Pakistan’s preparations for the South Asian Football Federation (Saff) Championship continued in full swing as the team drew against Nepal U19 1-1 in a friendly match at the Army Stadium in Kathmandu yesterday.
The national team played an attacking game and took the lead in the 10th minute, however Nepal U19 equalised in the 17th.
In the second half, the All-Nepal Football Association (ANFA) sent out its U16 players. Despite the change, a Pakistan team official said the match was a challenging one.
“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 U16 squad,” the team official told 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.”
On the other hand, Denmark-based players Yousuf Butt and Yacoob Butt joined the team yesterday morning, while Hassan Bashir will be announcing his presence in Kathmandu today. Zesh Rehman will also arrive in the evening, according to the officials.
Pakistan will open their campaign in Group A against India on September 1. Bangladesh and Nepal are also slotted in the same pool.
Teams from Bangladesh and Bhutan arrived in Kathmandu and started their practice yesterday.
Bhutan will play a friendly against Nepal U19 today.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2013.