Pakistan hold hosts Bahrain 0-0 in U22 friendly

Pakistan U22 began their latest tour with a cagey 0-0 draw against the home side Bahrain U22 last night, 14 June 2012, at the Isa Town Football Stadium in Madinat ‘Isa, Bahrain.

As per updates from PFF Media Cell, the match started at 9 PM PST and finished scoreless as Zavisa Milosavljevic’s Pakistan U22 managed to hold the much stronger Bahrain U22 coached by Anthony Hudson.

The match between Pakistan U-22 and Bahrain U-22 ended in a goal-less draw in their opener of the Three Matches Friendly Football Series at the Isa Football Stadium, Khalifa Sports City, Bahrain on Thursday.

According to the press release issued here by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), enjoying the bulk of possession initially, Pakistan played very well in the first half, however, Adil and Riaz Ahmed were given god sent opportunity which they could not availed. In the second half Kaleem Ullah secured a corner and tried to secure goal with his head but the ball landed in the lap of the goal keeper of Bahrain and as such another opportunity was lost.

Faisal Iqbal in second half could not encash two golden opportunities. However goal keeper Muzammil showed exemplary alertness by saving two goals from the opposing team. The defender also displayed their best abilities during the match.

Pakistan’s National team has FIFA World Ranking of 181 as compared to Bahrain’s 95, but the U22 team of Pakistan put up fine display. But in spite of the result, Pakistan coach Zavisha Milosavljevic was happy with the way his side played against Bahrain’s team. “The boys played very well against Bahrain which was the most senior and seasoned side of the teams featuring in the Arab countries,”

This was the first of two friendly games between the two U22 teams as they gear up for the upcoming AFC U22 Asian Cup qualifiers scheduled for later this month from 23 June till 3 July 2012 across Asia.

Pakistan U22 are in Group B that will be hosted by Saudi Arabia where the U22 teams of Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Sri Lanka and Syria will join them.

Bahrain U22 are in Group C that will be hosted by Malaysia where the U22 teams of Iran, Kuwait, Maldives, Qatar, and Tajikistan will also join them.

41 AFC member associations have entered the qualification to grab 15 spots in the final tournament The qualifiers will be held in seven centralised venues, which will be announced later.

The teams were divided into six groups of six teams each and one group of five. They will play one-round league format and the top two teams will qualify for the tournament proper along with the best third-placed team in all the groups. The hosts of the Finals will get a direct berth.