Pakistan qualify for final of SAFF U19 Championship

They beat Bhutan on penalties

By Web Desk
September 27, 2023
Pakistan U19 football team. - PFF

Pakistan defeated Bhutan on Wednesday at the Dashrath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal, to qualify for the final of the SAFF U19 Championship.

The match finished goalless after full time and the result was decided on penalty shootout.

Pakistan triumphed 6-5 on penalties after goalkeeper Sahil Gul made a brilliant save during the shootout.

Pakistan will face India or Nepal in the final on September 30 at the same venue.

Earlier, after a thrilling encounter against Maldives that ended in a 1-1 draw in Nepal, Pakistan secured their place in the event’s semi-final on Saturday.

The Men in Green started on a high note but they struggled considerably in front of goal. The Green Shirts failed to convert their chances in the first half of the game. Capitalising on the opponent's errors and mistakes, Maldives took a decisive lead in the 39th minute of the match courtesy of a brilliant outside-of-the-boot finish.

The first half ended 1-0 with Maldives leading and it looked like the game will remain and then end this way. Pakistan's attacks were consistently repelled by the strong Maldives defense but the Green Shirts finally had their moment late in the game with Shah Jahan finding the back of the net and then celebrating by taking his shirt off.

In their first match, Pakistan shattered a 12-year-long victory drought by bagging a win in an international fixture as they beat Nepal 1-0.

Pakistan topped group B with four points in two games.

India are the defending champions, who won their second title in 2022 by defeating Bangladesh in the final.

Pakistan squad

Goalkeepers: Sahil Gul, Mohsin Khan and Muhammad Abdullah

Defenders: Muhammad Sadam, Muhammad Adeel, Asad Nasir, Ans Amin, Khurshid Alam, Muhammad Raheel, Shayan Ali, Kamil Ahmad Khan, Abid Ali, Hannan Naveed and Najeeb Ullah

Midfielders: Ali Zafar, Muhammad Azan and Awais Khan

Forwards: Shahjahan, Muhammad Hassan, Faisal Ahmad, Abdul Wahab, Muhammad Haroon Zafar and Muhammad Adeel Younas

Team Officials: Shadab Ifthikhar (Head Coach), Mohsan Ul Hussnain (Assistant Coach), Khurram Shahzad (Goal Keeper Coach), Aamna (Media), Muhammad Abdullah and Muhammad Samama (Physio) and Zohair Gondal (Team Manager).