Friday, April 23, 2010

Palestinians Abroad: AFC Cup Action and More!

Fadi Lafi notched two goals to take up his tally in the AFC Cup to three. His club side Shabab Al-Ordon ran riot at home to Al-Ahli San'a, dispatching the Yemeni side 6-1. Shabab Al-Ordon will face Syrian side Al-Karamah on the final matchday with an opportunity to top the group with a win. Is it just me or does he seem to be a much more dynamic player at club level?

Fellow Jordanian League counterparts Ahmed Keshkesh and Abdelatif Bahdari were not as fortunate on Matchday 5. Running into in-form team Al-Rayyan of Qatar who swept Wehdat aside 3-0, Bahdari started the match in his usual centreback position while Keshkesh came on in the 61st minute.

Over in Europe... Monday night saw Imad Zatara and Nîmes Olympique keep their Ligue 1 promotion hopes alive. Zatara was on the bench yet again but failed to make an appearance as Les Crocos remain 4 points off the pace with 46 points (and a -5 goal differential) to their name. Zatara who has made six appearances (1 start, 5 sub, 1 goal) for the club from Provence will have the two year option of his contract kick in automatically if he manages four more appearances for the club this season.

In Chile.... Captain Roberto Bishara made his glorious return to the Palestino line-up helping them secure a valuable 1-1 draw against Unión de San Felipe. El Observador described the defender's performance as incombustible. Los Arabes are having a difficult time of it in the Apertura and it seems it will be another race to avoid relegation. New manager Gustavo Benítez has secured the club four out of the last possible nine points which has seen Palestino climb off the foot of the table. On 9 points they lie in 19th place 1 point off a play-off promotion/relegation tie and two points away from safety.

And in Mexico... Miguel Sabah could become the second player of Palestinian descent to feature at the World Cup. Sabah was a surprise inclusion in Javier 'El Vasco' Aguirre's preliminary squad. The 17 Mexican Primera players will train for a month before the group is whittled down and combined with El Trí's Europe-based stars. So if you're looking for a team to cheer for this summer... Mexico could be your choice. The green jersey recently launched by Adidas look like something Palestine might wear (well, before Rajoub's and his fear of green put us in horrendous red jerseys).