Saudi Arabia beat Pakistan by 4-0 on Thursday in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers at Al-Fateh Stadium in the Kingdom’s Al-Ahsa.
Pakistan kicked off well but the green shirt did not get any goal in the first half. Saudi Arabia remained dominating in the second half and threw a ball in the net three times which led them to victory.
Saleh Al-Shahri opened the path of achievement for Saudi Arabia with goals in the 6th and 48th minutes, followed by Abdul Rahman Ghareeb in the 91st minute and Abdullah Radif in the 96th minute secured goals.
Saudi Arabia maintained a significant position throughout the match, taking advantage of the absence of Eash Suliman due to injury, which weakened Pakistan’s defense. Suliman, the team’s defender and captain, was sorely missed.
Reflecting their respective FIFA rankings, Saudi Arabia at 57 and Pakistan at 193, the match unfolded as anticipated, with Saudi Arabia emerging victorious as expected.
It must be noted this is the first time Pakistan will play in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia last played against each other in 1978 in a game in the latter’s backyard which Pakistan lost by 6-0.
Jordan and Tajikistan are the other teams in Pakistan’s group. These four teams will play against each other on a home and away basis and then the top two nations will progress to the third round, while the bottom two teams will move into the third round of the 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers.
Being a host country of the 2027 Asian Cup, Saudi Arabia already qualified for the continent’s major event.
Pakistan is now set to play against Tajikistan in Islamabad on November 21, while the remaining qualification matches will be played next year in March and June. The top two qualify for the third round of qualifiers, in which 18 teams are split between three groups.