Punjab Stadium Lahore to host eighth Pakistan-Malaysia football clash

Punjab Stadium, Lahore

Lahore, 7 March: Punjab Stadium will host second leg of Pakistan-Malaysia clash on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 (8 PM Kick Off) in Olympic football Asian qualifying tournament. It will be second time the capacity 8000 arena will be used for Pakistan’s match against overseas team within ten days. The same arena hosted Pakistan-Palestine clash on 1 March 2011.

It will be eighth meeting between the two sides and second-ever meeting between the two countries at age-limit Olympic level. Both the nations faced each other six times in national level with matches recorded as FIFA-recognized internationals. All players participating in Lahore clash shall be born on or after 1 January 1989. The first leg was played at Kuala Lumpur’s Shah Alam on 23 February 2011 with same age restriction. Malaysia won that leg 2-0.

The sixth clash in international soccer arena between the two nations was also  recorded in KL on 10 October 2008. Malaysia have edge over Pakistan with four wins as compared to Pakistan’s one in track record while the Merdeka Cup’s 08th September 1962 cash was ended 0-0. That was second meeting between the two in Merdeka Cup after 6 August 1960 clash – the first between two in international circuit – that provided 1-0 win to Malaysia who were then known as Malaya.

Pakistan managed to score only four goals against Malaysia in six outings – three of them coming in 3-2 win during 14th Kings Cup on 13 November 1981 when Muhammad Ali Shah completed hat-trick for Lala Akbar Raisani-led Pakistan.

From then on Pakistan scored only once against the South East Asians losing twice in Asian Cup Qualifiers : 0-5 at Kolkata’s Salt Lake stadia 1984 and 0-4 at KL’s Merdeka Stadium 1988, and 1–4 in 2008 friendly under Shahzad Anwar.

Malaysian Youth are currently champions of both event in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly abbreviated ASEAN. Their coach Rajagopal Krishnasamy, best-known for guiding Malaysia U23 side to its first gold medal in 20 years at the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Asian Games in Laos,will be against Pakistani coach Tariq Lutfi who returned back to National team after 2005 when Pakistan outscored Sukhvinder Singh-coached India in drawn 3-match series – the only Sub continent soccer series held so far.

Rajagopal is also coach of National team that beat neighbor Indonesia 4-2 on aggregate in the two-match final to win the ASEAN Suzuki Cup—southeast Asia’s premier tournament—for the first time last December 2010.



Date        Event                            Venue                                   Pak       Mal

1960     MerdekaCup                  Kuala Lumpur                  0           1

1962     Merdeka Cup                 Kuala Lumpur                  0           0

1981     Kings Cup                            Bangkok                         3           2

1984     Asian Cup (Q)                   Kolkata                            0           5

1988     Asian Cup (Q)                Kuala Lumpur                  0           4

2008     Friendly                         Kuala Lumpur                  1           4

2011     Olympics                    Selangor (U21)                     0           2

Q stands for Qualifying Phase







PFF Media Cell also adds:

Pakistan’s coach Tariq Lutfi hopes Pakistani youngsters strive to develop into international-calibre players, particularly after two matches against Palestine where they conceded only two goals in 180 minutes. “It’s normal for the public to expect a lot from this game but it is not fair to judge these young players because they need time to develop. If you expect a lot, it will put a lot of pressure on them,” said Tariq “You can’t have results without giving time for preparation and development.” Pakistan will take on Malaysia in Olympic Qualifier second leg at Lahore’s Punjab Stadium Wednesday, 9 March 2011 (8 PM).

Pakistan U21 is still in learning stage and the way they played against Palestine was praised worthy. Lutfi believes his boys have the experience and pedigree to develop into fine players in years to come if they stuck to their potential. While talking about Malaysians, he said that Malaysian coach Ong Kim Swee has six players from the AFF Suzuki Cup-winning side and also trainees who have had short stints with the national senior squad over the past year. Our opposition have also become more confident after their stint in Slovakia, where they were exposed to high quality matches, playing 14 competitive matches in the Slovakian Division One – a rung lower than the Slovakian Super League.

The football atmosphere in the two countries cannot be more different in second leg too as was the case with Shah Alam stadia’s first leg, as the two teams – Pakistan, Malaysia – prepare for their Lahore Olympic qualifiers. Malaysia are on a high after being crowned Asean champions for the first time last month, while Pakistan continue to search for answers after three penalty kick misses in as many events and 0-2 reverse at Selangor. Malaysia have been together for the best part of four years and they have had time to build a team of players able to take the international stage.

Before Selangor’s first leg, Pakistan U21 team visited Thailand. It turned out to be second ever visit of Thailand for Tariq Lutfi (PIA), after Coca Cola Cup. 1992 age-group event, as Pakistani coach who earned one-year coaching assignment for National Team from Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat on 15 January 2011. “The deal is for full 2011 but hopefully it will lead to a longer term agreement,” said Tariq who is on verge of retirement from PIA, already appeared in his last Pakistan Premier Football League. He will also coached Pakistan in coming 4-test Series against Palestine.

Malaysian U21 coach Ong Kim Swee said that “Playing against Pakistan is quite special, it brings back memories of the Merdeka Cup days where Pakistan faced Malaysia twice … and because our senior team has done well recently, there is definitely pressure on us to do well,” he said. Both Tariq and Ong admitted that “The result will be important but we must look at player development, of course.”