By FPDC Staff
Former Yemen boss Tom Saintfiet believes it will be a difficult game for Pakistan, but the Pak Shaheens do have the ability to beat the Yemenites over two legs in their crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
The Belgian manager was in-charge of Al-Yemen A’Sa’eed back in 2012/13, but remembers his time fondly when he led them to a superb campaign in the Gulf Cup.
“I loved working with the Yemen national Team, Yemen is a beautiful country and the Yemen FA support every coach for 100%, the players are very disciplined, hard working and are skillful with the right mentality!” he said in an exclusive interview with FootballPakistan.com.
Though most of Yemen’s players are based in the country’s leagues, Saintfiet believes the clubs compete well with the Asian sides and thus offer a very competitive outlook to the National Team.
“The league is very interesting, the clubs are performing on a decent level in the AFC competition, there is a lot of quality and young talented players at the local clubs.”
Despite their relatively low standings as compared to other Middle-Eastern sides, Tom claims Yemen does have quality in abundance and added particular praise for Al-Riffa’s Ayman Al Hagri and Ala Al-Sasi, who plays for Al-Hilal.
With Pakistan’s returning bunch of foreign-based players, the Shaheens are expected to put up a fight against favourites Yemen , with Tom claiming that coach Shamlan’s side does have a fighting chance if they focus and take the chances that come their way.