Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pictures, Videos, and More: Palestine celebrates Asian Cup qualification.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words- so instead of our usual Rapid Reaction piece we decided to give you a taste of what the epic 1-0 win over Philippines meant to Palestinians all over the world.

This is a truly Palestinian victory our 23-man squad hails from the West Bank, Gaza, cities on the other side of the Green line, communities in refugee camps, and the diaspora.

A big thanks to the 23 players and the coaching staff. We'll see you in Australia! For those looking to make the trip, tickets go on sale June 2nd on

We would like to thank the nation of the Maldives for their excellent support. The atmosphere your fans created in all five games was nothing short of amazing. You cheered us on as if we were your own team and you will forever occupy a special place in our hearts and history books.

To the Philippines you were more than a worthy opponent and on another day, the trophy may have been on its way to Manila. I am confident that if you continue on this path we will see you on the big stage in 2019. The outpouring of support for the national team from Azkal supporters has been nothing short of amazing.

I would personally like to dedicate this victory to Sameh Mar'aba who remains illegally incarcerated in an Israeli jail without charge. He should have been part of the squad that made history. Sameh is one of many Palestinians who are currently being held by Israel without charge and we hope that his victory allows them a fleeting moment of joy as they continue their hunger strikes. #مي_و_ملح.

This victory is also for every single player and coach that donned a Palestine shirt over the last seven decades without recognition. You laid the foundation that made our present reality possible. A special shoutout to Azmi Nassar who is no longer with us but would have been so proud.

For those looking for a match recap- you can find a pretty good one here. You can watch highlights of the victory here or relive the entire match here.

Post Match Press Conference 

More pictures and video after the jump....

Friday, May 30, 2014

Palestine win Challenge Cup, clinch berth at 2015 Asian Cup

Ashraf Nu'man's 57th goal was enough to seal it. Palestine blanked the Philippines 1-0 to win the final edition of the AFC Challenge Cup trophy. Ramzi Saleh and an impeccable defence ensured that their barrier would not be breached for a fifth straight game. Including the qualifying rounds Palestine has kept a clean sheet for a whopping 12 hours of play. 

Ashraf Nu'man was awarded with the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer with four goals.  

Murad Ismail was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player. 

Palestine will be placed in Group D at next year's AFC Asian Cup alongside holders Japan, 2007 champions Iraq, and rivals Jordan. 

Scouting the Opponent: Philippines (2014 Challenge Cup Final)

Who's taking it home?

When: May 30th, 2014
Kickoff: 1600 GMT+1 
Where: Galolhu National Stadium, Malé, Maldives
TV: BeIn Sports  // Follow the action Live on YouTube. (You can use Hola to unlock the channel if you are in the MENA region)

FIFA Rank: 140th (21st in AFC)

Previous Encounters:
19/03/2012 // Kathmandu, Nepal // 2012 AFC Asian Challenge Cup L 3-4
27/03/2011 // Rangon, Myanmar // 2012 Challenge Cup Qualifying D 0-0

Recent Results: 
27/05/2014 v. Maldives W (3-2 aet)
24/05/2014 v. Turkmenistan W 2-0
22/05/2014 v. Laos W 2-0
20/05/2014 v. Afghanistan D 0-0
27/04/2014 v. Malaysia D 0-0

More after the jump...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rapid Reaction: Palestine 2:0 Afghanistan (2014 Challenge Cup)

Ashraf Nu'man: Palestine's talisman once again.

Palestine Starting XI (4-4-1-1):  Saleh (C); Fares, Bahdari, Jarun, Jaber; Abu Saleh, Murad Ismail, Abu Jazar, Musa; Abuhabib; Nu'man. 

Cautions: Abuhabib 19', Ashraf Nu'man 73', Tamer Seyam 82' 

Substitutions: Tamer Seyam <-> Hilal Musa 65' // Imad Zatara <-> Ashraf Nu'man 86' // Ahmed Maher <-> Abu Saleh 90+2'. 


Full Match Info After the Jump....

Monday, May 26, 2014

Scouting the Opponent: Afghanistan

When: May 27th, 2014
Kickoff: 1130 GMT 
Where: Galolhu National Stadium, Malé, Maldives
TV: BeIn Sports 4 // Follow the action Live on YouTube. (You can use Hola to unlock the channel if you are in the MENA region)

FIFA Rank: 128th (18th in AFC)

Previous Encounters:
29/06/2011 // Tursunzoda, Tajikistan // 2014 World Cup Qualifying 2-0
03/07/2011 // Al-Ram, Palestine // 2014 World Cup Qualifying D 1-1

Recent Results: 
24/05/2014 v. Laos D 0-0
22/05/2014 v. Turkmenistan W 3-1
20/05/2014 v. Philippines D 0-0
14/05/2014 @ Kuwait L 2-3
12/05/2014 v. Kyrgyzstan W 1-0
04/05/2014 @ Tajikistan L 0-1

More after the jump...