Pakistan desperately look to pull off huge win over Cambodia [The News]

Pakistan desperately look to pull off huge win over Cambodia [The News]

KARACHI: Pakistan will be desperately looking to pull off a huge win when they face Cambodia in their second leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers first round at the Hamad bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha on Tuesday (today).

The match starts at 7pm local time. According to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) the match will be streamed live by After losing the first leg 0-2 in Cambodia on June 6, Pakistan need a 3-0 victory over the Southeast Asian nation in today’s game if they are to qualify for the second round, which is to be held in September.

Pakistan on Monday held their last practice session at the match venue. It is highly expected that Pakistan will go with the same playing XI which was fielded in the first leg. Pakistan made blunders in the defence in the first leg which was held on an artificial turf and under heavy downpour.

In Doha the team is likely to be aggressive. It is expected that Jose Nogueira’s charges will play a much better game under floodlights on the grassy pitch of the venue, which is the home ground of the Al-Ahli Club Doha.

In the entire 29-year history of the World Cup qualifiers, Pakistan have never won a match. Pakistan this time are playing in the most vital assignment without many key players because Ashfaq Hussain-led Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) held a separate camp in order to counter FIFA-recognised PFF. And that damaged Pakistan’s cause.

In the first leg in Cambodia Pakistan fielded front-runner Mohammad Riaz as a left fullback. Because of the issue back home, Pakistan also failed to prepare the boys sufficiently as hardly a couple of weeks camp was held in Bahrain. Pakistan are mostly relying on foreign-based players in the qualifiers. Former Fulham defender Zeeshan Rehman is captaining the side.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) was informed on Monday by the Macau Football Association that their national team would not travel to Sri Lanka for the second leg match scheduled at Colombo on Tuesday. “The AFC will now refer this matter to FIFA and the appropriate AFC committees,” the AFC said on Monday. In the first leg Macau had beaten Sri Lanka 1-0 at their own backyard.

Pakistan’s squad: Zesh Rehman (captain), Yousuf Butt, Ahsanullah, Muzammil Hussain, Adnan Mohammad Yaqub, Mohammad Ali, Hasan Bashir, Yaqub Butt, Abdullah Ghazi, Naved Rehman, Tabish Hussein, Samir Nabi, Rahis Nabi, Mehmood Khan, Ahmed Faheem, Ali Khan Niazi, Mohammad Riaz, Umar Hayat, Ali Uzair.

Published in The News, 11 June 2019