Thursday, December 18, 2014
With less than a month to go until Palestine's Asian Cup debut, it might be worth looking back at the matches that got us here. On the surface Palestine's 2014 AFC Challenge Cup campaign could look like a walk in the park with no goals conceded and minimal drama in the key fixtures. The reality is it was a solid squad with a great tactician at the helm navigating through a diverse set of opponents.
Read on to find a compilation of match highlights (courtesy of the AFC Hub) with links to our match reports - along with a little commentary.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Also Participating: Khaled Salem, Khader Yousef, Mahmoud Sheikhqasem, Husam Abu Saleh, Musa Abujazr Ahmed Maher.
The national team got a pomp ceremonial send-off in the Grand Park hotel in Ramallah last Wednesday before the players flew to Dubai where they were joined by Mahmoud Eid and Jaka Ihbeisheh.
The squad's readiness was soon put to the test with a friendly against the ever-stalwart Uzbeks. Since the match, which was played on a UAE FA training pitch, was not televised, we cannot say much about the play by play. But going by sources in the stands, Uzbekistan dominated the proceedings on the pitch with some bright sparks coming from the Palestine side. Ismail Amour proved a menace to the Uzbek defense only to be stretchered off after a particularly harsh tackle in the second half with his Asian Cup hopes in the balance. Uzbekistan's sustained pressure finally paid off in the 82nd minute when they got the winner despite claims that Ahmed Harbi was fouled in the lead up to the goal.
For a friendly against a top four Asian side at this stage of preparation, the result is not too bad. Especially considering that Numan, Bahdarai, Norambuena, DKM, and Jadue are yet to join the squad.
Next up, Palestine travel to Chenzhou to face China.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
|Sameh (L) being welcomed by his brother|
Mar'aba's family has decorated the streets of the town of Qalqilya to celebrate their son's return. Mara'aba was originally arrested upon his return from a national team training camp in Qatar at the Karameh border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan.
His arrest on the 28th of April prevented him from traveling with the team to the Maldives for the 2014 Challenge Cup and has also cost him a spot at the 2014 Asian Games and 2015 Asian Cup.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
|Amour: Back in the mix|
Palestine were clearly second best against Saudi Arabia in the first half but showed some sparks in the second half. They built on that performance three days later against Vietnam; overpowering their opponents in the second half.
The two friendlies did raise some intriguing questions about roster spots. Mahmoud Eid has come out of nowhere and now seems likely to lead the attack for Al-Fida'i in their Asian Cup debut against Japan in Newcastle. Hesham Salhe's energetic performance against Vietnam have many clamoring to an end of the Murad Ismail-Khader Yousef partnership in midfield.
More Analysis After the jump....