Fulham defender Zesh Rehman enjoyed a dream debut for Pakistan setting up the winner in a narrow victory over Sri Lanka.
Pakistan made a winning start to the South Asian Football Federation Championship by completing dominating their first match in Karachi, although they had to settle for a single goal. It was made by Rehman who supplied a superb cross for Imran Hussain to head home.
Fulham defender Zesh Rehman has hit out at failing to be given a chance to shine for England.
The 22-year-old had been capped at Under-17, 18, 19 and 20 level for England, but found being selected for their Under-21 side under Peter Taylor a bridge too far.
With the prospect of international football fading Rehman jumped at the chance to represent the country of his parents’ birth – Pakistan.
“I played more than 20 games for Fulham in the Premier League but lesser players were being chosen from the lower leagues,” explained Rehman.
“I was really disappointed as I had said all along that I wanted to be an England player.
“I could not understand why and when the opportunity came up with Pakistan, I just jumped at it. But my parents are very proud.
“It is a dream come true for my dad to see his son captain Pakistan.”
Rehman has already linked up with the Pakistan squad and has been impressed with the quality of players and coaching staff in the team.
“I went to Bahrain with the squad last week for two charity matches and I just felt loved, I felt really good,” he added.
“There are some good young players and the coaching staff are highly skilled.
“I’ll be just as proud to represent Pakistan as England.”