Islamabad :Pakistan’s football team clinched their first-ever victory in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, defeating Cambodia 1-0 at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad on Tuesday.
Harun Hamid’s strike in the 67th minute marked the lone goal of the match, propelling Pakistan to the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers for the first time. This achievement comes after the goalless first leg of the initial qualifiers played in Cambodia.
As a result of this remarkable win, the Pakistan football team now finds itself in Group G for the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers, competing alongside Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tajikistan. The top two teams from this group will advance to the third round.
A total of 18 nations progressing to the third round will be sorted into three groups of six through a later draw, with the top two from each group earning a spot in the FIFA World Cup. The six remaining teams that finish third and fourth in the third round will be divided into two groups of three, with the winners of each group securing direct entry to the World Cup.
The fifth round will ultimately determine Asia’s representative in the FIFA playoff competition, featuring a two-legged, home-and-away match between the two runners-up from the fourth round. It is worth noting that in the 2019 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Pakistan faced Cambodia, suffering a 1-4 loss.
Following the historic victory of the Pakistan football team, Balochistan’s Sports Minister, Nawabzada Jamal Raisani, extended his heartfelt congratulations, remarking, “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 achievement, 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.”
Chairman of the PFF Normalisation Committee, Haroon Malik, extended 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.
“I am grateful 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. We look forward to hosting more FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in a trend-setting manner, showcasing a positive image of our nation to the world,” Haroon Malik concluded.