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WFC 2018 Match Report: Panjab FA 1-1 United Koreans In Japan

Panjab FA got what they needed in their final Group D game against the United Koreans in Japan, as a 1-1 draw put them through to the quarter finals of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup.

Panjab went into the game knowing that a win or a draw would be enough to secure qualification. Only a win, meanwhile, would be enough for the United Koreans to progress from Group D. It all made for a thrilling match between the two sides, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

It was a frantic start to the game with Panjab winning a first minute penalty. Arjun Purewal headed a Panjab corner back across goal, only for Arjun Jung to be bundled over ten yards out when preparing to shoot.

Gurjit Singh stepped up to take the resulting spot kick, but his attempted Panenka style penalty was palmed away by Hyogeum Lim.

The winger very nearly made amends a couple of minutes later. Amar Purewal held off a defender before laying the ball in to the path of Singh, but his first-time curling effort was again clawed away by the United Korean goalkeeper.

Amar Purewal then had a goal disallowed for offside when he rolled the ball in to the net after slipping past the opposition defence.

Despite the relentless Panjab pressure, it remained 0-0 until half time, with everything still to play for in the second period.

It was the United Koreans, though, who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute. Yeong Jang Byun swung in a delightful delivery from a left wing free kick which Ken Taniyama headed just wide after beating Yousuf Butt to the ball in the air.

Aran Basi then went down with a hamstring injury which forced the towering centre back off the pitch, to be replaced by Sufyan Zia, who was making his first appearance in the tournament so far.

Minutes later, Ken Taniyama came close again. This time, the midfielder drove in a ferocious cross which nearly caught out the Panjab goalkeeper at the near post. Fortunately for Panjab, it bounced off the woodwork and out for a goal kick. Another let off for the lions.

With fifteen minutes to go in the match, the United Koreans were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal.

Nathan Minhas started a Panjab break from inside his own half, using his strength well to hold off his opponent before driving towards goal. The forward then clipped a ball out to Nikinder Uppal, the substitute took a touch before passing it inside to Jhai Dhillon who was brought down by Sunji Kim in the area.

There was never any doubt that Amar Purewal would fail to put Panjab ahead, and the striker coolly obliged by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way.

The United Koreans then threw men forward in search of the two goals they needed to qualify from Group D. And they found one in the 94th minute when Su Hyeon Mun lashed into the top corner from 25 yards for a goal of the tournament contender so far.

But there wasn’t enough time for either team to grab a winner, so that’s how it ended. The draw allowed Panjab FA to clinch second place in Group D ahead of the United Koreans in Japan who finished third.

Panjab FA will now face Padania in the quarter finals of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup. The tie will be a repeat of the 2016 semi final between the two sides, a game in which Panjab won by a narrow 1-0 scoreline to put them into the final against the host nation, Abkhazia.

Padania will take on Panjab at 3pm at Larges Lane, Bracknell Town on June 05, 2018, with a spot in the semi finals being the prize for the winner.

Follow the links to find us on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (panjab-fa) for more exclusive details and content. Or you can follow these links to relive Panjab’s other Group D matches against Kabylia and Western Armenia.


Written by Keiran Samra.

WFC 2018 Match Report: Panjab FA 8-0 Kabylia

Panjab FA kicked off their 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup with a resounding 8-0 win over Kabylia at Arbour Park, Slough, on Thursday May 31.

Amarvir Sandhu, Gurjit Singh, Amar Purewal, and substitute, Kamaljit Singh all scored two goals each to help Panjab cruise to victory in their first Group D game.

Western Armenia and United Koreans in Japan had earlier played out a 0-0 draw in the other group stage fixture. So, Panjab FA went into the match knowing that a victory would put them in firm control of Group D of the 2018 CONIFA World Football Cup.

But it was far from a simple start for Panjab. Kabylia began well, enjoying slightly more possession in the early stages, and even had the ball in the net just five minutes in.

Sami Boudia appeared to have put the CONIFA World Football Cup debutants ahead when he rolled the ball into an empty net having gone past Panjab’s Yousuf Butt in goal. However, the referee had blown his whistle for offside well before. And rather than a goal, Boudia received a stern talking to for continuing play and kicking the ball away.

That early scare looked to help Panjab settle into the game.

