KARACHI: Defending champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), Pakistan Air Force (PAF), PIA and KPT blasted their way into the quarter-finals with wins over their rivals in group matches of the NBP Football Cup 2011 at Faisalabad on Sunday.
KRL won their second game in a row when they edged out a demoralised Habib Bank 2-0 at the Bohranwali ground. After a subdued first half play which also saw the referee sent off Adil Sakhi (HBL) and Adil (KRL) with red cards, Rizwan Asif put KRL ahead from close range in the 50th minute before captain Samar Ishaq rasped a thunderous drive. KRL, who are yet to face PAF in their last league game which will also decide the pool toppers, have six points from two outings.
Meanwhile, in the other Group B clash at the Agriculture University, PAF outgunned the debutants ZTBL 2-0 to advance into the knock out stage. ZTBL were reduced to ten men in the 29th minute when Hikmatullah was sent off for a nasty foul. Mohammad Irfan provided PAF the lead on the stroke of half time before Amir Hussain struck in the 61st minute.
In Group C, PIA snatched a 2-1 victory against Police at the PMC Ground. Saddam Hussain put PIA ahead in the 54th minute before a Sher Hassan penalty brought an equaliser in the 71st minute. Nazir Ahmed Naji struck a winner in the 75th minute.
KPT scored their second consecutive win when they defeated PTV 1-0 in their Group C show at the PMC Ground. Zafar Majeed scored the winner a minute before full time.