Saudi Arabia football team arrive in Pakistan for FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier [Geo Super]

Saudi Arabia football team arrive in Pakistan for FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier [Geo Super]

The Saudi Arabia football team arrived in Pakistan for the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad on June 6.

The team, accompanied by renowned manager Roberto Mancini and assistant coach Yaya Toure, flew from Riyadh to Islamabad on a chartered flight.

Pakistan officials and KSA ambassador Nawaf Bin-Said Al-Malki welcomed the squad at Islamabad International Airport.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia were forced to delay their trip to Pakistan. They were supposed to leave for Islamabad two days before the match but that was later changed to one day due to the absence of proper training fields and poor condition of Jinnah Stadium.

Meanwhile, Pakistan named their squad on Tuesday for the clash. The Pakistan football team will have the services of 18-year-old striker McKeal Abdullah during the highly-anticipated clash.

Abdullah plays for Mansfield Town, which is a team that competes in EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system. However, the club will feature in EFL League One in the 2024–25 season after securing promotion.

However, Blackburn Rovers U21 goalkeeper Adam Khan, who was also called up for the camp, was excluded from the final squad.

Meanwhile, star winger Otis Khan and left-back Mohammad Fazal have also returned to the Pakistan team.

However, captain and star defender Easah Suliman will not be available as he’s going for Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage.

Pakistan are at the bottom of Group G as they have lost all four matches they have played so far. Pakistan began their journey with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia in Al-Ahsa in November followed by a 6-1 loss at the hands of Tajikistan at Islamabad in the same month.

Jordan then defeated Pakistan 3-0 in Islamabad in a game held in Ramadan with the Shaheens also losing the reverse fixture 7-0 at the Amman International Stadium.

After the match against Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will lock horns with Tajikistan in their final group match in the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Yousuf Butt (D), Saqib Hanif and Hassan Ali

Defenders: Abdullah Iqbal (D), Mohammad Fazal (D), Haseeb Khan, Rao Omer Hayat, Mamoon Moosa, Mohammad Saddam, Waqar Ihtisham, Moin Ahmed and Abdul Rehman

Midfielders: Rahis Nabi (D), Otis Khan (D), Ali Uzair, Umair Ali, Toqeer ul Hassan, Alamgir Ghazi and Ali Zafar

Forwards: Imran Kayani (D), McKeal Abdulah, Fareedulah, Adeel Younas and Shayak Dost

Published in Geo Super, 5 June 2024

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