KARACHI: Defending champions Pakistan crashed out of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U16 Championship as they lost to hosts Nepal 3-0 in Kathmandu yesterday.
Pakistan finished third in Group A with two points after failing to win a single game.
They had earlier recorded draws against Afghanistan and Bhutan in goalless encounters.
However, coach Sajjad Mehmood said ‘home advantage and weather conditions’ favoured Nepal.
“We lost because of rain,” Mehmood told The Express Tribune. “Nepal were lucky this time. We requested the referee to delay the fixture for a while but the officials didn’t agree so we had to go with their decision.
“It rained before the match and the field became too slippery. Pakistan are not used to playing in the rain. It’s disappointing that the team didn’t qualify for the semi-final.”
Nepal and Afghanistan qualified for the semi-finals from Group A, while India and Bangladesh qualified for the last-four from Group B.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.
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