Monday, February 28, 2011

Preview: Pakistan vs. Palestine (International friendly)


[UPDATE:] I've tried searching for places to stream or channels to watch the game. I've come up with nothing so far. If you have any suggestions let us know in the comments section.

What:
International Friendly
Where: Lahore & Karachi, Pakistan
When: March 1st & 4th, 2011 (1400 GMT)
TV: TBA
Streams: TBA

Previous Meetings:
18/02/2006: Palestine 3 : 0 Pakistan (Attal 55', 75', Fadi Salím 85')
02/04/2000: Palestine 2 : 0 Pakistan (Munasarah 1', Al-Jeish 62')

First things first. There is some question as to whether this will be an official friendly or not. The FIFA website initially listed it, then delisted it, only to list it again. Pakistani news agencies report that that Pakistan will use its Olympic squad and that the referees selected are Pakistani which would make this an unofficial friendly.

It seems to me that the Olympic side has become the de facto national team of Pakistan with the senior side having not played a single match since December 2009. Their last three results include a 7-0 thrashing of lowly Bhutan, a 0-0 draw with Bangladesh, and a 1-0 loss to Sri Lanka.

The Olympic side has been far more active in the past year. At the Asian games they suffered a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Thailand but followed that up with 0-0 draw against the Maldives and a 2-0 loss against Oman. They seem to be a side growing with competence, this past month they partially redeemed themselves by losing 2-1 to Thailand. Their Olympic Qualifier against Malaysia got off to a disastrous start, with the team losing 2-0 whilst playing with 10 men for most of the game.

As for Al-Fursan they held a press conference expressing their delight at being in Pakistan. The team arrived in two waves over the 25th and 26th of February. An interesting tidbit to take is that Palestine seems to be the go-to team when you want to play an international under somewhat precarious conditions. Palestine became the first team in six years to play in Iraq two years ago. And will be the first team to play in Pakistan since a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team two years ago. Security is high and both stadiums are expected to be packed with the Pakistan Football Federation ensuring free entry to all spectators.

For more information. Check out Football Pakistan's Preview.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

So that Palestinian Athletes can travel freely



Let me preface this by saying I don't watch Tennis. Let me also say that we strive to keep politics out of this blog but sometimes they are impossible to ignore. During the Assault on Gaza in 2009, some of you might have heard that the UAE had refused entry to Israeli Tennis player Shahar Pe'er who was due to compete in the Dubai Open. In a bizarre twist, the authorities did allow her compatriot, Andy Ram, into the country. In the end there was an entire hullabaloo which ended with Andy Roddick (from my understanding an overrated player with an attractive wife) pulling out of the tournament in protest.

The mantra was that sport and politics should not mix. I happen to agree with that statement for the most part, but the reality is that the two do mix. And when they mix governing bodies tend to dole out fines and suspensions. FIFA has suspended Brunei, Nigeria, Iraq, and Peru in recent years. The world shunned South Africa during the Apartheid years and even went so far to shun the countries that agreed to play against them.

I could go on a long diatribe about how the same should be done to Israel.

But you know what, I am a man with modest requests. I want our athletes be allowed to travel freely, to compete. They shouldn't be subject to any sort of travel ban, because after all, sport and politics should not mix. Until Israel agrees to do this the outcry over Israeli athletes not being able to participate in one of dozens of Tennis competitions are facetious at best.

Players like Ma'ly Kawre' and Balatah starlet Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb have been refused travel permits more than once in the past six months. Gaza, a hotbed of footballing talent hasn't been able to contribute new players to the national team setup for nearly four years. The Gazans that do make it out end up not being able to travel back to Gaza to see their families. Suleiman Obeid's mother died this past October and he hadn't been able to see her for over a year due to travel restrictions. These are all incidents that occurred within the calendar year. If you want to go back a couple of years Israel has been responsible for canceling an Asian Cup qualifier and a World Cup qualifier with their travel restrictions. We couldn't compete in the AFC Challenge Cup in 2008 due to travel restrictions. The list goes on and on.

Pe'er was allowed to compete in the Dubai Open and the Qatar Open this year probably due to all the bad press it suffered in 2009. But it's hard to demand things from other Arab sporting bodies when your own is so intent on shooting itself in the foot.

Instead of bringing to light the problems our athletes face, FA and Olympic President Jibril Rajoub was busy schmoozing with his Israeli counterpart. In the midst of his athletes being refused travel by Israel, Rajoub gave Israel the perfect PR opportunity to whitewash its discriminatory policies. (note: All this was happening WHILE Palestinian athletes were being denied the right to travel).

For some reason the outside world thinks that Pe'er playing in Qatar or Dubai is seen as some step towards peace. Which is perhaps the most myopic observation in the history of mankind. How can an athlete be expected to bridge the divide when while she is lobbing tennis balls Israel is killing Palestinians with little or no recourse? How can this be a step towards positive, equitable, and normal relations between two people when the athlete is forced to hide out in her hotel room all day?

