AL-AHSA, Saudi Arabia: Pakistan will face Saudi Arabia in the second round of 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers today (November 16).
The match is scheduled to begin at Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium of Al-Fateh Club in Al-Ahsa in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia at 9:30 pm (Pakistan Standard Time) on November 16, 2023.
Last month, Pakistan created history as they defeated Cambodia 1-0 at the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier first round match. The England-born Hamid scored the winner in the 68th minute for the host at Jinnah Stadium, Islamabad as he slipped the ball smoothly through the Cambodian goalkeeper. Pakistan ranked 197th in the world while Cambodia ranked 177th.
Pakistan was playing their FIFA World Cup qualifier at home after 12 years and this was also the first international match that Pakistan played at home in eight years. The last one was a friendly against Afghanistan in 2018.
The Saudi and Pakistani football teams have never met in their long history of World Cup qualifiers, and this contest will be considered as the first of its kind between the two nations.
It will be interesting to see how Pakistan men’s football team tackles the formidable Saudi Arabia in the Qualifiers second round. The game will on November 16 will open the Group G competitions of the second round of the Qualifiers. Tajikistan and Jordan are the other contenders in the group. These four teams will play each other on home and away basis in three phases until June next year with the top two sides progressing to the third round.
Pakistan will be missing their skipper and star defender Easah Suliman who recently injured himself in the Azerbaijan League. He played a key role in defence as Pakistan beat Cambodia 1-0 to register first win in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers history here on October 17.
It is highly likely that England-based Imran Kayani will make debut for the country of his origin against Saudi Arabia.