Inspired by striker Muhammad Bilal’s 4 goal burst, Pakistan U16 showed a breathtaking and dominant performance in their second Group-A match by hammering Maldives U16 6-0 in the inaugural SAFF U16 Championship 2011 being held in Kathmandu, Nepal.
This was Pakistan’s second successive win the group after 1-0 win over India U16 on 1 August 2011, and helping the young guns reach the semi-final stage by topping their Group-A with 6 points from the 2 games.
At the Dasarath Rangsala Stadium, Pakistan immediatly put Maldives to the sword from the beginning, when Muhammad Bilal put his side ahead from a Mansoor Khan corner. The early goal, coupled with intense Pakistani pressure, put the Maldivians in complete disarray as they failed time and again to deal with the relentless Pakistani attacks. Muhammad Sohail, Sher Ali, Muhammad Zeeshan all came close to scoring but were unlucky to add to the total as it remained 1-0 in favour of Pakistan at half time.
But in 2nd half, the flood gates were well and truly opened. Pakistan went 2-0 up in 56th minute with another Muhammad Bilal goal following a good cross from the impressive Sher Ali. The dynamic winger himself came close to scoring but was flagged offside in 60th minute. However, Pakistan’s intense aggression and attacks paid dividends as Sher Ali scored a quickfire brace in the 79th and 80th minute to knock the wind out of Maldives completely as Pakistan went 4-0 up with 10 minutes left.
4 minutes later, Bilal completed his hat-trick with a superb solo run past the bamboozled Maldives defence to make it 5-0. Bilal then added his fourth, and 6th over all for Pakistan, when his superb shot from 25 yards out beat Maldives goalie Shareef Ibrahim all ends up in stoppage time. The Pakistan team well and truly hit Maldives for Six, and all credit goes to the team as well as the astute coaching of Sajjad Mehmood and Hassan Baloch.
Pakistan’s dominating performance in this 6-0 result has given the players and coaching staff the confidence to consider themselves as worthy favourites for the inaugural SAFF U16 title.