Positives from Pakistan’s SAFF Championship campaign

Positives from Pakistan’s SAFF Championship campaign

Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad

FPDC lists the main headers gathered from the Shaheens’ heroic show in Nepal, in which the team was quite unlucky not to make it to the semi-finals.

1. Hassan Bashir is Pakistan’s best goal threat

With off the ball movement to rival any South Asian star, Hassan has endeared himself to the Pakistani faithful with his finesse and superb ball skills. The striker was quite unlucky not have more goals to his names, but a little improvement in terms of goal-to-chance ratio would do his reputation and Pakistan’s great wonders.

2. Saddam Hussain is a quality defensive midfielder

Going into the tournament, Amjad Iqbal’s absence was always going to be felt in the squad as no player can replace the midfielder cum defender from the current team. However, Saddam did a superb job and was not only sound with his tackling and ball retention, but really impressed this writer with his first touch. Yes, he may not be up there with Iqbal or Adnan Ahmad in terms of quality, but he can certainly get the task done and is a very good name to have on the team-sheet.

3. Zesh Rehman is Pakistan’s centre-back

There can be no doubting the man following his sensational efforts in Nepal. Zesh stated he wanted to play in the tournament and was certainly a rock in the backline, where he used all his experience to keep attackers at bay. Perhaps in the future, Pakistan could boast of Zesh alongside AC Horsen’s Nabil Aslam as their first-choice centre-back pairing provided documents get sorted quickly for Nabil.

4. Yousuf Butt is Pakistan’s number one, but he needs to improve some aspects of his game

Butt is quite talented; there is no doubt about that. And in order to cement in his first-choice status under Mohammad Al-Shamlan all he needs to do is slightly up his ball catching and punching abilities.

Pakistan have played their hearts out and were left ruing their luck. But now they need to pick their momentum and translate that into success under the new Bahraini coach, starting with a hefty amount of friendly games ever year until competitions come around.

5. Adil is a winged-wonder

The KRL star emphatically made his point in Kathmandu, tormenting left-backs with uncommon ease. And with a penchant eye for crosses and dribbling, all Adil has to do is maintain his consistency and greener pastures than the Pakistan Premier League will beckon for him.