Pakistan beat Cambodia to record first-ever victory in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan beat Cambodia 1-0 to register their first-ever victory in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at Jinnah Stadium in the federal capital on Tuesday.–Photo courtesy PFF

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan beat Cambodia 1-0 to register their first-ever victory in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at Jinnah Stadium in the federal capital on Tuesday.

The Pakistan football team has now qualified for the second round of FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers, for the first time. Harun Hamid scored the only goal of the match in the 67th minute to edge Cambodia. The first leg of the first round of qualifiers which was played in Cambodia ended without a single goal being scored.

The Pakistan team is now placed in Group G in round two of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers along with Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tajikistan. The winner and the runner-up teams from the group will move to the third round.

A total of 18 nations that reach the third round will be divided into three groups of six each through a draw conducted at a later date, with the top two nations in each group qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. The remaining six teams that finished third and fourth in the third round will then be divided into two groups of three teams each for the fourth round, with the winner of each group earning a direct entry ticket to the FIFA World Cup.

Finally, in the fifth round, Asia’s representative in the FIFA play-off competition will be decided by a two-legged, home-and-away match between the two runners-up from the fourth round. Notably, in the 2019 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Pakistan took on the same opponent and received a 1-4 thrashing.

Soon after the historic victory of Pakistan football team, Sports Minister of Balochistan Nawabzada Jamal Raisani congratulated the Men in Green, saying, “The way the Pakistani Shaheens played and the way they recorded the historic 1-0 win against Cambodia, it looks like football is finally back home. I want to extend my congratulations to the entire team.”

Federal Interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi also greeted the Green Shirts for their remarkable win. “I want to welcome international teams to Pakistan. Football is not a game of some individuals, but it belongs to everyone. Unfortunately, football doesn’t hold a great importance in this country,” Solangi said.

“The Inter-provincial Ministry made very good arrangements to make the game happen. I am hoping that the problems related to football will end soon,” he added.

PFF Normalisation Committee Chairman Haroon Malik extended his heartfelt congratulations to the entire team as well as national team coach Stephen Constantine for this historic and remarkable victory. “The way the Green Shirts played and won the match at home soil is really commendable. Hopefully, they will work harder and try to produce better results against football giants in the upcoming matches.

“I am grateful to the government of Pakistan, especially to the Inter Provincial Coordination Ministry and Pakistan Sports Board, for their collective efforts with the PFF to make this historic match happen at the Jinnah Stadium Islamabad. Hopefully, the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers will also be hosted at this venue in a trend-setting manner, presenting a true and positive image of the country to the entire world,” Haroon Malik added.

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