Alam Zeb Safi [The News]
KARACHI: Defending champions Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) took an impressive start when they crushed debutants Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) 4-0 in their Group B opener of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Football Cup 2011 at the Bohranwali Football Ground in Faisalabad on Friday.
KRL, playing under Pakistan’s head coach Tariq Lutfi, kept their inexperienced rivals under terrific pressure. KRL, former winners of the Premier League, drew first blood through Asim Mansoor in the 21st minute.
In the second half, ZTBL, who entered the national circuit with their maiden appearance in the second-tier competition, the PFF league last year, completely capitulated.
KRL second goal came in the 56th minute through Chaman-born Mehmood Khan before Rizwan Asif scored a fine brace in space of just five minutes. The Narowal-born striker burst through the defence scoring a superb goal in the 83rd minute before poking another drive past the keeper in the 88th minute to seal a comfortable victory for KRL.
Meanwhile, in other Group C tie at the Punjab Medical College Ground saw Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) record a slender 1-0 triumph over the PFF League champions Pakistan Television. Discarded striker Shakir Lashari scored the goal for PIA in the 26th minute with a nice angular drive from left wing.
In other composed battle, Karachi Port Trust (KPT) earned full points with a 1-0 victory over Pakistan Police at the same venue. Zafar Majeed, who visited England with the Pakistan team in 2001, scored the lone goal of the hard-fought showdown which saw subdued and quite a rough game from both sides.