KPT record maiden win in PPL

Alam Zeb Safi [The News]
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

KARACHI: Mohammad bin Younis’ lone strike enabled Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to pull off their first win of the season when they defeated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) 1-0 in the 9th Pakistan Premier Football League here at the KPT Stadium on Monday.

Strongly built Mohammad provided the lead to KPT in the seventh minute through a splendid field effort. In the first half both the teams played an open game. The hosts KPT looked terrific but failed to capitalise on the open opportunities that came their way.

In the 12th minute, Jalil found Mohammad on the right flank and the latter headed it towards an unmarked Zahid Ahmad whose drive in the goalmouth went off the target. Moments later PIA’s skipper Nasrullah could have brought the parity but his forceful shot was smartly gathered by the KPT keeper Sajid Hussain.

In the 18th minute Junaid Qadir, who was part of the Pakistan Under-22 team in the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Saudi Arabia recently, failed to convert an easier chance, much to the disappointment of fellow players.

PIA’s key striker Shakir Lashari injured his left foot when KPT’s keeper fell on him during a rally and the blow badly affected the visitors’ performance as the striker had to wrap up a bandage around it. But Shakir said that he would be fit for his team’s next game. “Yes, I will be fit for the next game,” he told this correspondent.

Just before the breather, KPT were awarded a penalty but Akhtar Mamol’s drive from the spot was splendidly cleared by PIA’s international keeper Bilal Rafique, diving towards his left. At half time, KPT had 1-0 edge. After the breather, both sides played rough game. In the 63rd minute, PIA were near scoring an equaliser but Zeeshan’s fine pass could not be capitalised by Riaz Ahmad.

A few minutes from full time, Bilal Rafique made a diving save on a forceful drive from Sarmad, the substitute for striker Mohammad who looked off-colour after scoring the solitary goal of the show.

PIA’s coach Shamim Khan was disappointed by the loss. “It was an upset defeat for us. After our main striker Shakir Lashari got injured, it affected the team’s flow in the frontline,” Shamim told ‘The News’.

KPT coach Mohammad Asif was happy with the outcome. “I am really happy that we opened the account today. Our frontline missed a few real chances, which is not good. We are trying to work on the accuracy of the frontline and hopefully will be able to bring improvement with the passage of time,” said Asif.

KPT were missing their skipper Zafar Majeed who was sent off with a red card in his team’s previous game against National Bank at the same venue.

9th Pakistan Premier Football League-2012(9th PPFL-2012)

Match Result (Monday, September 10, 2012)

Match # 16

KPT beat PIA 1:0 @ 1600 PST @ KPT Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan

Yellow Card PIA: Abdul Ghafar 45+1 Mnt and Ali Adeem Shahzad 56 Mnt.

Best Player: Muhammad Bilal of PIA

Match Commissioner: Abdu Shakoor Baloch Cell # 0321-9299986

Tomorrow 9th PPFL-2012 Fixture :( Tuesday, September 11, 2012)

Match # 17 Afghan FC Vs Muslim FC @ 1600 PST @ Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan

Match # 18 Army Vs PAF @ 1600 PST @ Army Stadium, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Match # 19 Navy Vs KESC @ 1600 PST @ KPT Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan

Match # 20 HBL Vs NBP @ 1600 PST @ Peoples Football Stadium, Karachi, Pakistan