Round 2 – Group G: Saudi Arabia 4-0 Pakistan

Al Ahsa: Saudi Arabia cruised to a 4-0 victory over Pakistan in Group G of the Preliminary Joint Qualification – Round 2 for the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027™ at Al Fateh Club Stadium on Thursday.

The win sees Roberto Mancini’s side end the day on top of Group G on three points after Tajikistan and Jordan drew 1-1 in the earlier game.

The Green Falcons needed just six minutes to take the lead through Saleh Al Shehri. An initial effort from the edge of the area from Mohammed Maran was blocked and fell to Al Shehri. The Al Hilal forward took it and advanced into the box before firing with his left past goalkeeper Yousuf Butt.

Pakistan came close to equalising in the 16th minute when Abdul Arshad advanced down the right flank and supplied a perfectly weighted cross for Fareed Ullah who rose highest and met it with a header that passed just over the crossbar.

Saudi Arabia looked to apply the pressure in pursuit of a second goal, with right back Saud Abdulhamid a constant threat down the right with his movement and deliveries into the box which could not be translated into goals.

The hosts came racing out of the blocks in the second half and within just one minute they were rewarded for their attacking initiative with a penalty after defender Mamoon Moosa Khan brought Al Shehri down inside the box, and the forward stepped up to convert from the spot adding his second goal of the game.

Young left-back Muath Faqihi came close to making it 3-0 when he moved into space inside the Pakistani box and got on the end of a Mukhtar Ali pass, but just miscued his shot and the ball ended up on the wrong side of the upright.

Abdulhamid’s endeavors finally paid dividends as substitute Abdulrahman Ghareeb met his cross from the right with a side-footed finish into the bottom corner in added time to add his country’s third.

There was still time for a fourth goal for the Saudis as youngster Abdullah Radif came off the bench and danced his way past three Pakistani defenders before applying the finish to round up the scoring in what was Saudi Arabia’s first win since their famous 2-1 victory over Argentina in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Saudi Arabia travel to Amman to face Jordan on Tuesday while Pakistan host Tajikistan at the Jinnah Sports Stadium in Islamabad on Matchday Two.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga