ISLAMABAD - Triumphant Pakistan U-13 youth football accorded warm welcome when they returned home after clinching the Football Fiesta title in Korea.

Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) officials, parents of the kids, supporters and locals were present at the airport to gave warm welcome to the heroes. Pakistan remained unbeaten in the entire event in their Group-B, as they won three matches, beating China 6-0, Mongolia 4-0 and hosts Korea Academy 4-0 and drew against Korean A team in the first match. Pakistan scores a whopping 12 goals in the event and conceded not even a single goal due to heroics of goalkeeper Moiz Akhter.

Talking to The Nation, Moiz said: “It's like a dream come true for all of us, as we had prepared well for the event and attended the two-month long camp at Pakistan Sports Complex Jinnah Football Stadium under head coach Asadullah, who I must admit, was instrumental in changing the mentality of the players and worked with full dedication to help the players win the mega title.

“Although it was a very tough pool with some of the toughest opponents who had played at that level since long and had attended the event on a number of occasions in the past, yet hats off to my defenders and forwards, who kept mighty Koreans at bay, who were enjoying overwhelming crowd support, and managed to ensure the match ended in a draw,” he added.

Moiz said: “After carving out draw against Koreans, our morals were sky high and we managed to carve out victory one after another till we clinched the title. The credit of title victory goes to the entire team, coach and head of delegation Agha Amjedullah, who was a fatherly figure for us and took great care of us.”

Top goal scorer Atif Khan has said that the victory was due to team work and unity. “The team played like a unit, we were bucking each other and I must admit, our defenders played highly significant role in ensuring Pakistan returned with title.”

PSB DDG Agha Amjedullah termed victory as a gift of Independence Day for the entire nation. “Pakistani kids made all of us proud by recording such a remarkable victory. It was such an emotional sconce when Pakistani anthem was aired after the team’s triumph and I am very proud to be part of the history-making event. These brilliant youngsters have proved the world that Pakistan poses immense amount of talent in sporting fields and I also like to thank IPC minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, secretary Ejaz Chaudhry and PSB DG Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera for providing kids with an opportunity to showcase their skills at international level and they proved their mettle by winning the title.”

“Dr Ganjera has promised to arrange more events like this for the players and also promised better facilities for such players and coaches who helped the country in winning the title. I would also like to appreciate head coach Asadullah, as without his services, the day was not possible. We will soon arrange a ceremony in honour of the winning team and the superb performances of the kids will be recognised,” Agha concluded.