AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament: Pakistan face Hong Kong in do-or-die clash

The Maria Khan-led unit lost their opening match against the Philippines

By Web Desk
April 08, 2023
Pakistan women’s team will play its final group stage match against Tajikistan on April 11 — PFF

Pakistan will face Hong Kong on Saturday (today) at the Hisor Central Stadium in Tajikistan in a bid to stay alive in the race for the Paris Olympics 2024.

The Maria Khan-led unit lost their first match in Group E of the ongoing AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers against the Philippines 4-0 on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Hong Kong beat hosts Tajikistan 3-0 in their opening match.

It must be noted that Pakistan are without the services of star striker Nadia Khan, who was ruled out of the tournament due to an ACL injury.

Pakistan women’s team will play its final group stage match against Tajikistan on April 11.

The 22-member national team and coaching staff arrived in Tajikistan from Dubai, where the squad held a brief training camp and played matches against local clubs, on April 2.

A total of 26 teams have been divided in seven groups for the first round of the qualifying.

The winners of each group in this round will advance to the second round, where they will be joined by the five highest seeded teams — DPR Korea, Japan, Australia, China PR, and Korea Republic.

Four teams from the second round — three group winners and the best-ranked runners-up — then face off in the third round where they play two pairs of home and away matches with the two eventual winners qualifying for the Women’s Olympic football tournament in Paris in 2024.

In January earlier this year, Pakistan finished second in the four-nation cup in Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan won their match opening match against Comoros, 1-0, but they suffered defeat in their second encounter against Mauritius 2-1. Their final match against the home side Saudi Arabia ended in a 1-1 draw.

Pakistan Squad

Forwards: Alia Sadiq, Anmool Hira, Isra Khan, Naqiyah Ali, Sanober Abdul Sattar and Zahmena Malik.

Midfielders: Aliza Sabir, Amina Hanif, Anushey Usman, Maria Khan, Marvi Baig, Rameen Fareed and Suha Hirani.

Defenders: Malika-e-Noor, Mishal Bhatti, Nizalia Siddiqui, Sahiba Sherdil, Sara Khan and Sophiya Qureshi.

Goalkeepers: Fatima Naz, Nisha Ashraf and Rumaysa Khan.