The Pakistan football team is scheduled to face Cambodia in the preliminary round one of the FIFA Asia World Cup qualifiers. The draws for the regional qualifiers were announced by FIFA on Thursday. The first round will consist of one home match and one away match, taking place on October 12 and 17, respectively.
A total of 45 Member Associations from the region will participate in the qualifiers, aiming to take their initial steps towards the 23rd FIFA World Cup, which is set to be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. From the first round, nine winners will progress to round two, where they will be joined by the remaining 27 teams. In round two, these 36 teams will be divided into nine groups of four, competing in a home-and-away, round-robin format from November 2023 to June 2024.
In the previous 2019 qualifiers, Pakistan faced the same opponent, Cambodia, and unfortunately lost the game 4-1. However, this time, the Pakistani team enters with renewed hope for qualification, especially with the inclusion of diaspora players. If they manage to win their match in the first round, they will advance to group G in the second round, where they will compete against Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Tajikistan.