Monday, October 25, 2010

Preview: Palestine vs. Catholic Priests


This is a meaningless game that will be taking place on Tuesday. I wasn't planning on giving it much attention but here's a brief preview of what we can expect:

[UPDATE] Game finished 9:1 in favor of Palestine, all the goals were scored in the second half. More to follow...

When: October 26, 2010 1500 GMT
Where: Faisal Al-Husseini Memorial Stadium, Al-Ram
TV: Palestine TV (unconfirmed)

Palestine Squad:

GK: Fahed Al-Fakhuri (Thaqafi Tulkarem), Mohammed Shbair (Shabab Al-Khaleel), Abduallah Saidawi (Hilal Al-Quds)

DF: Haitham Dheeb (Hilal Al-Quds), Ahmed Harbi (Al-Am'ary), Khaled Mahdi (Hilal Al-Quds), Samer Hijazi (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Hussam Abu Saleh (Hilal Al-Quds)

MF: Khader Yousef (Wadi Al-Nes), Husam Wadi (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Ayman Alhendi (Shabab Al-Khaleel), Ma'ly Kawre (Al-Am'ary), Ismail Amour (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Hisham Al-Salahi (Hilal Al-Quds), Atef Abu Bilal (Dhahireh), Shadi Alan (Jabal Al-Mokaber)

FW: Ashraf Nu'man (Wadi Al-Nes), Eyad Abugharqud (Al-Am'ary), Murad Alyan (Hilal Al-Quds) , Jamal Allan (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Mohammed Nael (Balata)

The opposition will be made up of 22 Italians who are full time Catholic Priests. The ages of the players range from 21 to 38. This match will mark the debut of Eyad Abugharqud who has impressed with Al-Am'ary scoring 5 goals in 6 games and also scoring against Jordan with the Olympic Team. Murad Alyan who Bezaz said he would not call up due to his age (he's 35) also gets his first call-up he leads the league with 7 goals.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2012 Olympic and Challenge Cup Results

Palestine's Olympic team will face Thailand in a two-legged playoff on February 23rd and March 9th. This will be the second time the teams face off having played at the 2006 Asian Games with Thailand narrowly triumphing 1-0.

Meanwhile, the senior team will not be playing playoff to earn a spot at the Challenge Cup group stage after the the AFC determined it to be the 12th best team in the competition. Al-Fursan dodged another bullet by avoiding former winners Tajikistan, India, and DPR Korea. When the dust settled they were drawn in what seems to be a fairly straight forward group:

THE DRAW

Playoffs (February 9 and 16, 2011)


Playoff 1: Bhutan vs Afghanistan
Playoff 2: Philippines vs Mongolia
Playoff 3: Chinese Taipei vs Laos
Playoff 4: Cambodia vs Macau

GROUP STAGE (March 20-31, 2011)

Group A: Myanmar, Palestine, Bangladesh, winner of playoff 2
Group B: Turkmenistan, India, winner of playoff 3, Pakistan
Group C: Tajikistan, Maldives, winner of playoff 4, Kyrgyzstan
Group D: DPR Korea, winner of playoff 1, Nepal, Sri Lanka


Palestine has only played one of these opponents before, drawing 1-1 with Bangladesh after both teams were assured of a place in the quarterfinals. Myanmar will present the sternest test having clinched a semi-final spot in the past two Challenge Cups.


AFC Challenge Cup Draw scheduled for October 20th



Extracted from the-afc.com.

Kuala Lumpur: The AFC Challenge Cup 2012 qualification draw will be held on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, in AFC House.

The qualification format has been for the 20 teams, which have entered the fray, into a pre-qualifying round and a group stage. The seedings are based on the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup.

For the pre-qualifying phase, the eight lowest ranked teams will play off on a home-and-away basis. The matches take place on 9 and 16 February 2011. The four winners advance to the group stage.

In the group stage, there are 16 teams (four groups of four teams each) playing a single round robin (league system). This includes the 12 highest ranked automatically qualified teams and the four qualifiers. The match days are 20-31 March 2011. The top two teams in each group go to the Finals.

Unlike previous editions, no team has been given direct entry into the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup Finals.

Defending champions DPR Korea, runners-up Turkmenistan and third-placed Tajikistan will now have to go through the qualifiers to punch their tickets to the Finals.

PARTICIPATING TEAMS (20): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Chinese Taipei, DPR Korea, India, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.

Bottom 8 (According to latest FIFA ranking): Chinese Taipei (170), Palestine (173), Laos (177), Laos (178), Mongolia (180), Afghanistan (194), Macau (197) Bhutan (198).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rapid Reaction: Dynamo Moscow 1 Palestine 1


Starting Lineup:
Ramzi Saleh (C), Samer Hijazi, Houssam Wadi, Ra'fit Ayyad, Khaled Mahdi, Imad Zatara, Khader Yousef, Suleiman Obeid, Atef Abu Bilal, Mohammed Shatrit, Murad Said.

