Tuesday, July 03, 2012
KARACHI: Pakistan Under-22 football team will be looking for a consolation victory when they face Palestine in their last Group B league match of the 2013 AFC U22 Asian Cup Qualifiers at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) on Tuesday (today).
The match starts at 10:45pm PST.
After the fourth round, Pakistan are trailing at the rock bottom with just a single point from four matches. After losing to Saudi Arabia 0-1, the Greenshirts were unexpectedly held to a goalless draw by South Asian rivals Sri Lanka.
In their third match Pakistan were beaten 2-0 by Kyrgyzstan before going 0-4 down against strong Syria.
Both Syria and Saudi Arabia have already qualified for the next year’s finals as they have 12 points each from four games with the latter having a slight edge over the former on goal difference.
Kyrgyzstan are on the third spot with four points, followed by Palestine and Sri Lanka with two points each.
Pakistan gave tough fight to Saudi Arabia, the strongest side, but then failed to keep the momentum and were beaten by the other oppositions with bigger margins.
The worst game Pakistan played during the qualifiers was against Sri Lanka. Pakistan had an edge over Sri Lanka in every respect and should have beaten them.
Experts say that the Pakistani lot could have performed much better had the team been run properly. There were some rapid changes seen in the line-up and the positions of some players were unnecessarily changed which affected Pakistan’s performance, they add.
In the last match too, Pakistan will have to make an extra effort to beat Palestine as they have shown a lot of improvement recently. Although they were beaten by Saudi Arabia 4-0, in other matches they showed their strength and not only held Sri Lanka to a 1-1 draw but also played a goalless draw against Kyrgyzstan before conceding their show against Syria 1-2, a performance much better than Pakistan.
In the other matches on Tuesday (today), Saudi Arabia face Syria in one of the toughest showdowns which will also decide the group leaders while Sri Lanka will lock horns with Kyrgyzstan.