Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Kathmandu
The Pak Shaheens played brilliant football in the first half, but their inability to score and sheer lack of luck saw them leave the Darasath Rangasala Stadium without anything to show for their efforts.
With attacking football all around and some players looking extremely impressive, Pakistan should have at least gotten a draw, but without luck their plans were hampered severely, something which coach Shahzad Anwar believes eventually cost them three points.
“My congratulations to the Indian team. Unfortunately my team were very unlucky,” he said in the post-match press conference.
“Insha’Allah my boys will continue to play like this against Nepal.”
Luck played a major role in the game, but it was also down to Subrata Pal’s heroics that saw the Indian team clinch victory.
“Yeah lucky win for India. My team squandered a lot of chances in the first half and their goalkeeper saved a lot of chances. And same in the 2nd half, so you can say we had bad luck. My team dominated the first half and the Indian team were under pressure in the 1st half, although they tried to come back in the remaining 45 minutes.”
Commentating on Pakistan’s chances, the coach added the players bounced back quickly after conceding the own-goal from captain Samar Ishaq, but they had unfinished chances to blame for the eventual defeat.
“Yes, the team concedes an own goal, but they also missed a lot of opportunities to score,” he added.
The own-goal was a miscommunication between Kamran Khan and Samar, and according to Shahzad it affected the entire line-up.
“Yeah, everybody was let down. It was misunderstanding between the defenders and the goalkeeper. But we had hope that we would score in the remaining minutes, but we have five foreign players and we used four. And you saw the difference between the foreign players and local ones.”
“But we will now build up on this momentum,” added the trainer.
Lastly, the former U-19 coach claimed that Nepal were going to be even tougher opposition, but his charges were ready to battle for glory.
“Nepal is a better side and they played very well against Bangladesh but if we talk about this match, we lose the game, but the morale of the players is high,” Anwar concluded at the post-match press conference.
Pakistan now face Nepal on the 3rd of September at the Darasath Rangasala Stadium.