PAKISTAN



At the 1997 SAFF Suzuki Cup, Pakistan managed a historic third-place finish as it beat Sri Lanka 1-0. This remains its best ever performance in the tournament. The third-place playoff was discontinued from the 2005 SAFF Suzuki Cup but Pakistan managed a semifinal spot in that edition and in 2003 as well when Bangladesh played host.

By the time the 2009 tournament returned to the same host, Pakistan's SAFF Suzuki Cup fortunes had taken a dip. The 2005 semifinal appearance at home remains the last time it could qualify past the group stage; the only other instance of Pakistan hosting the tournament was the inaugural edition in 1993 when four nations played each other in a round-robin format.

The Jose Antonio Nogueira-managed team will arrive in Bangladesh short of match practice. On account of its suspension by FIFA, Pakistan has not played an international game since a World Cup qualifier in March 2015. Currently, Pakistan is the lowest placed Asian side at 203 in FIFA rankings.

In Bangladesh, Tulsa Roughnecks' Kaleemullah Khan will lead the side. The striker will be ably supported by his deputy Hassan Bashir, who is another forward in the side. Former Fulham defender Zesh Rehman is a senior member of the Pakistani squad while Adnan Ahmed is expected to be the key figure in midfield.

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