KARACHI: Kuwait edged past a spirited Pakistan side 2-1 in the opening Group ‘A’ match of the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers in Oman on Friday, according to information received here.
Pakistan, playing in the qualifiers of the biennial event for the first time since 2013, took the lead in the 28th minute through Mohammad Waheed, who finished off a blistering counterattack when he was fed by Zaid Omer at the Al-Seeb Stadium.
But Kuwait were back on level terms within a minute when goalkeeper Salman-ul-Haq spilled a shot from Salman Al-Boos. The Kuwaitis then got the winner through Abdulrahman Alsharhan in the 57th minute.
Nasir Ismail’s Pakistan played refreshing football and it is a good sign for the team’s upcoming matches against Palestine on Sunday, Iraq on Tuesday and Oman on Thursday.
“I’m very proud of the way the boys played,” Nasir told Dawn in an audio message from Seeb. “I had vowed that we will play an attacking game and that’s exactly what we did today.
“We took the game to Kuwait early on and only our finishing let us down but this performance bodes well for the future.”
The Group ‘A’ matches were initially due to be held in Iraq earlier this month but were postponed and shifted to Oman due to protests there. The winners and the four best runners-up across 11 groups join hosts Uzbekistan at next year’s finals in October.