In the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Saudi Arabia secured a 4-0 victory against Pakistan at Al-Fateh Stadium in Al-Ahsa. The match saw Pakistan holding off well in the first half with only one goal conceded, but Saudi Arabia took control in the second half, scoring three more goals.
Saleh Al-Shahri was a standout performer for Saudi Arabia, scoring twice in the 6th and 48th minutes. The scoring was further bolstered by goals from Abdul Rahman Ghareeb and Abdullah Radif in the final minutes.
Saudi Arabia’s domination was aided by the absence of Pakistan’s key defender and captain, Eash Suliman, due to injury. The difference in FIFA rankings between Saudi Arabia (57) and Pakistan (193) was evident in the match’s outcome.
This game marked Pakistan’s first appearance in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers. The match brought back memories of their 1978 encounter, where Pakistan similarly faced defeat. The teams in their group, which includes Jordan and Tajikistan, will compete in home and away matches.
The top two nations will advance to the third round of qualifiers, while the bottom two will enter the 2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers. Pakistan’s next match is against Tajikistan in Islamabad on November 21, with further qualification matches scheduled for March and June of next year. As the host of the 2027 Asian Cup, Saudi Arabia has already assured a spot in the continent’s premier tournament.