KARACHI: Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) continued to defy the mounting injuries as they recorded their third win in a row in the Pakistan Premier League on Sunday, showing the form of champions as they beat a resolute Army side 1-0.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL), looking for their first victory of the new season, could get only a point after a goalless draw with Pakistan Navy while Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) played out a 1-1 draw against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) as the two teams met for a second time in the space of five days.
At the Army Stadium in Rawalpindi, a depleted KRL side missing several key players, won a physical match littered with yellow cards — five of them between the two sides — after Mohammad Qasim scored on the stroke of half-time.
In another match here at the People’s Sport Complex, a 73rd minute equaliser by Faisal Iqbal enabled NBP share points with KESC after both sides had also played out a 1-1 stalemate in their opening clash on Wednesday.
KESC had taken the lead in the 63rd through a Mohammad Riaz strike.
NBP coach Nasir Ismail blamed fatigue for the result, while talking to Dawn.
“What can we do when we’re given just a day’s rest between matches?” he asked.
On the fact that his side were facing an opponent they had played just earlier this week, he said: “They [the authorities] want to wrap up the league in just four months and that is why we are facing such a fixture congestion.”
HBL, who were coming on the back of a 2-0 defeat by PIA in their opening league fixture, had goalkeeper Sajid Hussain to thank for pulling off a string of saves in their goalless draw against Navy here at the KPT Sports Complex.
Meanwhile, the match between Afghan FC and Baloch FC at the Sadiq Shaheed Football Stadium in Quetta was abandoned due to heavy rain in the Balochistan capital.
KPT v PIA (KPT Stadium, Karachi).