By FPDC Staff
Pakistan were unable to continue their winning streak in their practice game against Malaysia’s U-22 side, who dominated the game and eventually came out 2-1 winners despite a late equalizer from Mohammad Riaz.
Coach Shamlan packaged his U-22 with the senior additions of defender Nabil Aslam and captain Hassan Bashir as he aimed to wrap up the Malaysia tour on a high. However, things got off to the worse of starts in the 8th minute, where Nazirul Naim curled a top class free-kick past Muzammil Hussain, who remained rooted to the spot as the ball ended up in the top corner.
Pakistan’s young colts showed their inexperienced and it was Naveed Ahmed who picked up a a yellow card after a particularly fierce tackle, which set the tone for the game.
And on 22 minutes, it almost went from bad to worse for the Pak Shaheens as Malaysia seemingly put themselves 2-0 up only to be denied by the officials, who ruled it out for an off-side.
Sensing danger, Shamlan substituted Muzammil and sent on KRL’s Saqib Hanif in his stead to calm down the penalty area. While Malaysia continued to dominate the first half, Pakistan had a superb chance to equalize through Mansoor Khan’s cross but K-Electric forward Mohammad Riaz failed to make the right connection.
After the break, the Shaheens showed much more composure in attack and it almost resulted in a goal through Mansoor’s shot-cum-cross that nearly beat the Malaysian keeper by surprise. And on 65 minutes, Pakistan again came close to scoring, this time skipper Hassan putting in a superb cross for Riaz, who again struggled to make contact.
Pakistan’s defensive duo of Nabil Aslam and Mohammad Bilal held up reasonably well but gave way to Malaysia on the 73rd minute, with Bilal mis-kicking the ball and Malaysia capitalizing to inflate their score tally.
Shamlan made a late change with Saadullah coming on for Mansoor, but in the end it was the in-form Riaz that netted an injury-time consolation from Hassan’s impeccable corner delivery to salvage some pride for the travelling outfit.