Pakistan celebrate football team's historic win in World Cup qualifiers

Pakistan will now feature in Group G, where they will meet Roberto Mancini's Saudi Arabia on Nov. 16 before taking on Jordan and Tajikistan

By Reuters

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Pakistan players celebrate their win in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifying match. — AFP
Pakistan players celebrate their win in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifying match. — AFP

Published: Wed 18 Oct 2023, 12:44 AM

Footballs fans in Pakistan erupted in joy after their national team qualified for the second round of Asia's World Cup 2026 preliminaries for the first time on Tuesday as a 1-0 win over Cambodia took the Stephen Constantine-coached side into the next phase.

Former Queens Park Rangers midfielder Harun Hamid struck midway through the second half for Pakistan, with the goal enough to ensure his side advanced after the teams shared a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Phnom Penh last Thursday.


Pakistan will feature in Group G, where they will meet Roberto Mancini's Saudi Arabia on Nov. 16 before taking on Jordan and Tajikistan.

The South Asian nation are joined in the second round by Myanmar, who face a daunting trip to Japan in their next game after a 0-0 draw with Macau confirmed their progress after a 5-1 win in the first leg last week.


"Japan is one of the best teams in the world, but from better teams you can learn," said Myanmar coach Michael Feichtenbeiner, whose side will also play North Korea and Syria in Group B.

Singapore booked their spot in the next round, where they will join South Korea, China and Thailand in Group C after Shawal Anuar's 81st minute goal sealed a 1-0 win in Guam to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory.

Afghanistan advanced to Group A with a 1-0 victory over Mongolia thanks to Farshad Noor's second half goal to secure a 2-0 aggregate win and Abdullah Al Mutairi's side will next face Qatar, India and Kuwait.

Hong Kong survived a scare in Thimphu, losing 2-0 to hosts Bhutan but progressing as a result of their 4-0 win in the first leg at home.

Jorn Andersen's team will take on Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Group E in the second round.

Taiwan won 3-0 over Timor-Leste to complete a 7-0 victory over two legs to go into Group D to meet Oman, Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia while Indonesia recorded a second 6-0 win over Brunei to join Iraq, Vietnam and the Philippines in Group F.

Nepal's 1-0 victory over Laos in Vientiane secured a 2-1 aggregate success and takes them into Group H with fellow qualifiers Yemen, who drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka to complete a 4-1 aggregate win.

The group line-up is completed by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Foysal Ahmed Fahim was on target just after halftime as Bangladesh notched up a 2-1 win over the Maldives to progress 3-2 on aggregate and they will play in Group I with Australia, Palestine and Lebanon.

The top two teams in each of the nine groups in the next phase will advance to the third round when 18 sides will battle for the continent's eight guaranteed berths at the 48-team finals in Canada, the United States and Mexico.


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