On Tuesday, Pakistan hosted the Tajikistan national football team in Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad, for match day 2 of the second round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the Asian region. The Tajikistan team played brilliant football to grab all three points, winning the match 6 goals to 1 against the hosts.
The match kicked off at 2:00 p.m. local time. Right from the kickoff, the Tajik team dominated the game until the final whistle of the match. The first goal of the match just came in the ninth minute of the match when Tajik right winger A. Kamolov netted the ball into Pakistan’s goal, giving his side an early lead. Just after four minutes of the first goal, Tajikistan doubled their lead when Tajik striker R. Soirov kicked the ball into the right bottom corner of Pakistan’s goal in the thirteenth minute of the match.
Tajikistan players kept on attacking the Pakistan goal, and the Pakistani team defended deep and opted for a counterattack plan. The plan paid off when Pakistani midfielder R. Nabi halved the deficit, scoring a beautiful long-range goal for Pakistan in the 21st minute as a result of a counterattack. At this moment, the home crowd was on their feet, cheering the men in green. The crowd’s excitement didn’t last long as Tajikistan scored two more goals by the end of the second half. At halftime, Tajikistan were leading 4 goals to 1.
Tajikistan continued the second half from where they left off in the first half. Tajikistan attacked the Pakistani goal continuously. Pakistani goalkeeper Yousuf Butt was forced to make a few good saves by the Tajik players. The Pakistani team also created a few opportunities, but they couldn’t convert any of these chances into a goal.
Tajikistan scored two more goals in the second half. Tajikistan won the match six goals to one. These were three important points for Tajikistan in the qualifier round.
In another Group G match, Saudi Arabia defeated Jordan with a score of 2-0. Saudi Arabia is leading the points table with 6 points. Tajikistan is in second place, Jordan is in third, and with two losses in a row, Pakistan is in last position in Group G. Pakistan has a goal difference of -9.
More than 18,000 fans attended the match. The crowd supported the Pakistani team. The crowd was much bigger than in the last match against Cambodia. 12,000 people attended the Pakistan vs. Cambodia match. Seeing a crowd of 18,000+ was a great encouragement for Pakistani football.
The Pakistani team needs to come strong under Coach Stephen Constantine to see the team in the third round of World Cup qualifiers.
The support of the crowd in the match shows that there is a huge love for football in the country. The government and PFF have to give a lot of attention to the future of football in the country.