KARACHI, April 24: The Pakistan U-14 football team got off to a flying start as they kicked off their qualifying campaign for the inaugural AFC U-14 Championship on high, thrashing Turkmenistan 6-0 in Iran on Wednesday.

In their Group ‘D’ opener at the Samen Al Aemeh Stadium in the Iranian city of Mashad, Mohammad Shahid gave Pakistan a lead as early as the fourth minute.

The second goal arrived in the 25th when Junaid Ahmed netted and Pakistan were 3-0 up five minutes later when Saidf Ali struck.

A quick-fire second-half brace by Majid Khan put Pakistan in cruise control before Shahid completed his double in injury-time to cap off a sensational performance.

Victory put Pakistan top of the group, ahead on goal-difference from Iran who defeated India 3-1 on Monday. The top teams from eight qualifying groups will reach the finals scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan next year.

Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan have qualified from Groups ‘A’ to ‘C’ while North Korea have already topped Group ‘H’.

Pakistan now face Kyrgyzstan on Friday before playing India on Sunday. Their qualifying campaign ends with a game against hosts Iran on Monday.


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