Pakistan’s Telstar 18 football stars in World Cup opener

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Telstar 18 displayed alongside other sport products. (Photo courtesy: Forward Sports)
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Telsatr 18 and the FIFA Cup. (Photo courtesy: FIFA)
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Telsatr 18 and other sport products. (Photo courtesy: Forward Sports)
Updated 14 June 2018

Pakistan’s Telstar 18 football stars in World Cup opener

  • The high-tech Telstar 18, produced by Pakistani sporting goods manufacturer Forward Sports, is the most advanced football ever produced
  • World Cup under way with Russia beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 in Moscow.

ISLAMABAD: “It’s a proud moment for Pakistan to see our manufactured football in the first World Cup 2018 match between Saudi Arabia and Russia,” Saeed Mehr, of Forward Sports, said.

Forward Sports, based in the sporting goods city of Sialkot, is the maker of the high-tech Adidas Telstar 18 football, the most innovative football ever produced.

“We are excited to see the (Adidas) Telstar 18 football in action,” said Mehr.

The sporting goods company was founded in 1991, and produces 700,000 footballs a month for major league competitions such as the Champions League, German Bundesliga, France Ligue 1, as well as international brands.

The thermo-bonded Telstar 18 football features an NFC (near field communication) microchip that transmits information and promotes consumer interactivity utilizing smartphones.

The ball design was first used in the 1970 World Cup. 

Thermo-bonding technology uses heat to seamlessly patch panels, an improvement on stitching. 

Pakistan, ranked 142 on FIFA’s men's index in 1993, has plummeted to 201 in 2018. Women are ranked 118 on the index.

A 2017 FIFA ban on the country’s football federation over an internal power struggle and violations of FIFA rules, was lifted in March. The Pakistan Football Federation membership rights were reinstated, allowing club teams to take part in international football competitions and enjoy other benefits of international football.

Pakistan hasn’t participated in any international football event since 2015.

Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

Updated 19 June 2018

Heartbreak for Mohamed Salah and Egypt as Russia all but secure last-16 spot

ST. PETERSBURG: Russia scored three goals in a 15-minute span early in the second half to set up a 3-1 win over Egypt on Tuesday, moving the host nation to the brink of the World Cup’s knockout stage.
Mohamed Salah won and converted a penalty for a consolation goal on his return from injury but Egypt’s first World Cup in 28 years could be over in barely five days following a second straight loss.
Ahmed Fathi poked the ball into his own net — the fifth own-goal of the tournament — to put Russia ahead in the 47th minute. Then Denis Cheryshev and Artyom Dzyuba scored in quick succession to leave Russia on course for a victory that followed up a 5-0 opening-night win over Saudi Arabia.
It was Cheryshev’s third goal of the World Cup, putting him tied with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring chart.
Russia’s place in the round of 16 will be assured if Uruguay wins or draws against the Saudis on Wednesday. Those two scenarios would also eliminate Egypt, which started with a 1-0 loss to Uruguay.
The hopes of 100 million Egyptians were raised when Salah was selected in the starting lineup, the Liverpool forward making his comeback after 3 1/2 weeks out with damaged ligaments in his left shoulder after a tangle with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in the Champions League final.
Salah trotted out for his pre-match warmup to roars from Egypt fans, who at times appeared to outnumber their Russian counterparts. They shouted every time Salah’s face flashed up on the big screen and when his name was announced before kickoff.
Yet from the start, it was clear that Salah was staying out of anything too physical and there was no concerted effort from his Egypt teammates to pick him out each time. He didn’t touch the ball until the seventh minute.
He did win the penalty — confirmed by the video assistant referee after Salah was pulled down by Roman Zobnin. He converted it in the 73rd minute, but it wasn’t enough. Egypt is still without a victory in six World Cup matches.
Russia is nearly assured of advancing from the group stage for the first time since the Soviet era.
Cheryshev, who entered the World Cup as a fringe player, is proving lethal in front of goal, with his latest a side-footed effort from close range from Mario Fernandes’ cross in the 59th. Dzyuba’s goal was more direct, the striker chesting down a long ball from defender Ilya Kutepov, beating his marker and curling home a low finish.