By Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad
The Pak Shaheens kick off their friendly game against Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium at 2:30 PM PST.
The hosts have had a decent run of form in the last couple of games, where they beat Andorra but lost narrowly to Saudi Arabia and Cuba. Nonetheless, they have shown prowess when playing at home and will be looking to capitalize on their advantage when they face Pakistan later today.
Under the tutelage of coach Mohammad Al-Shamlan, Pakistan only have one win in their last four encounters and that too against a weakened Sri Lanka U-22 team. With the pressure piling, the coach will surely be looking to deliver as the youngsters in his charge have struggled to perform until now.
The Red and White are clearly looking to come out on top in the fixture and will have most of their home-based players available for the tie. Uruguayan-born Cristian Gonzáles, who is a naturalized citizen, will be taking part in the game and expected to lead the line as Indonesia hunt for goals.
Coach Shamlan’s philosophy of only playing youngsters and discarding foreign-based players has halted Pakistan’s progress, but the tactician remains optimistic of his side’s chances. New additions include goalkeeper Saqib Hanif, who returns to the side after missing the 2014 Al-Nakba Cup due to club commitments, while FC Dordoi Bishkek duo Kaleemullah and Adil miss out as they were not released by their side in Kyrgyzstan.
Indonesia: Cristian Gonzales
The veteran forward can score goals and will surely be looking to pick up a couple when his side face the Shaheens.
Pakistan: Saddam Hussain
One of the few midfielders who have shown promise on the International stage, Saddam’s clam presence in the middle of the park will be utterly important if Pakistan are to claim any result of note.
Indonesia 3:0 Pakistan