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Here’s What Went Down in Pakistan’s First FIFA World Cup Qualifier Round Two Match Vs. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia men’s football team defeated Pakistan 4-0 at Al-Fateh Stadium, Al-Hasa City to earn their first three points in the 2nd round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. A brace from Saleh Al-Shehri and a goal each from super subs, Abdulrahman Ghareeb and Abdullah Hadi Radif, resulted in the 4-0 scoreline.

Pakistan’s head coach Stephen Constantine admitted that conceding early on in both halves dealt a big blow to his side. “It was always going to be a difficult game for us. Considering where we were two months ago, we didn’t deserve to lose 4-0. We conceded at the start of both halves, which is probably the worst time to concede goals.”

A brilliant left-footed shot from Al-Shehri resulted in Saudi opening the score within 7 minutes. The match went to half-time at 1-0. As the second half began, a costly mistake from center-back Mamoon Khan resulted in Saudi getting a penalty. Al-Shehri converted from 12 yards to make the lead 2-0. The game went on till stoppage time at 2-0, and it was then, that substitute Ghareeb scored from a cross. He finished in the bottom right corner. To top it all off, Radif scored in the 96th minute when right-back Umer Hayat missed his tackle and Radif pounced upon it.

In the post-match press conference, Saudi head coach Roberto Mancini said that he was impressed with Pakistan’s progress. “In the world of football, there is no easy match, and the Pakistani national team performed well.”

Talking about statistics, Saudi had 77% possession of the ball, while Pakistan had 23%.  Saudi had 8 shots on target, and Pakistan had 1. Saudi completed 570 (Out of 666) passes, while Pakistan completed 118 (out of 199).

Pakistan faced a major issue of discipline. They conceded 4 yellow cards, Saudi got 1.

Next up, Pakistan faces Tajikistan in the 2nd match of the 2nd round of 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The match will take place in Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad on 21st November 2023, at 2 PM (Pakistan time).

Tickets for the match are available on bookme.pk

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