KARACHI: The induction of a few foreign-based players failed to do the trick for Pakistan who went 4-0 down against the fast-paced Singapore in their friendly football game at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore on Monday.
Led by goalkeeper Jaffar Khan, the Greenshirts went down soon after the kick-off when Jiayi Shi struck for the hosts in the third minute.
Singapore, who had defeated India 2-0 in their FIFA friendly last month, doubled their lead in the 30th minute through K Amri. At half time they were leading 2-0.
Singapore, who are ranked 163rd in the world, faced tough resistance in the second half from 180th-placed Pakistan, but still managed to add a couple of goals, through S Bin Ishak and A Duric in the 77th and 89th minutes, respectively.
Pakistan had also lost to Singapore’s Olympic side 2-0 in their first game last Friday. “Singapore really played a fine game and we were not able to compare ourselves with them,” Pakistan coach Zavisa Milosavljevic told ‘The News’ from Singapore. “Our rivals looked very organised and had good techniques,” he said.
“But we also got some positives from today’s match as our strikers, especially Denmark-based Hasan Bashir and Mohammad Ali and home-based Saeed Ahmed, looked very good.”
The trio could turn out to be productive stuff for the future, said Zavisa who has been serving as Pakistan coach for the last one year. “Mohammad Ali created two chances and Saeed also had a good shot,” he said.
“Singapore’s frontline had created great problems for our backline and it was not an easy job for our defenders to avert their fiery rallies,” Zavisa said.
The coach said Pakistan could make progress if the Pakistan Football Federation arranged more international matches. “Without matches, it is not possible to bring any improvement,” the Serbian said.
Former Fulham and current Hong Kong Kitchee FC defender Zeeshan Rehman played in the deep along with Samar Ishaq and Mohammad Ahmed while Worcester City FC left-back Shabbir Khan was used as a left-wing midfielder in the match in which Denmark-based Yousuf Butt and Norway-based defender Omar Malik also played.
England-based midfielder Adnan Ahmed did not play due to muscles problem.
Zavisa said Omar Malik must join Pakistan in the future as well as he had some potential. He added that he would like the boy to play for Pakistan’s junior sides.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa said that it was difficult to perform without a proper training camp. “With a couple of days’ camp, it is very difficult to produce any result,” Essa told this correspondent. “The foreign-based players also came directly and it always creates problems.”
Pakistan Starting Lineup: Jaffar Khan (GK, C) (Yousaf Ejza Butt 46’), Shabir Khan, Muhammad Ahmed (Faisal Iqbal 81’), Kamran Khan, Zeshan Rehman (Omar Malik 67’), Samar Ishaq, Zia Us Salam, Hassan Bashir, Kaleemullah, Naveed Ahmed (Muhammad Ali 46’), Muhammad Adil (Saeed Ahmed 67’)
Match pics can be viewed on FA Singapore page