Sloppy Pakistan give Malaysia second round ticket
LAHORE: Pakistan missed four open scoring chances and only managed a goalless draw against Malaysia in the Olympics football qualifier played at the Punjab Stadium here on Tuesday night.
However, the Malaysians requiring just a draw went through to the next round of the qualifiers on the basis of their 2-0 win against Pakistan in the first leg at home held on Feb 23.
Pakistan, on the other hand, needed to beat the visitors by 2-0 margin to remain in the line for the qualifiers but could not achieve it here.
Although Pakistan constantly attacked the opponents but missed at least four definite goal-scoring chances which proved costly in the end.
Malaysia, while failing to make much impact initially, looked a very dangerous side in the five minute injury-time but missed out three chances in a row in front of a sizeable crowd of around 7,000.
The visitors got a penalty in the 6th minute but failed to find the net. Two minutes later, Pakistan launched its first attack through right wing which also missed.
In the 16th minute, a rough tackling caused mild injury to Malaysian Thamil Arsa Ambumamee, but he soon resumed the game after receiving first aid. In the 17th minute Pakistan staged a superb comeback attack but Rizwan Asif faltered near the scoring area.
In the 22nd minute, Mohammad Adil of Pakistan reached close to giving his team the lead when he dodged past the Malaysian defenders to reach the goal with only goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat in his way. But he could not pierce the goalie’s defenses and the match remained at 0-0.
In the 25th minute, Malaysian missed a corner but the hosts bounced back with a fine move in the 27th minute but Pakistan captain Jadeed Khan Pathan’s kick went over the bar.
In the 35th minute, the defensive Malaysia team launched a try through Mohd Fandi Othman but he could not control the ball and wasted a definite scoring chance. Two minutes later, Malaysia raided through Shanmugem Sivaneasan but poor finishing deprived them of a goal again.
In the second half, the Malaysians started briskly but Ambumamee’s kick from almost 30-yard went over the bar.
Pakistan’s Adil then missed a chance in the 50th minute when he could not perfectly balance a header and hit waywardly.
As soon as the injury-time started, Malaysian came back strongly in the game with a lot of energy and fire and made three consecutive tries but failed to find the net.
“You cannot produce a good result with a 50-day preparation camp,” Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi said in the post-match briefing.
“We managed to get a few chances and I am happy with the way the boys played so open against a tough side,” he added.