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Pakistan U22 0-0 Vietnam U19. Ex-coach Tariq Lutfi criticises Zavisa Milosavljevic for having 'defensive mentality'

Pakistan U22 play draw with Vietnam in Al-Nakba Cup

From: Alam Zeb Safi (The News)
Thursday, 17 May 2012.

KARACHI: Pakistan Under-22 football team received a major blow when they were held to a goalless draw by Vietnam Under-19 team in their Group A opener of the Al-Nakba International Football Tournament at the Majed Asad Stadium in Palestine on Wednesday.

No contact could be made with the Pakistan team officials over phone due to poor telecommunication network. But a team official told ‘The News’ through a message that the match ended in a goalless draw.

“Pakistan should have won the game,” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi told ‘The News’.

The draw against Vietnam has made the situation difficult for the Greenshirts as they opened their account with one point and now will need a win against hosts Palestine in their last game on May 18 to qualify for the semifinals.

Palestine are in stronger position as they only need a draw to make it to the last four, having beaten Vietnam 2-0 in their first match.

However, if Pakistan notches off a draw against Palestine, then they will fight for a slot in the top four as the best second placed team, which looks difficult considering the fact that Palestine are fielding their senior team and will also have home advantage.

Pakistan have always faced problems in finishing and a message of an official to this correspondent indicated that the team once again failed to put up an improved show in that area although majority of the players in Pakistan Under-22 team have played for the senior team.

The draw is disappointing also because the boys had a two-week tour of Thailand last month. Besides, nine of the players got ample practice during the AFC President’s Cup in Lahore in the second week of this month while representing KRL.

Former Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi said that Zavisa usually plays safe and defensive game. “I think Zavisa Milosavljevic does not have an attacking mind and usually plays defensive and with packed defence. He does not want to lose the match in any way,” Tariq told this correspondent.

“We would not be able to run our football with this pattern for long. If you play so safe, then in tough competitions like the Asian Cup Qualifiers in which strong teams will be taking on Pakistan there will be many problems,” said Tariq, who was replaced by Zavisa last year as a coach.

Vietnamese are good, he said, but they were playing with their Under-19 team and Pakistan should have beaten them.

Tariq said that Pakistan could face more problems against Palestine in their last game. “In the last game, Pakistan could again face problems as Palestine will have home advantage,” Tariq said. Meanwhile, in a Group B game, Iraqi Kurdistan inflicted a 3-1 crushing defeat on Mauritania.

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  • footballpakistan

    Well Lutfi sb is entitled to his opinions, but I find his remarks about Zavisa seem like a cheap shot. The problem isnt “defensive mentality”, its our horrible finishing in front of goal that wastes the chances we create!

    For Lutfi sb to say that speaks how quickly he has forgotten that much of his own KRL team are in the Pakistan U22 squad, and how pathetic they were in front of goal in the AFC President’s Cup where they created chances yes, but their own horrible finishing made them look like amateurs.!

    • footballpakistan

      Pakistan, Lahore, Thursday, May 17, 2012

      The match between Pakistan and Vietnam ended in a goal-less draw in their Group A opener of the Al-Nakba International Football Tournament at the Majed Asad Stadium in Palestine on Wednesday.

      According to the press release issued here by Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), enjoying the bulk of possession initially, Pakistan came close to scoring in the 13th minute after Faisal Iqbal crossed from the right side, but Saddam Hussain fumbled and failed to tap the ball into an open net. It was, however, Pakistan who was still dominating proceedings at the midfield. The stronger of the two sides physically, Pakistan relied on counter-attacks with their long clearances. Around the halfway stage, Vietnam found an opening but Vietnam’ sticker’s header off a corner hit the horizontal. There was a chance for Pakistan in the second half but they could not capitalize.

      The draw against Vietnam has made the situation difficult for the Greenshirts as they opened their account with one point and now will need a win against hosts Palestine in their last game on May 18 to qualify for the semifinals. However, if Pakistan notches off a draw against Palestine, then they will fight for a slot in the top four as the best second placed team, which looks difficult considering the fact that Palestine are fielding their senior team and will also have home advantage. Palestine is in stronger position as they only need a draw to make it to the last four, having beaten Vietnam 2-0 in their first match.

      This is the first time that Pakistan is playing on the soil of Palestine. Palestine visited Pakistan last year and played one match each at Karachi and Lahore against the hosts’ side who were preparing for the Olympic qualifiers.

      The competitions are being held under round robin system and a leading team from each group and the best second-placed side from the three groups will make it to the semifinals. The matches are being held at the Faisal Husseini Stadium, Alram, Nablus Municipal Stadium, Nablus, Majed Asad Stadium, Albireh, Alhussein Ben Ali Stadium, Hebron and Dura Stadium, Dura.

  • Aliafridi

    Lutfi… Look b4 u leap… Read it long time ago.. Nyway bieng in USA still follow up with Pakistan football but looking at this particular coach.. He is one big failure .. I mean come on krl played 2 games drew and he has 9 player in the national side and expecting them to win and if his player doesn’t perform , he blames some one else??? Wow.. U r elder to me mr lutfi but in my life I would Never want to b trained under u never…

  • http://www.facebook.com/junnu.khan Junnu Khan

    Lufi Sahb Jal gaye