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Pakistan women’s football team scores first competitive win at Olympic qualifiers after 8 yrs


Apr 11, 2011
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United States
New Delhi: Despite being eliminated from qualifying for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Pakistan women’s football team made a significant stride after a long hiatus by recording a 1-0 victory over Tajikistan at the Hisor Central Stadium, just outside the capital city of Dushanbe.
The winning moment, as shared by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) in Instagram reels, featured midfielder Amina Hanif playing a through ball toward striker Zahmena Malik.
Like a knife through butter, the pass instantly cut open Tajikistan’s high defensive line, that failed to play the offside trap correctly and left their outfielders exposed.
With acres of space available in front of her, thanks to Amina’s vision, all that was left for Zahmena to do was dribble closer toward the goal and slot the ball home past a despairing dive from the Tajik goalkeeper.
The reel has received over 33,000 views and 3,300 likes, as Pakistan’s small but vocal football fanbase celebrated the all-important game-winning goal.
“It was not a bad event for the Pakistan women’s team, defeated Tajikistan, played well against Hong Kong, and didn’t concede too many against the Philippines. Hope they improve further from this in the next events,” said Karachi-based journalist Faizan Lakhani.

Also read: ‘Why I Left Islam’ author to Pakistanis — ‘stop forcing the religion on your children’

A new era in Pakistan women’s football

On paper, the victory may at first appear a mere consolation due to the fact that Pakistan could no longer qualify for the Paris Olympics, having lost 2-0 to Hong Kong and 4-0 to the Philippines in the previous two group games in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024.
However, it has been considered a massive moment in the new era of Pakistani women’s football. It is the team’s first win in a competitive fixture, in connection with a major global tournament, since their return to regular international matches in September 2022.
The team had previously only won in friendly matches or exhibition tournaments like the Four-Nation Saudi cup and the SAFF Women’s Championship.
Not only does the Pakistan women’s team have a very short history—since its debut in 2010 in the Dhaka South Asian Games—but they also lost out on eight years of international-level competitive gametime between 2014 and 2022.
The reasons for this 8-year hiatus are manifold, related to the well-documented systemic governance and infrastructural issues that the PFF had been beset with during that period. The PFF was banned multiple times by FIFA largely due to “third-party interference” in 2017 and 2021. The second ban also prompted a call for help from then-captain Hajra Khan.
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@villageidiot - Congratulation!!... It is really positive news for you that your team won despite soccer is not a prime-time sport in our part of the world.

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