Pakistan’s Under-19 football team earned a 1-1 draw against Maldives in Nepal to advance to the semi-finals of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under-19 Football Championship. Pakistan made a great start but struggled to score goals in the first half.
Maldives took advantage of Pakistan’s blunders and scored a great goal in the 39th minute. Pakistan, however, would not give up, as Shah Jahan scored late in the game, celebrating by pulling off his shirt. This victory, together with their earlier success over Nepal, sent Pakistan to the top of Group B with four points in two games, ensuring their spot in the semi-finals on September 27.
It’s worth noting that Pakistan’s Under-19 team stopped a 12-year drought without winning an international match, with their most recent success being in 2011 against India’s Under-19 side.
The tournament is being held at Kathmandu’s famed Dashrath Stadium, and it is the fifth edition of the South Asian Football Federation’s (SAFF) international football championship for national teams of players under 19. The tournament is scheduled to take place from September 21 to September 30, and India is the defending champion, having won the title in 2022 by defeating Bangladesh in the final.