HomeSportsParis Olympic Qualifiers: Pakistan women's football team creates history

Paris Olympic Qualifiers: Pakistan women’s football team creates history

Pakistan women’s team celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Tajikistan during the AFC Olympic Qualifiers, on April 11, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — Twitter/PFF

In a historic first for the Pakistan women’s football team, Zahmena Malik’s goal helped her side win their first-ever competitive fixture as the Green Shirts beat Tajikistan 1-0 during the AFC Olympic Qualifiers on Tuesday.

Pakistan finished third in Group E of round one of the qualifiers for the Paris Olympics 2024.

Earlier, Pakistan lost their first match against the Philippines 4-0 before going down against Hong Kong 2-0 in their second encounter.

The Philippines, who won all three matches, progressed as group winners to the next round.

Pakistan were without the services of star striker Nadia Khan who was ruled out of the tournament due to an ACL injury.

Meanwhile, captain Maria Khan also missed the second and third matches of the group stage due to an injury.

The 22-member national team and coaching staff arrived in Tajikistan from Dubai, where the squad held a brief training camp and played matches against local clubs, on April 2.

A total of 26 teams have been divided into seven groups for the first round of qualifying.

It must be noted that the winners of each group in this round will advance to the second round, where they will be joined by the five highest-seeded teams — DPR Korea, Japan, Australia, China PR, and Korea Republic.

Four teams from the second round — three group winners and the best-ranked runners-up — then face off in the third round where they play two pairs of home and away matches with the two eventual winners qualifying for the Women’s Olympic football tournament in Paris in 2024.

In January earlier this year, Pakistan finished second in the four-nation cup in Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan won their match opening match against Comoros, 1-0, but they suffered defeat in their second encounter against Mauritius 2-1. Their final match against the home side of Saudi Arabia ended in a 1-1 draw.

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