by Faizan Lakhani
Pakistan’s U19 football team is hopeful of changing the general perception about them of being defensive footballers by opting for an aggressive style in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U19 Cup qualifiers.
The group A matches in the AFC U19 Qualifiers will kick off in Muscat, Oman on Friday, with Pakistan taking on Kuwait in the opening match.
The 19 footballers from Pakistan arrived in Oman on Wednesday and have had three training sessions since then. On Thursday, the players tested their skills during rainfall.
Nasir Ismail, the head coach of Pakistan U19 football team, has said that he has trained the team to play aggressive football and fans will see a different brand being played by the team during the tournament.
“Pakistan is known for playing defensive football, but this team will be playing aggressively, the difference will be visible,” Nasir told Geo.
The former Pakistan international assured that the players are prepared for the challenge and the team is looking to win at least two matches in the tournament.
He also hailed FIFA and AFC for assigning a normalization committee in Pakistan, which paved the way for the country to resume international activities.
After Friday’s match against Kuwait, Pakistan will face Palestine on 24th, Iraq on 26th and Oman on 28th November.
The team needs to gain at least seven points from group A matches in the qualifiers if they want to sail to the main tournament in Uzbekistan.
Qatar, Tajikistan, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia have already qualified for the main tournament after finishing at the top in different groups. Uzbekistan has also qualified for the main tournament being the hosts.
Four best runner-ups will also make it to the main tournament next year. Yemen, Laos and Vietnam are certain to qualify as second best-runner ups.