Goals: Mohammed Shatrit 27'

[UPDATE 10/12/2010]: You can view Al-Jazeera's highlights of the games on our YouTube Channel. Suleiman Obeid had another excellent performance despite the fact that he was battling with the recent passing of his mother.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Preview: Dynamo Moscow vs. Palestine



What: Unofficial Friendly
When: Ocotber 9th, 2010 (1200 GMT)
Where: Arena Khimki, Moscow
TV: Unknown (You might want to try Palestine TV, for internet streams rojadirecta.com)

Previous Results: 1-1 (January 2010)

This match doesn't mean a whole lot for either team. With just seven games to go Dynamo will be looking for one final push to clinch a Europa League place next year. For Palestine this is an opportunity to continue preparing for upcoming qualifying campaigns.

Squads: For Dynamo Moscow the international break means a couple of notable names will be missing: Luke Wilshire (Australia), Tomislav Dujmovic (Croatia), Alexandru Epureanu (Moldova), Vladimir Gabulov (Russia), and Dimitry Voronin (Ukraine) will not be available for this match.

Palestine will have a similar squad as the one they fielded for the WAFF tournament. Mousa Bezaz has elected not to call up Majed Abusidu and has failed in trying to get Arab Contractors to release Mohammed Samara (Clubs are only obliged to release their players on FIFA dates only for official friendlies). The additions to the squad are as follows:

Imad Zatara (Syrianska), Mohammed Shatrit (JA Drancy), Ra'fit Eyad (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Mohammed Nael (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Khaled Mahdi (Al-Am'ary), Atef Abu Bilal (Al-Dhahrieh), Ayman Alhendi (Shabab Al-Khaleel), Maay Kaware (Al-Am'ary) and strangely enough a fourth keeper Saed Abusleem of Shabab Balata.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Olympic team beats Jordan



It looks like Mokhtar "The Dinosaur" Al-Talili has got the Olympic Team playing competent football for the first time in seven years. Al-Fursan faced their Jordanian counterparts last night in Al-Ram and put on a show for the supporters and IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge.

Rogge toured the Occupied West Bank before the match and got to see first hand some of the struggles Palestinian athletes face. His statement regarding the matter was positive but fell short of the threat UEFA President Michel Platini to sanction Israel if the incidents continued.

For those of you lucky enough to have access to Palestine's Satellite Channel you may have caught the game. If you didn't here is what you missed:

1. Both Goalscorers Ashraf Nu'man and Eyad Abu Gahrqud are lighting up the West Bank Premier League. A newcomer to keep your eye one is Balata's Abdelhamid aka Abu Habeeb.
2. Nadim Barghouthi and Ra'fit Eaid could push Hatem Karim and Abdullah Dheeb for a starting position alongside Abdelatif Bahdari (assuming Jarun is not called up and no other options in the Diaspora are explored)
3. The FA and Olympic Committee which were once broke is now flush with cash and is building themselves a fancy new HQ.
4. Both teams went home with phallic silverware. I don't know why we are handing out silverware...
5. You can access Highlights of this game on our YouTube page.

What's Next:

Palestine Olympic team will be busy over the next couple of months starting with November's Asian Games in Guangzhou (no word yet on the draw). Then in February Olympic Qualifying starts up (Draw on October 20th) with Palestine facing a two-legged playoff against one of the other 22 weakest sides in Asia.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Palestine at the Homeless World Cup


I came across this piece while foraging for news on the National Team a couple of days ago. It turns out, we sent a team to the Homeless World Cup in Rio made up of the homeless refugees in Lebanon. This was the first time a Palestinian Team has participated in the competition.

After doing some more research it turns out that Palestine impressed by finishing 10th out of 43 nations. I think the result speaks volumes about Palestinian Football, not because I think any of these players could go professional, but because it just shows that Palestine is a footballing nation. Most people do not associate Palestine with football, despite the fact that we have the second oldest FA in the Arab World and one of the oldest in Asia (founded in 1928, 24 years before the AFC even came into existence). There is a lot of raw talent and potential out there; whether it be in refugee camps, the narrow streets of Nablus and Jerusalem, or in the wider diaspora. The talent is there, we just lack the resources of some other countries.

Here is the full list of Palestine's results at the Homeless World Cup:

1st Round:
Palestine 8 - 2 Hong Kong
Palestine 1 - 7 England
Palestine 13 - 4 Argentina

2nd Round:
Palestine 5 - 5 Lithuania
Palestine 2 - 4 Ukraine
Palestine 7 - 6 Austria
Palestine 3 - 1 Ghana
Palestine 8 - 6 Netherlands
Palestine 9 - 5 Belgium

Dignitary Cup Final

Monday, October 4, 2010

Update: Palestine vs. Dynamo Moscow

As we reported on our Twitter account earlier, Palestine will face Dynamo Moscow in Moscow on October 9th. It will act as sort of a return leg to the match played between the two sides in Jericho this past January. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw with Mohammed Samara scoring a penalty to level the score for Palestine. The squad is expected to be the same as the one that was called up for the WAFF Championship. Although news reports out of Khartoum suggest that Al-Merreikh will bar Ramzi Saleh from joining up with the squad (One of the pitfalls of playing a club side instead of a national team on a FIFA matchday). There are also hopes of getting Mohammed Samara and some other foreign based players for this match.

In other news Palestine's Olympic squad is all set to face Jordan on October 5th. The match will be played in Al-Ram.