Pakistan is poised for a historic moment as they prepare to face Cambodia in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers today, Tuesday. Their ambition is to secure their first-ever victory in this stage of the competition, and the match will take place at the Jinnah Stadium in the Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad.
Following a goalless draw in the first leg, both teams had indoor practice sessions due to rainy conditions. They are determined to win this crucial match. Pakistan is hosting an international event after an eight-year hiatus, thanks to the support of the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). Notably, Pakistan's football team, since its debut in World Cup qualifying in 1990, has never won a qualification match, managing only three draws out of 32 games and scoring 10 goals while conceding 124.
With the recent addition of English coach Stephen Constantine and seven overseas players in their ranks, Pakistan is looking to make a mark against a well-organized Cambodian side under the guidance of Argentine coach Felix Agustin Dalmas.
Coach Felix Agustin Dalmas expressed his gratitude to the Pakistani people and organizers for the warm welcome. He acknowledged that Pakistan is the favorite to win this important home-leg match, thanks to significant local support. He noted that Pakistan's team has made significant improvements since the 2019 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, with the addition of dual national players enhancing their strength.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's coach, Stephen Constantine, is optimistic about his team's performance in the home-leg match against Cambodia. He emphasized the significance of the match for Pakistan's football and expressed hope that the players would deliver their best performance. He also stressed the need for a professional football league in Pakistan to boost the sport at the international level, as the absence of such a league could hinder the future of football in the country.
Responding to questions, Constantine highlighted the improvement of Indian football due to professional leagues but mentioned that Pakistan Football Federation allows dual nationals to represent the team. He also noted that the eligibility of Otis Khan, a player with dual citizenship, is pending FIFA's decision, and he will join the team if approved.
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