat’s header did little to trouble goalkeeper Asim Khurshid who made a comfortable save.

Navy lacked creativity in midfield and left full Abdul Haq’s poor clearance almost earned title-holder the chance to extend their lead but Ghazi Khan failed to capitalise on the error. Proving a menace for the KRL defence, Navy winger Asif Bakhsh’s low cross in the 44th minute needed a well-timed clearance from Asim, a keeper born at Lahore. KRL led 2-0 at Interval.

KRL, currently possessing PPFL and NFCC titles, had the ball in the net in the 59th minute when Jalil Ahmed’ shot powered past goalkeeper Ishaq, but referee Shafaat Habib ruled it out for a foul. In the tournament, Navy has recorded six points in six matches while KRL, with game in hand, secured eight points in five matches.

Today’s fixture: Young Blood FC v PEL (Rai Ali Nawaz Stadium, Sahiwal).