AFC Championship 2023: Kuwait national team scored a 4-0 victory over Pakistan and is close to the semi-finals
BENGALURU, June 24 (IANS) Kuwait took a giant step towards reaching the semi-finals when they secured a comfortable 4-0 victory over Pakistan in their Group A match of the 2023 Bangabandhu SAFF Championship at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, here on Saturday.
While Kuwait now have six points from two matches courtesy of wins over Nepal and Pakistan, the team from across the border are bottom of Group A after losing both matches against India and Kuwait.
The Middle East side has been on top from the start and showed the determination to take the lead. He pushed them early to make a profit breakthrough when Hassan Al-Anezi scored in the 10th minute. He took his time after a long cross from the right and volleyed the ball inside.
Kuwait continued to dominate as they maintained possession of the ball. In the end, they found another breakthrough just before the half-hour mark when Eid Al Rashidi found ample room to dribble on the table. The winger sent the final pass to Mubarak El-Feneny, who made no mistake as it made it 2-0.
On the other hand, Pakistan came close in the 38th minute when Haroon Hamid hit a baffling cross inside the box. However, none of his teammates were in the right place to finish him off.
To make matters worse for the opponents, Kuwait made it 3-0 in extra time of the first half. Ali Khan Niazi’s back-pass cross in the dangerous area was intercepted by Al-Rashidi and he bunted it on target. Pakistani goalkeeper Yousef Ijaz Butt was able to block his fierce attempt, but the rebound was hit by Al-Fanini, his second goal of the match.
Despite the huge progress, Kuwait has shown no signs of taking its foot off the pedal as its dominance continues. On the other hand, Pakistan lacked quality in attack as they could not break through their opponents’ tough defence. However, at the clock ticking, the men in green almost pulled one back when substitute Mohammed Waleed Khan stretched out. But his attempt at the goal was blocked by Kuwait goalkeeper Badr bin Sanon.
Finally, Al Rashidi made it 4-0 to Kuwait in the 69th minute. The winger showed great footwork on the counter and managed to beat the nearest Pakistani defender as well as the goalkeeper to find the goal.
Kuwait will now meet hosts India in their final match in the group stage, while Pakistan will head-to-head against Nepal on Tuesday.