In a historic turn of events, Pakistan’s national football team clinched their first-ever victory in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers by edging out Cambodia with a 1-0 win at Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium on Tuesday.
The only goal of the match came from Harun Hamid, who struck in the 67th minute. Pakistan qualified for the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers with this victory, following a goalless first-leg encounter in Cambodia.
This remarkable win now places Pakistan in Group G for the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers. In this group, they will face tough competition from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tajikistan. The top two teams from this group will progress to the third round.
A total of 18 nations advancing to the third round will be divided into three groups of six through a subsequent draw. The top two from each group will secure a coveted spot in the FIFA World Cup. The six remaining teams that finish third and fourth in the third round will be grouped into two sets of three, with the victors of each group earning direct entry to the World Cup.
It’s worth mentioning that in the 2019 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Pakistan had faced Cambodia and suffered a 1-4 loss.
In light of this historic achievement, Nawabzada Jamal Raisani, the Sports Minister of Balochistan, extended his warm congratulations, emphasizing, “The way the Pakistani Shaheens played and secured the historic 1-0 win against Cambodia suggests that football has found a home here. I want to congratulate the entire team.”
Murtaza Solangi, the Federal Interim Information Minister, also lauded the Green Shirts for their remarkable feat, stating, “I extend a warm welcome to international teams in Pakistan. Football is not merely a game for a few; it belongs to everyone. Unfortunately, football hasn’t received the attention it deserves in our country.”
Solangi further added, “The Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Ministry orchestrated excellent arrangements for this match. I am hopeful that the issues related to football will be resolved soon.”
Haroon Malik, Chairman of the PFF Normalisation Committee, offered his heartfelt congratulations to the team and the national coach, Stephen Constantine, for this historic victory, saying, “The way the Green Shirts played and secured this victory on home soil is truly commendable. We hope they will continue to strive for better results against football powerhouses in upcoming matches.”
He also expressed gratitude to the government of Pakistan, particularly the Inter Provincial Coordination Ministry and the Pakistan Sports Board, for their collaborative efforts with the PFF to make this historic match possible at Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad. Haroon Malik concluded by looking forward to hosting more FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in a manner that sets a positive image of the nation before the world.