LAHORE: Pakistan on Saturday folded their four-nation football event journey in a pathetic way when they were conquered by Djibouti 3-1 in Mauritius.
This was the third straight defeat for Pakistan who finished their journey at the rock bottom without taking any point.
Djibouti, with the win, also emerged as champions with three victories.
Following defeats at the hands of Mauritius and Kenya it was expected that Pakistan would use its bench to test it ahead of the SAFF Cup but it did not happen as several players were not given a chance in the game where Pakistan’s win or a graceful performance could have boosted the morale of the side before the India event.
Djibouti, who have done remarkably well in the entire event, were off to a fine start when they struck in the 11th minute through Doualeh Mahamoud Elabeh who dribbled past a few defenders to steer the ball through the narrow gap between the keeper Saqib Hanif and the post.
At half time Djibouti were leading 1-0. In the second half both sides tried their level best to strike. Djibouti added to their tally when Gabriel Dadzie landed a goal due to a goalkeeping blunder in the 74th minute.
Pakistan reduced the deficit in the 85th minute when Omar Hayat hit the goal on a rebound. However, hardly a minute latter, Samuel Akinbini just scooped the ball over the head of goalie Yousuf Butt to seal a convincing win for the African side.
Former Pakistan’s Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic said Pakistan gave enough room to Djibouti to strike.
“I think Pakistan gave a lot of space to the opponents to create counter-attack,” Zavisa told ‘The News’ from Serbia.
“It’s the solid formation which counts a lot. When you attack you don’t forget to defend and when you defend you don’t forget to attack,” Zavisa said.
Former Pakistan assistant coach Nasir Ismail said that head coach Shehzad Anwar should have played the bench in this game. “I am surprised why he did not play the bench. He should have played the entire local brand which could decide who plays well,” Nasir said.
“NC chairman Haroon Malik deserves credit for backing the side financially so well but I can assure you if you give this team to me I will produce much better result,” said Nasir, also an AFC License A coach.