KRL continue winning ways in PPL

Alam Zeb Safi [the news]
Thursday, November 03, 2011

KARACHI: Favourites Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) further stretched their lead at the top when they inflicted a 2-0 defeat on former champions Army, Pakistan Police came from behind to beat minnows Pak Elektron Ltd (PEL) 4-1, while Habib Bank Limited (HBL) held star-studded National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to a 1-1 draw in matches of the 8th Pakistan Premier Football League held at different venues of the country on Wednesday.

At the Municipal Stadium in Rawalpindi, KRL, whose four key players are in the national team camp and two are with the Pakistan Under-19 team currently playing in the 2012 AFC Championship qualifiers in Iran, proved that their bench is also strong enough to maintain their supremacy with by dismantling soldiers in a one sided affair to inflate their tally to 51 from 19 games.

Mohammad Qasim put KRL ahead in the tenth minute before Asim Mansoor doubled their lead five minutes later. After the breather, Army resorted to their natural rough game with long passes but were unable to beat KRL defence.

The loss left Army at 30 points from 19 meetings.

Meanwhile, in another tight show here at the KPT Stadium, strong National Bank did not play according to their strength and were held to a draw by Habib Bank, who have been performing very well after the recent induction of young blood.

After a goalless but action-packed first half, young Adam Hameed, who has been surprisingly ignored for the SAFF Cup camp, put National Bank ahead when his thunderbolt drive from the edge of the area went into the net after deflecting off the bar.

Adam, who looks a complete player with good control and splendid touches, is being used wrongly by the team management and when he was playing well and National Bank needed a goal in the end the Mauripur boy was surprisingly replaced by the coach.

Moments latter, Adam created another golden opportunity but Farooq Shah’s undue delay in front of the goal gave the defenders enough time to block him.

After surviving few anxious moments, HBL bounced back into the game through Atif who scored on rebound in the 78th minute. After the equaliser, both sides played tough game and in the dying moments Zakir Lashari could score the winner for HBL when he had only to beat the goalie but failed to control the ball properly.

The single point catapulted NBP to 35 points from 22 appearances while HBL stretched their tally to 38 from 24 appearances.

Due to rough display, referee Fareed Ahmad had to show six yellow cards, four to NBP and two to HBL players.

At the Sadiq Shaheed Stadium in Quetta, Police crushed Pak Elektron Limited (PEL) 4-1 to take their points to 23 from 23 matches.

Police drew the first blood through Mohammad Ishaq in the 16th minute before Mohammad Zahir doubled their lead in the 53rd minute. Five minutes later, PEL reduced their deficit through Altaf Hussain before Zareef Khan scored a brace for Police to enhance their lead to 4-1 which lasted till the end.

The loss left PEL struggling in the relegation zone with just seven points from 22 matches.

Today’s fixtures: KPT v PIA (KPT Stadium, Karachi), Navy v PAF (Municipal Stadium, Rawalpindi).