KARACHI: Pakistan held on a 2-2 draw against Malaysian second-division side Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia FC on Wednesday in a friendly match as part of their training camp in Kuala Lumpur.

The national team, which is on a week-long camp being held at the AFC headquarters, will next play Malaysian top-tier club Felda United in another friendly match on Thursday.

Kaleemullah, back in the national team fold following the appointment of the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Normalisation Committee by FIFA after the star striker was sidelined by former PFF chief Faisal Saleh Hayat, gave Pakistan the lead from the spot in the fifth minute.

“Thanks for the love and support, return to Pakistan football team with a goal. Insha Allah [God-willing] more will come,” Kaleem, who plays for Iraqi top-division side Al Najaf and was banished from the national team for speaking out against Hayat, posted on social media.

UKM FC, who play in the Liga Premier Malaysia, got back on level terms through Ahmad Asnan’s strike in the 22nd. Pakistan went back in front through Mohammad Afzal’s 55th-minute goal but they held on for a stalemate after Rennie Amadaiya got the leveller in the 78th.

A bigger test for Pakistan, who are playing for the first time since participating in the first round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June last year, when they play Felda who are preparing for the Liga Super Malaysia season which kicks off in March.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020

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