Tauseef craves glory: halted the agony of missed penalties

Lahore, 3 March: Faisalabad-born Muhammad Tauseef not only became the first-ever goal scorer for Pakistan against Palestine in the entire history of international soccer circuit but on Tuesday night he halted the agony of missed penalties that put out Pakistan from three events.

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF)’s President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, Secretary General Lt.Col ® Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi praised him for a lovely, brilliant right-footed strike from the penalty-mark that sent goal keeper wrong way. Down 0-2, FIFA Referee Khurram Shahzad awarded Pakistan a 36th minute penalty kick when Palestine left back Samer Hlsi tripped Pakistani midfielder Faisal Iqbal (NBP). Jersey No.6, playing as midfielder, Tauseef stepped up and found the top right corner to seal an amazing goal as Palestine keeper and skipper Abdallah Alsidawi wondered where his cover might be. Palestine edged past Pakistan 2-1 at  Punjab Stadium, Lahore, the win taking the visitors one-up in the four-match series.
Tauseef’s goal was first for Pakistan in international arena since 8 December 2009’s 8th SAFF Championship tie when Arif Mehmood struck hat-trick in 7-0 win over Bhutan at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Born on 2 April 1992, Tauseef earned Pakistani color for the first time in 16th Asian Games 2010, followed by Thailand Tour 2011 and precious game against Malaysia U21, the first leg of their 2012 Olympic Games first round qualifier. Tauseef is gold medallist for Pakistan WAPDA in last year’s 31st National Games and is now playing for their unit LESCO, currently under AFC AID 27 coach Muhammad Habib. “It is big sigh of relief for us as fumbling of vital penalty kicks eliminated us from the events” said Lodhi. He has expressed the need for an overall improvement in key areas of the Pakistan team such as penalty taking and midfield area prior to the coming international assignments.

“There is lot of things we should improve before the second Test against Palestine, second leg against Malaysia in London Olympics Qualifers and India, Turkmenistan, Chinese Taipei in 4th AFC Challenge Cup, especially the penalty-kick area.

Last year, Pakistan with their speedy counter attack based game kept all their three opposition in Asian Games 2010 cornered at times match but lacked the finishing edge. To add more woes to their sufferings Pakistan missed a penalty squandering the opportunity of taking pre quarter-final berth. It was disappointment third in a row.

Former Pakistan coach George Kottan was a disappointing man when European based midfielder Adnan Farooq Ahmed (Ferencvarosi TC), much to the dismay to the Pakistan dugout, blasted the 87th minute penalty wide of the upright against Sri Lanka on 4 December in SAFF Championship 2009 at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu National Stadium. A month later, two NBP’s midfielders Abdul Aziz and Abbas Ali missed penalties against the same opposition giving more worrying moments to Kottan in the 11th South Asian Games match at M.A. Aziz Stadium, Chittagong. Third incident occurred in 16th Asian Games when Samar Ishaq, skipper of KRL that won the Pakistan Premier Football League 2009, saw his 84th minute spot-kick was blocked by Maldives keeper Imran Mohamed as the Maldives held Graham Roberts- consulted Pakistan to a 0-0 draw at the Huangpu Stadium in Guangzhou on 9 November 2010.

“We have drew 0-0 with former Asian Champions Iraq, clinched SAG 2006, so we must step up in some areas before the big event like Olympics, World Cup, AFC Challenge Cup and SAFF Championship and that is very important for us.”

“Our display at Asian Games was praiseworthy. If one compare Pakistan National team ranking of the-then 169 with the national teams of Oman (96), Thailand( 108) and Maldives (148), one can judge the display of team having three foreigners Atif Bashir, Fraaz Ahmed and Shani Qayyum.