Azkals still alive as Pakistan wins

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BACOLOD CITY —Pakistan rode an early goal from Zeshan Rehman to nip Chinese-Taipei, 1-0, yesterday in its Philippine Peace Cup debut at Panaad Stadium.

Facing a team that stunned a fancied Philippine side just last Friday, the Pakistanis got an early boost through Rehman who struck in the seventh minute for the only goal of the match.

Finding space inside the box, Rehman stayed composed to beat Pan Wei-chih on goal as the Pakistanis sent a strong message two days before facing the Azkals.

Pakistan bungled a couple of golden chances to extend the lead with Saddam Hussain just denied Pan in the 13th minute and Mohammad Ali also foiled a minute before stoppage time in the second half.

The Taiwanese’ best chance fell on Lin Chang-lun in the 32nd minute only for the midfielder to send his effort wide.

The victory also opened the door for the Azkals to retain the Peace Cup if they hurdle Pakistan on Tuesday by two goals.

As things stand, Pakistan has three points with a plus-1 goal difference while Taipei which beat the Azkals, 2-1, Friday night, wrapped up its campaign with three points.

A draw against the Azkals will be enough for Pakistan to wrest the Peace Cup.

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