WAPDA down National Bank as KRL stretch lead

Adil Ahmed of NBP (green) kicks the ball against Akram Masih of WAPDA (white)
Alam Zeb Safi [The News]

KARACHI: Zulfiqar Shah scored a solitary goal to guide holders WAPDA to victory against National Bank while leaders Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) overwhelmed Habib Bank Limited (HBL) 2-0 in matches of the Pakistan Premier Football League here on Friday.

At the KPT Stadium here, Zulfiqar, given the captain’s armband in place of injured Arif Mehmood, scored a fine winner in the 82nd minute as WAPDA went to the fifth in the table with 11 points from seven meetings.

WAPDA were reduced to ten men when former FIFA referee Jehangir Khan sent off Akram Masih with a straight red card for nasty foul in the 26th.

Near the end of the game, WAPDA’s Zeeshan Javed was seriously injured during a nasty collision and was shifted to a local hospital for treatment.

“We were down to ten men very early but we fought bravely for a much needed victory,” WAPDA coach Khalid Butt told ‘The News’.

National Bank coach Nasir Ismail termed poor finishing as the main reason for his side’s loss.

“Our frontline failed to click as we missed five to six close chances. I’d asked my players to play in attacking game as we were playing against the defending champions but they failed to do that,” Nasir said.

National Bank stay at second place with 12 points from six matches.

At the People’s Sports Complex, KRL beat Habib Bank 2-0 to take their points to 19 from seven games which includes six wins and a draw.

After a barren first-half, international defender Samar Ishaq gave KRL the lead in the 63rd minute from the penalty spot before Saadullah doubled it with a powerful drive from 35 yards in the 79th.

“KRL are a better side but my boys played with great commitment and I am happy with it. We had played a poor game against WAPDA the other day. But against KRL, we resisted valiantly but the controversial penalty dented our hopes,” HBL manager Yousuf Khan said.

HBL have nine points from seven outings.

At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Akhtar landed a field goal in the 62nd minute to guide former champions Army to a 1-0 win over Nushki’s Baloch FC.

The triumph enabled soldiers move their points tally to seven from seven appearances while Baloch FC have three points from five matches.

Today’s fixtures: Police v Navy (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium, Quetta), Afghan FC v PAF (Sadiq Shaheed Stadium, Quetta), PIA v PMC Athletico (Sharafi Goth Football Ground, Korangi Baloch, Karachi)