Saudi Arabia team reaches Pakistan for Fifa World Cup 2026 qualifier


Saudi Arabia head coach Roberto Mancini
Saudi Arabia head coach Roberto Mancini gives instruction to Mohamed Kanno during the penalty shoot out in the AFC Asian Cup Round of 16 match between Saudi Arabia and South Korea at Education City Stadium on January 30, 2024 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. 

The Saudi Arabia football team has reached Paki-stan for the Fifa World Cup 2026 Qualifier, slated to take place on June 6 at the Jinnah Stadium.

On a chartered flight, the team travelled from Riyadh to Islamabad along with their well-known manager Roberto Mancini and assistant coach Yaya Toure.

The squad was welcomed by Pakistani officials and KSA ambassador Nawaf Bin-Said Al-Malki at Islamabad International Airport.

Saudi Arabia were forced to delay their trip to Pakistan. Due to the poor situation of Jinnah Sta-dium and absence of proper training fields, the team was supposed to leave Islamabad two days before the match, however, that was later changed to one day.

In the meantime, Pakistan named their squad for the match. The Pakistan football team is going to have the assistance of 18-year-old striker Mckeal Abdullah for the highly-anticipated clash.

Abdullah plays for Mansfield Town, which is a team that competes in EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system. However, the club will feature in EFL League One in the 2024–25 season after securing promotion.

However, Blackburn Rovers U21 goalkeeper Adam Khan, who was also called up for the camp, was excluded from the final squad.

Meanwhile, star winger Otis Khan and left-back Mohammad Fazal have also returned to the Pakistan team.

However, captain and star defender Easah Suliman will not be available as he’s going for Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage.

Pakistan are at the bottom of Group G as they have lost all four matches they have played so far. Pakistan began their journey with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Saudi Arabia in Al-Ahsa in November followed by a 6-1 loss at the hands of Tajikistan at Islamabad in the same month.

Jordan then defeated Pakistan 3-0 in Islamabad in a game held in Ramadan with the Shaheens also losing the reverse fixture 7-0 at the Amman International Stadium.

After the match against Saudi Arabia, Pakistan will lock horns with Tajikistan in their final group match in the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers.


Goalkeepers: Yousuf Butt (D), Saqib Hanif and Hassan Ali

Defenders: Abdullah Iqbal (D), Mohammad Fazal (D), Haseeb Khan, Rao Omer Hayat, Mamoon Moosa, Mohammad Saddam, Waqar Ihtisham, Moin Ahmed and Abdul Rehman

Midfielders: Rahis Nabi (D), Otis Khan (D), Ali Uzair, Umair Ali, Toqeer ul Hassan, Alamgir Ghazi and Ali Zafar

Forwards: Imran Kayani (D), McKeal Abdulah, Fareedulah, Adeel Younas and Shayak Dost

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