Pakistan’s Under-19 football team earned a thrilling 1-1 draw against the Maldives in Nepal to advance to the semi-finals of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under-19 Football Championship. Despite a good start, Pakistan struggled to score goals in the opening period of play.
Maldives capitalized on Pakistan’s errors and scored with a spectacular shot in the 39th minute. Shah Jahan scored a goal late in the game as Pakistan continued to fight and celebrated by removing his shirt. Pakistan now leads group B with four points after two games with to this win and their earlier success over Nepal, securing their spot in the September 27 semi-finals.
It’s important to note that Pakistan’s Under-19 squad broke a 12-year winless drought in international competition; their most recent triumph came against India’s Under-19 team in 2011.
The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) is hosting the fifth edition of this international football competition for national teams of youngsters under the age of 19 in Kathmandu’s renowned Dashrath Stadium. India is the defending champion of the competition, which takes place from September 21 to September 30. India won the title in 2022 by defeating Bangladesh in the championship match.