Soon after, Raj Virk sent a menacing free-kick into the Kabylia box, which goalkeeper, Rahim Belaid, initially dropped. Nobody could react quick enough, though, and Belaid gathered at the second attempt.

Midway through the first half, Gaz Singh’s intelligent dummy allowed the ball to run through to Jhai Dhillon on the left-hand side. The full back sent in a wonderful first-time delivery which fell to Virk ten yards out. But Kabylia’s goalkeeper, together with their captain, Khelifa Drider, somehow diverted Virk’s fierce effort away from goal.

Two minutes later, though, Panjab were ahead.

Amarvir Sandhu Puts Panjab FA 1-0 ahead

In the 24th minute, Virk had the ball in the right corner, before drifting inside majestically. He slipped the ball through the legs of Idir Belasa, before arrowing a pass towards the penalty spot where Panjab’s captain, Amarvir Sandhu struck a powerful first-time effort into the net courtesy of the crossbar.

The North African team, though, responded well to falling behind. Yanis Kemache fired a free-kick just inches wide of the Panjab goal, before Yousuf Butt produced a stunning one-handed save to deny Ilyas Hadid from scoring a curling effort.

Panjab FA doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when the prolific Amar Purewal was given the simplest of finishes after some good play by captain, Amarvir Sandhu.

While the first-half brought about chances for both sides, the second period belonged completely to Panjab FA.

Arjun Purewal headed just wide from a Raj Virk free-kick before the marauding left-back, Jhai Dhillon, won a penalty for his side in the 51st minute.

Jhai Dhillon Wins a Penalty for Panjab FA

Gaz Singh’s strike from 12 yards was perfectly placed in the bottom left corner, beating Rahim Belaid who guessed the right way.

Just seconds later, Amarvir Sandhu headed his team 4-0 ahead from a Gurjit Singh cross, and left Kabylia needing a miracle to get a positive result on their tournament debut.

But Panjab FA were now at their devastating best, and chances continued to come their way.

In stark contrast, Kabylia were tiring quickly from the pressure they were being put under. The hard-working Sami Boudia went down with cramp, and just moments after getting up, he saw his side fall further behind.

Sandhu produced more excellent work on the right side before feeding the ball to his overlapping teammate, Toch Singh. The full-back then fired the ball into the box for Amar Purewal to smash in and make it Panjab FA 5-0 Kabylia.

Jhai Dhillon and Amar Purewal both had chances to extend Panjab’s lead before manager, Reuben Hazell made changes.

Purewal was denied the chance of getting himself a hat-trick when he was replaced by Kamaljit Singh after 70 minutes. Rajpal Virk and Camen Bhandal were also replaced by Rio Riaz and Arjun Jung, respectively.

And it didn’t take long for the substitute Kamaljit Singh to get in on the goalscoring action after he chested down Gurjit ‘Gaz’ Singh’s cross before smashing in from seven yards.

Kamaljit Singh scores a quick fire double

Sami Boudia very nearly capitalised on some mis-control from Arjun Jung on the edge of his own area, but Yousuf Butt produced another incredible save, this time with his outstretched left leg.

Amarvir Sandhu came off to warm applause from the crowd with ten minutes to play, with Taimoor Hussain replacing the skipper.

Just seconds later, Kamaljit Singh scored his second. Gaz Singh danced through Kabylia challenges before playing a neat one-two with Rio Riaz. He then squeezed through a ball for Kamaljit Singh to smash home Panjab’s seventh goal.

Kamaljit Singh thought he had a hat-trick when he tapped home Gaz Singh’s effort which had bounced off the post on 88 minutes. But his celebrations were cut short when he turned to see the linesman’s flag up for offside.

A ruthless Panjab FA team, though, did have an eighth goal with virtually the final kick of the game. Kamaljit Singh turned to slide an exquisite ball through for Gaz Singh, who beat the keeper to it, taking it around him effortlessly before rolling the ball into the net.

And that’s how it finished, Panjab FA 8-0 Kabylia. It was a sensational start to the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup in London for the Panjab team. Following this incredible win, they will have every confidence of going one step further than they did two years ago in Abkhazia.

Make sure you keep up with their incredible journey by watching them live in stadiums around the English capital. Follow this link for official ticketing information. You can also watch a full replay of Panjab FA vs Kabylia here.


Written by Keiran Samra.

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