The Pakistan national football team represents Pakistan Association Football at FIFA-sanctioned events and is controlled by the Pakistan Football Federation, the governing body of football in Pakistan. And Pakistan became a member of FIFA by joining the Asian Football Confederation in 1948 and its national team debuted in 1950. Pakistan Football History.
Pakistan participates in the South Asian Football Federation Championship and the South Asian Games, which are held alternately. Pakistan’s football team has won gold at the South Asian Games on four separate occasions: 1989, 1991, 2004, and 2006.
Pakistan has never qualified for a major tournament outside the South Asian region. Due to cricket’s huge influence in South Asia, football has struggled to gain popularity in Pakistan. As of 2020, Pakistan is the only team in Asia that has never won a FIFA World Cup qualifying game.
Pakistan made its international debut in October 1950 on a tour of Iran and Iraq. Pakistan lost their first match against Iran 5-1. Pakistan’s next international competition was the Colombo Cup where the team played their first match against India which ended in a goalless draw. During the 50s, Pakistan played internationally in the following Colombo Cup editions in India in 1954, then East Pakistan in 1955, and the Asian Games in the Philippines in 1954 and Japan in 1958.
In the early 1960s, Pakistan produced one of the best players to ever grace the field in Pakistan’s football history, Abdul Ghafoor was called “Pakistan’s Yellow” and “Pakistan’s Black Pearl”. Ghafoor was part of the setup of Pakistan’s national football team when it was among the top 10 teams in Asia. According to The Express Tribune, he was “the last man alive from the days when Pakistan’s football team was good enough to beat the USSR, UAE, and China – a far cry from the situation now.”
It was three years before Pakistan played another competitive match when they played the first RDC Cup and finished third. In 1967, they played a friendly series against Saudi Arabia, which ended in a draw. Later in the year, Pakistan lost their Asian Cup qualifiers against Burma and Cambodia and drew their final match against India. They then hosted the second RDC Cup and finished third, including a 4–7 loss to Turkey. In 1969, they traveled to Iran to compete in a friendly tournament, winning 2–1 against Iraq and losing a record 7–0 to Iran.
2014 AFC Cup
Pakistan then played in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Bishkek, losing 1–0 to Tajikistan in injury time. And Pakistan also suffered a 1–0 defeat against Kyrgyzstan after scoring in the first minute, but with the return of Hasan Bashir and Kaleemullah, Pakistan beat Macau 2–0.
Pakistan played a friendly against Afghanistan in August, losing 3-0 without their foreign players. Coach Zaviša Milosavljević was sacked and replaced by Mohammed Al Shamlan of Bahrain, who had worked as a coaching consultant for Shahzad Anwar at the 2013 SAFF Championship.
Shaheens lost their first match against India 1-0 after an own goal by Samar Ishaq. Against hosts Nepal, Hasan Bashir scored the opening goal, only to see 15-year-old Bimal Gharti Magar level things in injury time. However, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh 2–1 but failed to advance to the semi-finals.
New administration and Staff
2004 saw changes in Pakistan football, with a new administration and a new national league in place. A three-match series victory over India, the final match ending 3–0 against the Greenshirts, followed, and they reached the semi-finals of the 2005 SAFF Cup. They lost in the semi-finals against defending champions Bangladesh by a margin of 0–1.
The Pakistani team lost their first two Asian Cup qualifiers in 2006, between which they participated in the first AFC Challenge Cup 2006. They failed to get out of the group stage but beat Kyrgyzstan 1–0. Back in the Asian Cup qualifiers, they lost their remaining fixtures.
2007 World Cup
In the 2007 World Cup qualifiers, they suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Asian champions Iraq, losing 7–0 on aggregate over the two legs. In 2008, Pakistan traveled to Nepal for two friendlies ahead of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers. Although they won 2-1 against Chinese Taipei in the first match. And beat Guam 9-2 in the final, other results, including a 7-1 loss to Sri Lanka, saw them re-qualify. I failed. The finals
Pakistan failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, being eliminated by Bangladesh in the first round of the AFC Qualifying Section, losing 3–0 on aggregate. Pakistan Football History.
In 2014, Pakistan played a 2-match friendly series with India. Both the matches were played at the Bangalore Stadium in India. India defeated Pakistan 1-0 in the first friendly match to take the lead in the series. But Pakistan won the second match 0-2. Pakistan Football History.
For Pakistan’s campaign for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. They had to face Yemen in Round 1 of the AFC Qualifying Section. In the first match, Pakistan lost 3-1. For the second match, Pakistan drew 0–0, knocking Pakistan out of the tournament altogether. For more details click here