LAHORE - Pakistan set final clash against Bangladesh after thrashing hosts Nepal in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Under-15 Championship semifinals played at ANFA Complex on Thursday.

In the crucial match, both the sides started well but no one could convert a goal as the first half remained goalless. In the second half, Pakistan put Nepal players under tremendous pressure, which resulted Nepal scoring an own goal. The green shirts then earned two penalties which they successfully converted to take an unassailable 3-0 lead. Mohibullah emerged as the penalty specialist for the country as he banged in both in the 59th and 68th minutes of the match. Mudassar Nazar completed the 4-0 rout with a header in the 77th minute.

Pakistan had defeated defending champions India 2-1 in their opening match and then outclassed Bhutan 4-0 in their second Group B encounter to qualify for the semifinals. Now green shirts will take Bangladesh in the final tomorrow (Saturday).

Earlier, India finished second in the group of three and lost 4-2 to Bangladesh on penalties after playing 1-1 in full-time in the first semi-final on Thursday.

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat congratulated the entire nation on this big achievement by the youngsters. “Pakistani boys have made the whole nation proud. This was the first outing of our youth team after a gap of many years and they have performed as true professionals.

“I hope they will give out their best in the coming final of the prestigious South Asian event against Bangladesh and try to register a historic title triumph. The youngsters are asset of the country and their performance has raised hopes for bright future of Pakistan football.”

The PFF chief also praised the dedication of national team head coach Beto Portella and his staff. “Hat’s off to our young Shaheens, who have followed the game plan given to them during training by their coaches in true letter and spirit.”