Undefeated Pakistan fail to beat draw curse


The Pakistan football team will be returning undefeated from India where they drew all the three matches it played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi. Thus having a hat-trick of draws.
In other matches, India defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 and Afghanistan thrashed Bhutan 8-1 and Maldives beat Bangladesh 3-1 on Tuesday while Afghanistan and India qualify for semifinals from group A while Maldives and Nepal qualify for semifinals from group B.
Participating in the last league match of SAFF Cup 2011, Pakistan drew with Nepal one-all. Pakistan and Nepal split the points among them in their final group B match held at the on Tuesday. Earlier, Pakistan remained goalless with Maldives and Bangladesh. A first half strike by man of the match Bharat Khawas of Nepal was cancelled out by Samar Ishaq’s spot-kick in the second half.
Nepal are the first side to qualify for the semi-finals while Pakistan’s future in the competition still hangs in the air as that would be determined at the end of the second match – Maldives versus Bangladesh. If the game between Maldives and Bangladesh ends in a goalless draw, that would see a draw of the lots between Pakistan and Maldives. If Maldives – Bangladesh ends up in a scored draw, Pakistan would be out as it would be Maldives who shall progress.
Pakistan coach Zavisa Milosavljevic made two changes from the last match as Kaleem Ullah and Muhammed Ahmed were included in the starting line-up. Graham Roberts seemed to have lost his patience with Anil Gurung as Santhosh Khala and Jumani Rai were the two strikers. The two teams played cautiously with Pakistan playing with almost all their players behind the ball except Jadeed Khan looking to hit on the counter. Sagar Thapa had a chance when he volleyed Sagar Thapa’s free-kick from his own half which didn’t trouble the rival custodian. Pakistan appealed for a penalty in the 16th minute when Sagar Thapa won the ball from Jadeed Khan with a sliding tackle. While the referee waived off the appeals, Pakistan coach seemed displayed about it.
Kaleem Ullah had a crack on goal when he collected a ball from Nepal half and unleashed a fierce left footer which saw Kiran Kumar Limbu dive to his left and save the danger. The breakthrough came eight minutes before the end of the first half as Bharat Khawas, unmarked inside the area, slotted home from a Rajju Tamang cornerkick. Just three minutes into the second half and Pakistan found the equaliser through Samar Ishaq as he sent Kiran Kumar Limbu the wrong side from the penalty sspot. This was after Sandip Rai fouled Kaleem Ullah inside the box which left referee Nagor Aamir no choice but to award the spot-kick.
The play had to be halted for five minutes or so when there was a clash of heads between Rabin Shreshta and Muhammed Rizwan Asif.