Pakistan kick off AFC campaign today

Published: March 21, 2011

Football team to face Turkmenistan.

Pakistan will begin their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifying round campaign against Turkmenistan today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with coach Tariq Lutfi counting on the new players to qualify for the 16th Asian Cup to be held in Australia in 2015.

The team will play three matches against Turkmenistan, India and Chinese Taipei in their Group B qualifying round.

The Pakistan squad consists of 11 players from the under-23 team who played against Malaysia and Palestine earlier this year, while the senior players include Samar Ishaq, Arif Mehmood, Abdul Aziz, four UK-based players; Adnan Farooq, Atif Basher, Kashif Mumtaz and Zeshan Rehman.

Ishaq, 25, will captain the senior side for the first time, while vice-captain Aziz will also make his debut in the national side. However, the players from the UK have had already represented Pakistan in the past.

“I have a perfect team as far as the combination of experienced and young players is concerned,” Lutfi told The Express Tribune.

“We will play an aggressive game and I’m counting on the senior players like Rehman and Basher to give confidence to the younger players.”

According to Lutfi, Turkme-nistan – who are ranked 154th in the Fifa rankings – will be the toughest competitor for Pakistan, ranked 171, as they enter this tournament having just played a series against Turkey.

Pakistan will play against India on March 23 and Chinese Taipei on March 24.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2011.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Tufail Khan
    Mar 21, 2011 - 11:24AM

    We are looking for some good football to be played by our national team.The young team needs encouragement as they have played some good football in the near past against malaysia and palestine (drawn a match against both)Recommend

  • Bilal Ahmed
    Mar 22, 2011 - 10:07AM

    Media Plays an important role but it cant take it serious.
    If you see the Match status its over and No news yet published.
    So I am giving the Match report myself.
    Pakistan lost with 3 – Nil by Turkmenistan.
    No TV channel broadcasted the matches.

    Hope for tomorrow a good match Pak vs India.Recommend

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