Cricket

Saudi Arabia has arrived in Islamabad ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia's football team has arrived in Islamabad ahead of their second-leg fixture against Pakistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers.

The team, led by renowned manager Roberto Mancini and assistant coach Yaya Toure, flew from Riyadh to Islamabad on a chartered flight. This visit marks a historic first for both former Manchester City legends in Pakistan.

Upon their arrival, the Saudi team received a warm welcome from Nawaf Bin-Said Al-Malki, the Saudi Ambassador to Pakistan. Mancini was presented with a bouquet as a gesture of hospitality. High-ranking officials, including IPC Secretary Zahoor Ahmed, PSB Director General Shahid Islam, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme Rana Mashhood, and PFF officials, were also present at the airport to greet the team.

The Saudi football team was then escorted from the airport to their hotel under tight security arrangements to ensure their safety throughout their stay.

Saudi Arabia aims to continue their unbeaten run in the second round of World Cup qualifying when they face Pakistan at the Jinnah Stadium in Islamabad. The visitors could confirm their place in the third round of qualifying with a point in either of their final two fixtures, while Pakistan is yet to pick up a single point from four games.

With Pakistan’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup already over, the team will be hoping to end the round with some pride by picking up at least a point in the final two games.

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