Pakistan begin their SAFF expedition with draw against Nepal U-19

The match itself bore witness to a unique tactic when the ANFA brought on U-16 players for Nepal in the second half...

Pakistan’s preparations for the upcoming SAFF Championship seemed to be well in gear as they drew 1-1 with the Nepal U-19’s in a practice match held at the Army stadium in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Pakistan forced the initiative and earned a goal in the 10th minute. However their advantage was soon reigned in, as the U-19’s equalized in the 17th minute.


The match itself had an unexpected twist to it in the second half as the All Nepalese Football Association (ANFA), decided to field U-16 players after the interval.

“We played the match well and we only knew that Nepal had brought some younger players on to the field, but we couldn’t tell that they were from the U-16 squad,” elucidated a Pakistan team official, to The Express Tribune.

“It was a practice match for the players and we will continue with our regular drills in the following days. We don’t have another match scheduled for us before the championship.”

Pakistan also had brighter news to look forward to, as important players Zeshan Rehman and Hassan Bashir are expected to link up with the squad.

Yousuf Butt and Yacoob Butt, both of whom are based in Denmark, have already joined the squad.

Pakistan, being drawn in the same pool as Bangladesh, India and Nepal, who are the hosts, begin their tournament with a group ‘A’ clash against archrivals India on Saturday, September the 1st.


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