ISLAMABAD: Tajikistan came out all guns blazing in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers against Pakistan as they handed a 6-1 defeat to the hosts at the Jinnah Stadium here on Tuesday.
Tajikistan started the game on a high as they opened the scoring in the opening minutes when Amadoni Kamolov scored for the touring side. His strike took a minor deflection from Abdullah Iqbal and ran into the net.
The visitors doubled their lead five minutes later with another outside-the-box strike. Tajikistan striker Rustam Soirov fired a scintillating kick which beat Pakistan’s goalkeeper Yousuf Butt.
Pakistan fans at the Islamabad Stadium then finally found a moment to cherish when Rahis Nabi pulled one back for the home side in the 21st minute.
He nailed a long-range strike from his left foot, glimmering a ray of hope for Pakistan.
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Pakistan’s comeback, however, was shortlived as Tajikistan exploited their errors in the possession, especially in the midfield and restored their two-goal advantage in the 26th minute with yet another outside-the-box strike.
The visitors, with momentum in their favour, strengthened their command of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers by netting their fourth goal just before half-time.
There was no change of fortune for Pakistan in the second half as Tajikistan continued to dominate the hosts.
The visitors got another reward for their superior possession and pace in the 66th minute when Kamolov scored a screamer from outside the box.
Pakistan’s struggles did not end there as Tajikistan scored yet another goal in the 90th minute, courtesy of Shahrom Samiev.
In the first match of the second round of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers, Pakistan suffered a 4-0 thrashing from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).