HBL come from behind to beat KPT, Army beat PMC


KARACHI: Habib Bank came from 0-2 down to beat Karachi Port Trust (KPT) 3-2 while former national champions Army outclassed Punjab Medical College (PMC) Athletico 2-0 in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) held on Saturday.

Here at the KPT Stadium, Habib Bank put up a fine display and came from behind to outgun hosts KPT and they now share 26 points with PIA but the latter have an edge over the bankers on goal-difference.

Karachi Port Trust (KPT) went ahead in the 24th minute with an excellent field effort from Zafar Majeed. KPT kept on putting pressure on the bankers but squandered a couple of open net chances as at half-time they were leading with 1-0. Three minutes into the second half, Aamir doubled KPT’s lead when he capitalised on a cross from the left winger.

At this stage, Habib Bank made some changes, also sending Khayyal Mohammad from midfield to the frontline which paid dividend as he scored two goals. Habib Bank reduced the deficit to 1-2 in the 57th minute when Khayyal Mohammad scored from the penalty spot before Zakir Lashari struck an equaliser for the bankers due to a goalkeeping blunder ten minutes latter. Khayyal, the most consistent scorer for HBL in the league so far, took his team 3-2 ahead for the first time in the game in the 69th minute. After going down, KPT went all out for an equaliser but failed to strike. The loss left KPT struggling with 17 points from 13 meetings.

“We made an outstanding comeback,” HBL manager Yousuf Khan told ‘The News’ after the match.

“We were 2-0 down which forced us to make some changes and sent Khayyal to the frontline where he clicked by scoring the double,” Yousuf said.

Meanwhile, at the Agriculture University Ground in Faisalabad, Ansar Javed scored a brace to help Army whack hosts PMC Athletico with an enviable ease. Ansar scored the opener on rebound in the 20th minute and netted his second in the 69th minute. The victory catapulted the soldiers to 16 points from 11 appearances while PMC Athletico are reeling at nine points from 14 matches.

Today’s fixtures: Muslim FC v Baloch FC (Government High School Ground, Chaman), KESC v PIA (Peoples Sports Complex, Karachi).