RE - Sana Mehmood-led Pakistan snatched semi-final spot when they overwhelmed Afghanistan 3-0 in their second Group-B quarter-final of the first SAFF Women Football Championship at Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, on Thursday.
Pakistan will now collide with India or Bangladesh in the semi-final. Khalida Popal-led Afghans failed to put hurdles on Pakistan attacks and conceded three goals, one of them was scored by Robina Irfans daughter Shlyla Baloch.
Midfielder Malaika Noor landed the opener in the 21st minute when the girl from Young Rising Star hit the back of the net when she faked her way in for a spectacular goal. Balochistan Uniteds midfielder Shlyla Baloch consolidated the lead in the 40th minute. Pakistan led 2-0 at interval.
Islamabad FAs skipper Mejzgaan Orakzai, daughter of IFA President Dr. Fazal Ur Rehman, rounded off the tally 15 minutes from time. It is fantastic triumphs for Pakistani females as before the departure to Coxs Bazar. Kabuls International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) headquarters hosted a match between Afghan team and a pick-up team of women from ISAF on 29 October 2010.
The Afghan team management, who requested the match, envisioned the exhibition game as an opportunity to practice against friendly international competition in preparation for the SAFF Championship. When approached, ISAF members were eager to support the Afghan team.
We admire the courage, tenacity and fearlessness of these Afghan women, said US Air Force Capt. Alexa Quandt, an ISAF womens team member and event coordinator. They are truly an inspiration with their perseverance and dedication.
The Afghan women team, founded in 2004, played in third Pakistan National Women Championship in August 2007. Since then, the team has continued to seek new challenges to hone their skills and demonstrate their resolve to continue playing the game they love. Afghans should be proud of their womens football team, said Brigadier General Chris Whitecross, the senior female officer in ISAF Communications.
This match is a great way for them to showcase their skills.
Earlier, The Afghan team competed in the football tournament organized by Discover Football in Berlin from 6-13 July 2010.
What would have been unthinkable just a few years ago has been made possible thanks to successful cooperation between German sport experts and the Afghan football association.
Earlier in Group-A, Bangladesh were imperious in their 9-0 triumph, India dismissive in their 7-0 victory as both sides eased into the semi-finals, even before what is now an academic group clash today (Friday).
The Indian continued their rampaging form to thrash Sri Lanka 7-0 and book a berth in the semi-finals. After hammering Bhutan 18-0 in the opener, India recorded their second straight victory to march into the last-four.