Pakistan take Nepal series with 1-0 win
Second-half substitute Mohammad Mujahid was the hero as Pakistan recorded their second successive victory by edging Nepal 1-0 in their friendly match at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu on Saturday.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) striker was on the pitch for just three minutes before he pounced on a defensive lapse by Nepal, beating two defenders before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong in the 65th.
It was an inspired substitution by coach Zavisa Milosavljevic who was pleased with the result of the two-match series which Pakistan won convincingly after taking the opening match by the same score on Wednesday.
“We created more goal scoring chances,” Milosavljevic said at the press conference after the match.
“I wasn’t happy in the first match but today my boys played their best.
“We are building the team and we need competitive matches for that to happen. We will go to the Maldives from here where we will play two friendly matches.”
Defeat for Nepal marked a disappointing return for their skipper Suraj Thapa in his 50th international match but they created chances and tested Pakistan shot-stopper Jaffar Khan several times.
Nepal created the first opening of the game in the fifth minute when Bharat Khawas’ cross was headed just over the bar by Anil Gurung.
Yasir Afridi then shot straight at Chemjong in the 17th for Pakistan’s first effort before Hassan Bashir, scorer of Pakistan’s winner in the first game, had another shot saved on the half-hour mark.
A minute into the second-half, Kaleemullah fired one at the keeper and as the deadlock prolonged, the Pakistani coach called upon Mujahid to replace Saeed Ahmed in the 62nd.
The striker wasted no time in scoring, stunning a 12,000-strong crowd at the Nepalese capital.
Nepal came back strongly but Pakistan held firm with Jaffar pulling off a string of spectacular saves to deny the hosts an equaliser.
Pakistan now head to the Maldives where they will play friendlies on February 12 and 14.