Nepal Reds kick Pakistan out of PM Football Cup
KARACHI: Pakistan crashed out of the competition when they went down 0-1 against Nepal Reds, the national team of Nepal, in their last Group B match of the Prime Minister''s Cup football held at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
After a barren first half Pakistan were unlucky to concede a self goal in the 67th minute when goalie Jaffar Khan punched back a corner-kick from the hosts striker Ju Manu Rai and the defender Muhammad Imran rushed towards it in order to clear it but his miscalculated push went into the net, thus showing the exit door to the visitors.
The 1-0 win in favour of Nepal Reds put them in the semifinals with four points from two matches. Arambagh KS from Bangladesh became the second team from Group B to make it to the last four with two points. Pakistan finished their campaign with just a single point. From Group A, Sri Lanka and JW Club from Thailand have already qualified for the semifinals.
Unlike their previous 1-1 drawn clash against Bangladesh''s Arambagh KS the other day the Greenshirts looked in excellent mood against the Nepal national team, keeping tight control on the game throughout. In the first half Pakistan got few open goal scoring opportunities but the poor finishing from the strikers Muhammad Rasool and Muhammad Qasim let the visitors down.
In the initial ten minutes after the breather Pakistan dropped few more chances due to bad efforts from their frontline.
Assistant coach of Pakistan team Nasir Ismail told ''media'' from Kathmandu on Wednesday that Pakistan had totally dominated the oppositions but could not score due to poor finishing.
"We produced a handful of good chances in both the sessions of the game but could not score due to poor finishing. It was a real bad luck for us when we conceded a self goal due to defence'' blunder," Nasir, who held a press conference in place of head coach George Kottan after the match, said.
"The local referees also harmed Pakistan''s cause. In such type of competition neutral referees should be at least given the task to supervise the matches. Few decisions especially in the second half went against us and it was quite unfortunate," he said.