UAE armed forces beat Pakistan

KARACHI: Pakistan football team went 2-1 down against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces in a warm-up game in Dubai on Monday night, 11 March 2013.

The hosts scored two goals in the first half to bring Pakistan under pressure. Pakistan managed to reduce the deficit in the second half through Naveed Ahmed, who landed a splendid goal with a pile-driver from 25 yards, but they failed to bring the equaliser.

A top official of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) said on Tuesday that the team should have won the game. “Had we won it would definitely have boosted the morale of the team ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers,” the official said.

In spite of the result, the coach Zavisa Milosavljevic was satisfied with the way the team played. “You know the UAE armed forces team had several African international players and it gave us good practice ahead of the qualifiers,” Zavisa told ‘The News’ from Dubai on Tuesday.

“Although our start was not good and in the initial ten minutes our players played in a disjointed way, latter on they bounced back smartly and particularly in the second half they played splendid game,” Zavisa said. Zavisa said he was satisfied with the team’s progress so far. “It was the final test for the team ahead of the qualifiers and I am satisfied with the way the team has made progress,” said Zavisa.

This was the only scheduled game which Pakistan had to play on their week-long Dubai tour. “It was our only planned practice match and we don’t plan another as we don’t want to take any risk before the qualifiers,” said the Serbian.

He said that England-based midfielder Adnan Ahmad had also joined the team in Dubai, while he was expecting Denmark-based Yousuf Butt and Yaqoob Butt to join the side on March 14.

Denmark-based striker Hasan Bashir will join the team in Kyrgyzstan. Denmark-based striker Mohammad Ali had joined the camp in Pakistan.

Pakistan, who are in Group B of the qualifiers, will face former champions Tajikistan in their opener on March 17 at the Spartak Stadium in Bishkek, followed by their clash against hosts Kyrgyzstan on March 19 and Macau on March 21.

Pakistan will need at least two wins with a decent goal average or two wins and a draw to qualify for the main round, which is to be hosted by Maldives in 2014.

Myanmar have qualified for the main round from Group A, Afghanistan from Group C and Palestine from Group D.

The Group E consists of Philippines, Turkmenistan, Cambodia and Brunei Darussalam.

The five group winners and two best second-placed sides are to join hosts Maldives in the main round.

Bangladesh and India are in contention to enter the main round as best second-placed sides. They have six points each in their respective groups with Bangladesh having better goal-average than India. .

From: The News