HISOR (Tajikistan): In her side’s maiden qualifying campaign for the Olympics, Zahmena Malik ensured Pakistan’s women football team didn’t return winless.
The England-based attacker scored in the 25th minute as Pakistan, already out of the race to advance to the second round of qualifying for next year’s Paris Olympics, ended their Group ‘E’ commitments with a 1-0 win over hosts Tajikistan on Tuesday.
With both teams having lost to the Philippines and Hong Kong in their previous matches, the final match presented them with a chance to get some points on the board and Zahmena ensured Pakistan took all three at the Hisor Central Stadium.
The London Seaward forward got on the end of a superb through ball by Amina Hanif, springing the offside trap before running through and calmly slotting it past the Tajikistan goalkeeper to give her side the lead. It was also Pakistan’s first goal in the qualifiers.
In an open game, both sides kept coming at each other and Pakistan held on in the dying minutes as Tajikistan desperately sought a leveller to finish third in the group.
The Philippines won the group, securing a ticket to the next round with a 4-0 win over Hong Kong earlier on Tuesday.