AL AHSA: Pakistan football team’s head coach Stephen Constantine said that his team conceded goals at the wrong times, leading to them losing with a big margin of 4-0 against a dominant Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.
Pakistan football team were thrashed by Saudi Arabia 4-0 during the first match of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers, courtesy of Saleh Al-Shahri’s two goals in the early minutes of both halves.
“It was always going to be a difficult game for us. Considering where we were two months ago, we didn’t deserve to lose 4-0. We conceded at the start of both halves, which is probably the worst time to concede goals,” Constantine said during the post-match press conference.
“If you face a team as good as the Saudi team, you must always be focused. We have players whose primary sport is not football. Some of them do not remember the last time they played this game.
“Saudi Arabia is one of the best teams in Asia, so I asked the players to play without fear. Our chances are not easy, especially as we face strong teams, and we must prepare well for the Tajikistan match.”
This was the first time Pakistan played in the second round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers, after defeating Cambodia in the first round.
Pakistan last played against Saudi Arabia in 1978 at the latter’s home and suffered a 6-0 thrashing.
Besides Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, placed in Group G, will face Jordan and Tajikistan. Each team will take on the rest of the teams twice on the basis of home and away leg.
The top two teams from the qualifying round will progress to the third round, in which 18 teams will be divided into three groups.
Whereas, the bottom two sides will advance into the third round of the 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers.
Pakistan’s next FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier is scheduled against Tajikistan in Islamabad on November 21.