Moscow - Pakistan have qualified for the final of the Street Child World Cup 2018 in Russia, making history as they beat Indonesia in a nail-biting semi-final on Monday.

The boys in green outclassed Indonesia 5-4 on penalties to secure their place in the final, where they will face Uzbekistan for the trophy. Team Pakistan, funded and supported by the Muslim Hands Foundation, looked in good form since the start of the semi-final, and didn’t let their Indonesian counterparts score. The match remained a goal-less draw when the final whistle blew. In penalty shoot-outs, both the teams managed to score four goals each. But in additional penalties, Indonesia missed the target after conceding a goal to Pakistan.

Captain Mohammad Abdullah is confident his players would put up a good show in the final as well. “We are happy that we have qualified for the final. Insha’Allah we will keep Pakistan’s flag high in the final as well,” Abdullah said from Moscow. “The boys are highly motivated,” he added.

Abdur Rasheed, head coach of Muslim Hands Pakistan Street Child team, said that the team would give its best to bring the gift of the trophy home. “I request everyone in Pakistan to pray for our success,” he said and added: “Insha’Allah, if the boys play according to their abilities then we will gift victory to the nation.”

Earlier in the tournament, Pakistan played a goal-less equaliser against Uzbekistan in the first match, then defeated Russia 3-1 and Tajikistan 2-0 on way to the semi-final. The Street Child World Cup is traditionally held in the host country of the World Cup a month before to highlight the global social issue of youth homelessness. Since its launch in South Africa in 2010, the tournament has travelled to Brazil and now to Russia, where there are some 55,000 registered orphans, according to official statistics. The tournament’s stars are orphans, who were either abandoned by their parents or come from extreme poverty.  The participants are 230 boys and girls from 21 countries aged 14 to 17.

PFF PRESIDENT FELICITATES

children TEAM

Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) President Faisal Saleh Hayat has congratulated the Pakistan team on qualifying for the final of Street Children Football World Cup. In his message, he said that youngsters have made the country and football community proud. They have inspired everybody with wonder spirit of the game, hope the team will continue it’s excellent form against Uzbekistan in the final and will succeed in winning the title.

On team’s achievement, Faisal said Pakistani footballers have displayed best skills throughout the event. “Pakistan’s Street Children has played remarkably well, especially after winning a hard-fought game against Indonesia in the semifinal. It is expected that Pakistan will win the final against Uzbekistan,” he hoped.  The PFF chief said that not only the federation but also the entire nation is well-pleased with the results.

Muslim Hands head Zia-Ul-Noor and coach Abdul Rasheed have chosen a perfect squad for World Cup, players responded well with performance and they all deserve appreciation.

Faisal said that the Muslim Hands has highlighted the positive impact of Pakistan. “The PFF will keep supporting the organisation in promoting football and positive activities. M Rasheed has rendered great services for the national football teams, with his experience and spirit of the players, we strongly hope that Pakistan will succeed in winning the title.”

He also assured that the he himself, PFF and the whole Pakistani nation is praying for their well-deserved victory and Pakistan street children's team will be accorded warm welcome on their return.