The journey of Pakistan national football team in the SAFF Championship 2013 has come to an end even after defeating Bangladesh in their last match of the group stage at the Halchowk Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu. Although Pakistan national football team had defeated the Bangladesh team with 2-1 goals but their hopes to qualify for the semi-finals got vanished as India got beaten by Nepal with 2-1 goals in another match being played at the same time.
After the completion of group matches, Nepal football team has finished on the top if the table with seven points while the defending champion India and Pakistan finished at a tie with four points to each. India had defeated Pakistan in the opening match if the tournament with 1-0 that’s why they have qualified for the semi-finals due to a better head-to-head record.
Pakistan team could have qualified for the semi-finals if the Indian football team had won their match against Nepal. Pakistan had played a match against Nepal earlier in this tournament which resulted as a draw with 1-1 goals. Pakistan managed to get a victory over Bangladesh with the help of two goals by Samar Ishaq and Kaleemullah but at the end this all effort went in vain as they are now out of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship 2013 due to Indian team’s loss to Nepal.
While talking to media the Pakistan team coach Shehzad Anwar said:
“India didn’t deserve to go through, They won the first match against us in the championship just because we scored an own goal. Even today it was just the difference of the one goal we conceded against them that helped them progress in the championship.”
The former Pakistan football team captain Essa Khan has blamed the poor team selection for team’s bad performance in SAFF Championship 2013. Essa Khan said that “Selection is the biggest issue, the coaches didn’t selected the players upon merit and a lot of favoritism was involved.”