Pakistan hammer Maldives 7-0 to record consolation win [The News]

Pakistan hammer Maldives 7-0 to record consolation win [The News]

KARACHI: Pakistan, who have already crashed out of the event, on Tuesday recorded a consolation win when they routed Maldives 7-0 in their last Group A match of the SAFF Women’s Championship at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu.

England-based Nadia Khan left an impact as she scored four goals in Pakistan’s massive triumph, also becoming the first woman of Pakistan to have netted four goals in any international game.

Pakistan finished third in their group with a single win from three games.

Pakistan had lost to India 0-3 and Bangladesh 0-6 in their first two matches which had ended their title hopes.

Pakistan dominated the entire game and Maldives looked under pressure. Pakistan got onto the scoresheet in the 39th minute through Rameen Fareed who beat the keeper Aminath Leeza through a 25-yard drive. Khadija Kazmi doubled Pakistan’s lead from the spot in the 48th minute.

And then was seen Doncaster Rover Belles’ player Nadia who hit three goals in the 53rd, 78th and 84th minutes to complete her hat-trick.

Nadia’s pace was too much for the Maldives girls as she ripped through the Maldives defence to score the treble. Nadia added another goal in the 90th minute of the match to finish with a personal tally of four.

Substitute Anmol Hira rounded off the dominating win with a goal in stoppage time.

“I had earlier told you that this women’s lot had the potential to leave an impact in the tournament but it was handled by the inexperienced coaching panel that denied the team to progress to the knock-out stage,” former Pakistan assistant coach Nasir Ismail told ‘The News’.

“These women can go a long way provided they are handled with experienced coaches. Look today they were left to play an attacking game and they did the job. In their first two matches against India and Bangladesh they were tied and the coach looked in a defensive mood which hurt us,” said Nasir.

“India was not a strong side and Pakistan could have beaten them but our defensive coaching strategy cost them the game. I had told you that our bench is strong and today it was utilized and everyone left impressions,” Nasir said.

“The authorities in future should provide more exposure to these women and age-group teams as we have a good nursery,” Nasir said.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan was playing in the international circuit after eight years. It was also a debut event of the head coach Adeel Rizki who was seen as too defensive in the first two round games of the group which Pakistan lost heavily.

Nasir appreciated Nadia for the way she played against Maldives.

“She is a good player and today when she was supported, she scored goals and, in the end, also assisted one. Substitute Anmol also played well and it was also a good step that a new goalkeeper was tested,” Nasir said.

Published in The News, 14 September 2022