KARACHI: Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) clinched their third successive Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) title after a 0-0 stalemate with 10-man National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) here on Monday.
The point meant KRL moved to 66 points with a staggering goal difference (+50) which cannot be caught by closest contenders Army who have 57 points with three games of the season left to play.
NBP coach Nasir Ismail decided to field a team of junior players against a KRL side at the KPT Stadium and was thrilled at the performance of his players, notably goalkeeper Mohammad Umar who made a string of fine saves.
“For us, it was an inconsequential match,” Nasir told Dawn after his team consolidated sixth place in the standings after the draw. “But I’m pleased with the performance of my young players who kept the champions in check.”
NBP, reduced to ten men after Adnan Nazar was sent off in the 53rd minute, could have gotten more than a point after they hit the bar late in the second-half after KRL had dominated the opening exchanges.
For KRL, it has been a season of sheer dominance and the came into the game needing just a point from their last four games to secure the title which meant there were little celebrations at the end of the match.
“The players knew we were already there so they didn’t celebrate much after the match,” KRL coach Tariq Lutfi said. “There will be celebrations through at the title ceremony at the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, Baloch FC moved to 33 points after being awarded a walkover against already-relegated Wohaib FC as the basement club did not turn up for their game at the Noushki Football Stadium in Balochistan.
Afghan FC v PAF (Govt High School Ground, Chaman); KESC v Army (KPT Football Stadium, Karachi); PIA v Wapda (Korangi Football Stadium, Karachi).