Pakistan create history with 1-0 win against Cambodia in FIFA World Cup Qualifier


Pakistan's players celebrate their win at the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers football match between Pakistan and Cambodia, at the Jinnah Sports stadium in Islamabad on October 17, 2023.

Pakistan’s national football team notched their first-ever victory in the FIFA World Cup Qualifi­ers, registering a 1-0 win against Cambodia at the Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad on Tuesday. 

The defining moment came when Harun Hamid unleashed a precise strike in the 67th min­ute, marking the sole goal of the match, and propelling Pakistan into the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers for the very first time. This mo­mentous achievement follows a goalless draw in the first leg of the initial qualifiers, held in Cambodia. 

In the wake of this exception­al triumph, Pakistan’s football team now finds itself placed in Group G for the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Quali­fiers. They will compete against strong rivals such as Saudi Ara­bia, Jordan, and Tajikistan, with the top two teams from this group earning a coveted spot in the third round. 

The path to the FIFA World Cup is fraught with challenges and exhilaration. In the next phase, 18 nations advancing to the third round will be orga­nized into three groups of six through a later draw. The top two from each group will gain the privilege of participating in the FIFA World Cup, while the remaining six teams finishing third and fourth in the third round will be divided into two groups of three. The victors of these groups will secure a direct ticket to the World Cup. 

The journey culminates in the fifth round, where Asia’s rep­resentative for the FIFA playoff competition will be decided. This stage features a two-legged, home-and-away clash between the two runners-up from the fourth round. 

Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar took to his X Account, for­merly known as Twitter, to ex­tend his congratulations to the national team. He wrote: “Many congratulations to Pakistan na­tional football team for winning their first ever World Cup 2026 qualifier today by beating Cam­bodia 1-0 and advancing to the second round. Football has been long neglected in Pakistan. But no more. Very soon Pakistan football federation would be strengthened and empowered to uplift this game of the masses.” 

Nawabzada Jamal Raisani, Sports Minister of Balochistan, in his congratulatory remarks, said: “The way the Pakistani Sha­heens played and secured the historic 1-0 win against Cam­bodia suggests that football has found a home here. I want to congratulate the entire team.” 

Murtaza Solangi, Federal In­terim Information Minister, also applauded the Green Shirts for their remarkable feat, saying, “I extend a warm welcome to in­ternational teams in Pakistan. Football is not merely a game for a few; it belongs to everyone. Unfortunately, football hasn’t re­ceived the attention it deserves in our country. “The IPC Ministry orchestrated excellent arrange­ments for this match. I am hope­ful that the issues related to foot­ball will be resolved soon.” 

PFF Normalisation Commit­tee Chairman Haroon Malik also appreciated the national team and its coach Stephen Constan­tine for this historic win. “The way the Men in Green played and secured this victory is really commendable. We hope they will continue to strive for better results against football power­houses in upcoming matches. 

“I am also thankful to the gov­ernment of Pakistan, particularly the IPC Ministry and the Pakistan Sports Board, for their collabora­tive efforts with the PFF to make this historic match possible at Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad. We look forward to hosting more FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in a befitting manner, presenting a true and positive image of the country to the entire world,” the NC Chief asserted.

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