Lahore - Pakistan children put up a tough fight but were unable to beat Uzbekistan in the final of the Street Child Football World Cup 2018. The match was tied 1-1 at the end of full time and headed to a penalty shootout, where Uzbekistan pulled ahead 6-5.

According to information made available here on Wednesday, Pakistan had beaten Indonesia in the semifinal as they outclassed them 5-4 on penalties to secure their place in the final, where they faced Uzbekistan for trophy, but they couldn’t fulfill their dream of winning the final and finished runner-up. On the other hand, Uzbekistan had beaten Burundi in their semifinal 1-0. Pakistan captain M Abdullah was named player of the tournament. Earlier in the tournament, Pakistan had played a goalless equaliser against Uzbekistan in the first match, then defeated Russia 3-1 and Tajikistan 2-0 on way to the semifinal. 

Meanwhile, Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) president Faisal Saleh Hayat has lauded Pakistan children performance in the Street Child World Cup, saying they gave remarkable performance in the final against Uzbekistan. “Despite final defeat on penalty shootouts, the young Pakistani footballers have won silver medal and also the hearts of Pakistani nation.”

Faisal said the team, formed and cared by Muslim Hands Organisation and coach Abdul Rashid, remained unbeaten in the entire event and fought hard in the final. “The hard work, skills and courage of youngsters and coaching staff were the main reason behind their outstanding performances in Moscow, which is a good sign for future of Pakistan football.

The players proved that despite the lack of resources, there is no lack of talent in the country. Pakistan can make a statement in the world if opportunities are provided to the players.”

PFF chief said after restoration of Pakistan’s FIFA membership, a lot of immediate measures to increase the activities of football in Pakistan have been taken. “The immediate retaliation of the loss, during suspension, is not possible but from the grassroots to upper level, all efforts are being made and we are trying to upgrade the entire system.

“The PFF is putting serious efforts to explore new talent from roads, streets and remote areas. We will provide the grounds and facilities to polish this talent. Including Muslim Hands, our doors are open for every organisation which is working for promotion of football. We will openly accept the suggestions and cooperate with them. The private sector should join hands with the PFF for bright future of football in Pakistan, this is the only way to grow faster,” he concluded.