FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Stephen Constantine’s Pakistan share spoils with Cambodia in World Cup Qualifiers

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October 14 2023
FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Cambodia vs Pakistan
(Courtesy : Official Facebook page of Football Federation of Cambodia)

The game was played at National Olympic Stadium

Cambodia and Pakistan shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 1 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 at the National Olympic Stadium on Thursday.

The hosts looked to get on the front foot from the beginning and had their first chance inside three minutes when Yudai Ogawa whipped a free-kick into the box from the left flank and Choun Chanchav met it with a header, but couldn’t direct it towards goal.

Pakistan responded five minutes later when Moin Ahmed cut inside on his left-footed from the right wing and fired a low effort that was saved by the Cambodian goalkeeper Hul Kimhuy.

The second dangerous attempt for the Shaheens came just after the quarter-hour mark when Rahis Nabi dribbled past two players near the edge of the Cambodian box and set up the overlapping Shayak Dost on the left flank, but the latter’s attempt to take it first time saw him just miss the target.

With just eight minutes to go in the first half, Cambodia threatened once more through Chantha Chanteaka who advanced down the left, beat his marker and looked to find the near corner, but his effort passed just the wrong side of the upright.

On his international debut, Japanese-born Ogawa continued to be the main creative outlet for the Kouprey, with his delivery into the box midway through the second half looking destined for the feet of the onrushing substitute Reung Bunheing, but a heroic save from Pakistani goalkeeper Yousuf Ejaz Butt rescued the situation for the visitors in the last second.

The biggest chance of the second half fell Cambodia’s way in the 80th minute when Bunheing fed Ogawa who fired a thunderous strike from the edge of the area that Butt needed two attempts to collect, with his initial attempt to make the save seeing him spill the ball, before quickly collecting it.

The home side nearly got a late winner when substitute Ty Sa dribbled in from the left and curled an effort towards the far corner that was deflected behind by Pakistan captain Easah Suliman deep in added time.

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