Yet another draw; Group B evenly poised

Kathmandu, March 8:

Pakistan and Arambagh Kriasangha of Bangladesh played a tame 1-1 draw in the Prime Minister’s Cup Invitational International Football Tournament here at the Dasharah Stadium today.

Malay Barman scored for Arambagh in the 77th minute and skipper Essan Khan found the equaliser for Pakistan four minutes later. The result means Arambagh lead Group ‘B’ with two points from as many matches while Pakistan and Nepal ‘Red’ have one point each.

Arambagh and Nepal ‘Red’ had also played a 1-1 draw on Friday. The home team and Pakistan will play their last league match on Wednesday which will decide the two berths for the semi-finals from the group. Clear result on Wednesday means Arambagh will advance along with the winners of that match while the draw will force a three-way tie.

The first 45 minutes today saw both the teams content playing the around the midfield. Pakistan squandered a rare chance, though, 17 minutes after the break when Mohammad Rasool struck waywardly from eight yards. Although Pakistan dominated the second half, it was Arambagh who took the lead in the 77th minute.

Syed Rashed Turzo provided a cross inside the box and SM Emrul Hasan played it towards Baram who tapped in. The Bangladeshi team’s lead, however, lasted for only four minutes as Pakistani skipper Essa Khan struck the equaliser in the 81st minute. Pakistan would have walked away with three clear points had Arambagh goalkeeper Mitul not acrobatically punched away Nasrullah Khan’s shot. They were also unlucky when Ateeq Ullah’s strike from eight yards hit the cross bar.