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Kuwait beat Pakistan 4-0, virtually sail into semifinal in SAFF Championships

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Kuwait thrashed Pakistan 4-0 in their second group game to all but seal a semi-final place SAAFF Championships Saturday. Pakistan were hoping to improve on the performance after a dismal outing against India, but they had no answer to Kuwait’s absolute dominance. This was their second win in the tournament after beating Nepal 3-1 in their Group A opener.

With their second big win on the trot, Pakistan were all but out of the tournament. Kuwait started the visit in the 10th minute itself. Hasan Alanezi was able to convert a cross from Mobarak Alfaneeni to put Kuwait up 1-0.

Seven minutes later, Kuwait doubled their lead through Alfaneeni. Ali Matar snatched the ball from a Pakistani player to set up a quick counter-attack and found Alfaneeni inside the box to pass. Alfaneeni hit the ball into the top left corner of the net as Kuwait went 2-0 up.

Pakistan tried to organize some counter-attacks after conceding two goals but the sloppy midfield was a cause for concern. In fact, the Pakistanis were hardly able to mark the Kuwaiti players or get the ball away from them.

Also Read: Analysis: How did each player perform against Pakistan in SAFF Championship 2023 opener?

Play was almost always confined to Pakistan’s half, and the industrious Otis Khan tried to make an impact but had no support from midfield.

Kuwait killed the game as a contest in first half injury time, slotting in the third goal. The Pakistan defender gifted the ball to Alfaneeni, who was lurking near the box and all he had to do was get the ball past custodian Yousuf Ijaz Butt.

The second half was a continuation of the previous session with Kuwait leading Pakistan with ease. They could have been 4-0 in the 48th minute but the goal was disallowed for the outside.

However, it was a temporary relief for Pakistan as Kuwait made it 4-0 in the 69th minute when Eid Alrashidi found the back of the net after a solo run down the right.

The fifth goal did not come despite several attacks but Kuwait would not be bothered much.

(With PTI inputs)

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