LAHORE - Inspiring Iran Friday outclassed green shirts 2-0 in the AFC U-16 Football Championship match while UAE thrashed Sri Lanka in another match played here at the jam-packed Punjab Stadium.
The first match of the day between the host team and neighbouring Islamic country Iran was witnessed by a large of spectators who enjoyed the match a lot due to pleasant weather after rain. In the first half of the match, Iran’s Nema Mukhtari was the player who took initiative and scored the first to help his team take 1-0 lead. The first ended with the score of 1-0 in favour of Iran.
The second half saw impressive game from Iranian side as they kept on putting pressure on the green shirts and at last succeeded in smashing another goal to increase the lead to 2-0. It was Iran’s M Shamsi who slammed his first and team’s second goal and steered Iran to 2-0 impressive triumph. Member of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) congress Saeed Khan was the chief guest and was introduced to all the players before the start of the first match.
Talking to media, Pakistan coach Sajjad Mehmood said: “Pakistan team is endeavouring to perform well and putting their all-out efforts to get the country’s name to top list but the teams of Iran and UAE are stronger in ranking. Somehow, we are hopeful to learn from these loop holes if the team will get more campuses’ practice and the grounds to improve their expertise in future.”
In the second match of the day, commanding UAE crushed Sri Lanka 6-0. The match was witnessed by a large number of enthusiastic soccer fans who enjoyed the high-scoring match a lot. Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs and Archaeology Rana Mashood Ahmed Khan was the chief guest on this occasion who appreciated the winning team's expertise in their field. Chief organiser and DG Sports Usman Anwar, ex-Pakistan cricket team captain Javed Miandad and PFF secretary Col (retd) Ahmad Yar Khan Lodhi were also present there.
On the final day of the event tomorrow (Sunday), Iran will take on UAE at 4pm whereas Pakistan will face Sri Lanka at 7pm.
Talking to this scribe, PFF secretary Col Lodhi said: “The credit goes to PFF president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat for staging this international activity for the sport loving nation at their home soil. The PFF chief, who is also AFC Legal Committee chairman, has good relations with the AFC chairman and on his personal request, Pakistan was awarded hosting rights of the AFC U-16 Championship in Lahore.”
He said the PFF chief was striving hard to present soft image of the country across the globe and he was very much optimistic that holding of such events would surely help in brining international sports back to Pakistan.
He said that all the PFF management had been performing the assigned duties very well to make the event a successful one. “I am also thankful to Punjab government, Punjab CM Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Minister Rana Mashood, DG Sports Usman Anwar for the cooperation in holding the international event in a befitting manner.”