KARACHI: Pakistan Under-23 football team went 0-1 down against Maldives after striker Saeed Ahmed missed a penalty in their second game of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Challenge Trophy at the Jayathilaka Stadium in Nawalapitiya (Sri Lanka) on Wednesday.
Following a tough contest, Maldives got the upper hand in the first quarter of the opening half with a fine field goal.
Pakistan got a penalty when Saeed Ahmed was charged in the area but his shot from the spot went off the target.
Pakistan coach Zavisa Milosavljevic was depressed by the missed penalty.
“I think all the boys played in excellent manner but we could not convert the penalty which harmed us a lot,” Zavisa told ‘The News’ from Nawalapitiya soon after the match.
“We had a good ball possession and the team was in real element but it is a big problem that we are unable to convert chances,” said the Serbian.
In the other game of the day, Bangladesh were sent packing when they were beaten by Sri Lanka 1-0.
Pakistan, who had defeated Bangladesh 1-0 in their opener, will now need a mere draw in their Friday’s game against Sri Lanka to roar into the December 9 final.
Maldives, who had crushed Sri Lanka 3-0 in their opener, have already qualified for the final with six points from two meetings.
About players’ fitness Zavisa said that there was nothing serious, but there were some minor injuries to a few players. It would have to be seen if they could recover their top fitness before the next match, he said.