Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Junaid Ahmed scored a brace to help Pakistan youth football team defeat Chinese Taipei 3-1 in their Group D opener of the 2nd Asian Youth Games in the Chinese city of Nanjing on Tuesday.
Mohammad Shahid netted the third goal for the Greenshirts.
“It was a good victory and boosted the morale of the colts,” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi told ‘The News’.
The result shows that Pakistan have good talent at the grassroots level,’ said Lodhi.
However, he was quick to add that the real test of the colts would be against South Korea. “You know South Korea is a strong football nation and it will be a great challenge for our youth when they meet them in their next match on Thursday,” said Lodhi.
Following a flurry of incisive rallies, Junaid put Pakistan ahead with a nice field effort in the tenth minute. However, their jubilation did not last long as Chinese Taipei fought back through an equaliser from defender Yu Pei Yu in the 18th minute.
But this did not deter Pakistan colts and Junaid again struck for them in the 28th minute to provide them lead once again.
Seven minutes later Pakistan enhanced their lead through striker Mohammad Shahid who capitalised on a juicy pass from midfielder Shehryar.
Pakistan will now face South Korea in their next match on Thursday (tomorrow).
Meanwhile, in the other group match South Korea whipped Vietnam 6-1 to take an impressive start. Skipper Kim Tisong and Jon Yongsong hit a brace each while Ri Solsong and Kim Honyong contributed one goal apiece.
For Vietnam Dang VL scored the consolation goal in the 60th minute.
Meanwhile, in handball event Iran crushed Pakistan to take a bright start to their Group A campaign. The score remained 25-3, 55-12.
“You know this is the first time we are fielding our youth in any international event and we don’t expect anything big from them,” Pakistan Handball Federation (PHF) secretary Mohammad Shafiq said.
Pakistan will now meet Qatar in their next game on Wednesday (today) which will be followed by their match against Vietnam on Thursday (tomorrow).