NBP remain in hot pursuit of KRL

KARACHI: National Bank consolidated their position at second spot when they beat Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 2-0 in their match of the Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KPT Stadium on Sunday.

The win took National Bank’s points tally to 12 from five games and they are just a point behind leaders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) who have 13 points from five meetings.

KPT went into the game missing key players in both attack and defence due to injuries.

Bahawalpur-born Faisal Iqbal, who served as vice-captain for Pakistan during their World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh recently, opened the scoring for National Bank in the 37th minute. In the second-half, National Bank doubled their lead when international midfielder Farooq Shah fed skipper Abdul Aziz on the left and the latter hammered it past the goalkeeper.

National Bank coach Nasir Ismail said that his team should have scored more goals.

“My strikers missed seven clear chances but we still won the game and are just a single point behind KRL,” Nasir told ‘The News’ after the match.

“Our goal-average is also good, even slightly better than KRL and we will try to get maximum points at home which would later benefit us when we will play in Punjab and Quetta,” Nasir said.

KPT coach Mohammad Asif termed his defenders’ performance as the main reason behind his team’s defeat.

“It wasn’t a good day for us as we made few mistakes in the deep. We are fighting with injuries as well as our two defenders Jameel and Obaid are injured and so is striker Zahid Ahmed,” Asif said.

KPT, with two wins so far, have six points from four appearances.

Today’s fixtures: PEL v Afghan FC (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium, Quetta), HBL v KESC (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi).