Pakistan's players celebrate their win at the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers football match against Cambodia at the Jinnah Sports stadium in Islamabad on Tuesday. AFP
Former Queens Park Rangers midfielder Harun Hamid struck midway through the second half for Pakistan, with the goal enough to ensure his side advanced after the teams shared a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Phnom Penh last Thursday.
Pakistan, ranked 197th and posted the first win since 2018, will feature in Group G, where they will meet Roberto Mancini’s Saudi Arabia on Nov. 16 before taking on Jordan and Tajikistan.
The South Asian nation are joined in the second round by Myanmar, who face a daunting trip to Japan in their next game after a 0-0 draw with Macau confirmed their progress after a 5-1 win in the first leg last week.
Pakistan's midfielder Alamgir Ali Khan (2L) and Cambodia's midfielder Orn Chanpolin (L) fight for the ball during the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers match. AFP
Singapore booked their spot in the next round, where they will join South Korea, China and Thailand in Group C after Shawal Anuar’s 81st minute goal sealed a 1-0 win in Guam to complete a 3-1 aggregate victory. Afghanistan advanced to Group A with a 1-0 victory over Mongolia thanks to Farshad Noor’s second half goal to secure a 2-0 aggregate win and Abdullah Al Mutairi’s side will next face Qatar, India and Kuwait. Hong Kong survived a scare in Thimphu, losing 2-0 to hosts Bhutan but progressing as a result of their 4-0 win in the first leg at home.
Jorn Andersen’s team will take on Iran, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Group E in the second round.
Taiwan won 3-0 over Timor-Leste to complete a 7-0 victory over two legs to go into Group D to meet Oman, Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia while Indonesia recorded a second 6-0 win over Brunei to join Iraq, Vietnam and the Philippines in Group F.
Nepal’s 1-0 victory over Laos in Vientiane secured a 2-1 aggregate success and takes them into Group H with fellow qualifiers Yemen, who drew 1-1 with Sri Lanka to complete a 4-1 aggregate win. The group line-up is completed by the UAE and Bahrain.
Foysal Ahmed Fahim was on target just after halftime as Bangladesh notched up a 2-1 win over the Maldives to progress 3-2 on aggregate and they will play in Group I with Australia, Palestine and Lebanon. The top two teams in each of the nine groups in the next phase will advance to the third round when 18 sides will battle for the continent’s eight guaranteed berths at the 48-team finals in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The UAE stressed that Saudi Arabia has exhibited a successful record in hosting prestigious, high-profile events, which underscores that the country will endeavour to deliver an exceptional edition of this tournament to the world.
The value of the new Qatar Airways deal was not disclosed but is likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars. At World Cup finals, trophy and medal presentation assistants are dressed in the airline's uniform.
Tickets are affordably priced and available for fans across the world, starting at just Dhs20 for a Category 4 ticket up to Dhs200 for a Category 1 final ticket.
The newly crowned champions of the world boarded an open top bus and several, including Messi, could be seen singing the words to "Muchachos” while they waited for everyone to get on to travel to the headquarters of the Argentine Football Association.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad affirmed the high position that the emirate enjoys in organising and hosting the most important marine sports competitions in the world.
The biggest casualty of the opening day was former World No.12 Sabine Lisicky as the German went down tamely against Uzbekistan’s Nigina Abduraimova 6-3, 6-4.
The closing ceremony of WorldSkills Asia Abu Dhabi 2023, hosted by ACTVET from Nov.27 to 29, unveiled the winners of the event's second edition.
The Girls in Green, Fatima Sana and Shawal Zulfiqar, sailed the team towards victory. Fatima's 3 wickets for 18 runs guided the girls towards a crucial first win and Shawal's 41 runs off 42 balls helped Pakistan chase the 128-run target set by the Kiwis.