TTS Report :
Pakistan will face Cambodia today (Tuesday) with a big hope to register the first ever victory in the history of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers in the home-leg (second round) match at Jinnah Stadium, Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad.
Following the goalless first leg draw, both teams held indoor practice sessions due to rain and eyeing to win the important contest as Pakistan is hosting an international event after a long eight years with the support of Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). Since it first entered World Cup qualifying in 1990, the Pakistan football team has never won a qualification match; it has managed to draw only three of 32 games, scoring 10 goals while conceding 124.
Having the assistance of the recently hired English coach Stephen Constantine, Pakistan also have seven overseas players in their ranks, who will be part of the playing XI against a well-settled side being handled by Argentinian coach Felix Agustin Dalmas.
Speaking to the media, Cambodian team head coach Felix Agustin Dalmas thanked Pakistani people and the organisers for the warm welcome on their arrival, saying, “Sports facilities are very good here. The first leg held at Cambodia was a tough one and Pakistan is the favorite to win this important match at home as they will have big audience support.”
He added: “Pakistan team is a different team to compare 2019 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, where we won both the matches but now the home side has improved their standard of playing game, especially they added dual national players in the squad, making it quite better and strong.”
On the other hand, Pakistan football team coach Stephen Constantine is also optimistic that Pakistan would perform better against Cambodia in the home-leg match of the FIFA Qualifiers, adding, “We are hopeful that players will show their best in the match. After eight years, a big international match is going to take place in Islamabad and our focus is on winning against the visitors.
“Pakistan has not had an international game for a long time and the players are working very hard for the good game. A professional football league should be held in Pakistan to boost the football at international level as if there is no professional league, there will be no good future of football in the country,” Pakistan coach asserted.
Responding to a question, he said that India has improved in the game due to the professional and other football leagues but footballers with dual citizenship were not allowed to represent the Indian national team. “The Pakistan Football Federation has allowed the dual nationals in the team; however, FIFA has not yet decided about Otis Khan’s citizenship, and he will be part of the team if the decision is made,” he said.