FIFA World Cup Pre-Qualifier Preview: Pakistan vs. Yemen

FIFA World Cup Pre-Qualifier Preview: Pakistan vs. Yemen

By Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad

The Shaheens will aim to turn around a 3-1 first leg loss  when they host Yemen at the Khalifa Stadium in Bahrain at 8:30 pm PST on 23rd March.

Form Guide:


Coach Shamlan’s charges faltered in Doha and let in easy goals that could well cost them a berth in the group stages. Yemen’s strong attack took full advantage of the weak Pakistani backline and although they are favourites, the hosts will be content with the fact that they beat reigning SAFF champions Afghanistan at this very venue last month.


The Yemenites overpowered Pakistan’s midfield and defence, but will approach the game cautiously because of Pakistan’s single away goal.

Team News:


Mohammad Al-Shamlan faces a major selection dilemma in his biggest in-charge of Pakistan, with influential Isa Town midfielder Mohammad Ahmed being out of the game with a muscle injury. Goalkeeper Muzammil Hussain’s woeful outing at the Grand Hamad Stadium means that there is a good chance either Saqib Hanif or Ahsanullah could be given a starting role. But the biggest blow to the Bahraini is the loss of Nabil Aslam to a knee injury, that will see the Denmark-based defender miss out on the crucial tie.

Other than that Pakistan, will be hoping that their attacking line-up can function properly and find the back of the net as soon as possible.

Pak - Yem 2nd leg prediction


A constant thorn in Pakistan’s defence, Ayman Al-Hagri will once again be key for the visitors as they aim to hold the expected barrage of attacks from the Shaheens. While most of the starting XI is expected to remain the same, midfielder Ali Al-Sasi could be handed a starting role after his convincing performance from the bench last time out.

Key Players:

Pakistan: Hassan Bashir

The Shaheens need goals and who better than the Danish Sniper. Hassan ended the country’s World Cup drought with a world-class spot kick last time out and is an extremely good bet to feature on the score line once again.

Yemen: Ayman Al-Hagri

Hagri is likely to be a little less aggressive than before, but the striker will be aiming to the kill the tie and secure his country’s progress to the next stage.

Author Prediction:

Pakistan 2-1 Yemen