These sort of "sports brings people together" moments happen only AFTER peace and justice are secured. There are many examples: South Africa's 1995 Rugby Team, Germany's 1990 World Cup Team, and Vlade Divac (a Serb) visiting the grave of his former FYR Yugoslavia teammate Drazen Petrovic (a Croat) in the documentary Once Brothers.

Until we get some sort of (real) peace and a delivery of justice then all these attempts at bringing people together through sport serve to distract from the problems at hand. Sport and politics may not mix in other parts of the world, but when you live under occupation, the politics are forced upon every facet of your life... including sport.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts on Thailand (1st Leg)



The match report previously posted was my amalgamation of kooora forum users thoughts and three different match reports I read. Thanks to a very generous Thai YouTuber (shout out to TungstenPalm) I was able to watch the match in full. If you are interested in doing the same the match has been posted in 7 parts on our YouTube page.

After watching that match I have to congratulate the team on a very hard fought game in tough conditions. Traveling to Southeast Asia from the Middle East is a very long and daunting trip, I took a flight to Malaysia from Bahrain a couple of years ago and I was zonked out during my first couple of days. It's also worth noting that although the Thais aren't a household name in football they are a very capable side with money flowing through every tier of their football program (I am extremely jealous of their Nike sponsorship. We stepped out in a very plain White /Black/White combination provided by Peak with oversized jerseys for nearly every single one of our players). This team was a quarterfinalist at the Asian Games. The senior team has been at every single Asian Cup since 1992 but missed out on this year's addition on the last day of qualifying to Jordan.

Tactically, I thought The Dinosaur was right on the money. In order to have any hope of progressing we needed to give ourselves a chance to decide the tie in Palestine. The game started with a very nervy first 5 minutes for Palestine but they soon settled and had their best chance of the match in the 10th minute when Khaled Salem (better known as Khaled Jamal to Merkaz Tulkarem followers) found Ali El-Khatib in the box with a perfect cross. Unfortunately, El-Khatib flashed his effort just wide of the post.

This wasn't a pretty game by any stretch of the imagination. Thailand's players are better than ours and you can tell that this team is more accustomed to each other than we are. But when you're the underdog you have to succeed at one thing: Make good teams play badly. Thailand's game is all about quick movement, they love to exploit space and have some serious speed in attack. The Dinosaur had the team defend in a shell and there were moments where Thailand was passing the ball in its own half with no ideas on how to attack the crowd of players in front of them. Cynics roll their eyes at these sort of bunker ball tactics but I have to say bunker ball is an art form. It is not ideal but it can be used to devastating effect or it can be turned against you to equal effect. Just look at Korea DPR's first two games of the World Cup. They were suited to playing Dunga's Brazil but not Quieroz's Portugal.

Thailand's only goal of the match came as a result of a rare swift move. A quick throw in saw an attacker beat the offsides trap and cut the ball back into the box. Palestine's defenders were caught ball watching instead of man marking and were punished. But throughout the rest of the game they did well, Thailand was reduced to a string of half chances. When they had an opportunity they were either let down by their atrocious finishing (Thai forwards wasted two free headers) or by Toufic Ali's outstanding goalkeeping.

Despite Toufic Ali's good performance there were some concerns: Captain Mustafa Abu Kweik took most the goal kicks (perhaps due to injury?) which is the first time I've seen this happen at this level. There is a definite potential but this is an extremely raw player who Wadi Al-Nes fans have criticized as being too nervy.

Besides the good goalkeeping performance there are other players who merit mentioning. I won't go so far as to blast any of the players performances tonight but I will say that there were some standouts. Malmö FF starlet Hicham Ali is the real deal he was quiet at times but that is only because he tracked back to help shore up the defence. He essentially played as a left-back and right back while out on the wings. He hassled the Thai defence, won the ball back, put in great crosses in to the box, and made excellent runs off the ball. I don't have the statistics but I think it is fair to say that he ran more than any other player on the pitch. If I were Bezaz I'd make sure to include him in the Challenge Cup squad and plug him in as a left-back (preferably in a 5-3-2 system) he'd be an upgrade over Ahmed Harbi and even Roberto Bishara who really is a centreback.

Ali El-Khatib also put in a good performance on the wing, he will be ruing his missed chance but he did more than enough to offset Palestine's lack of midfield presence during this game. The other player worth a mention is Khaled Salem who did all what he was asked of up front. It was obvious that he wasn't used to this task but he held up the ball well, won countless headers, and pressured defenders into giveaways. When Khaled had the ball he often elected to take a poor shot instead of waiting for help which is the only criticism that I can levy against him.

For the return leg in Palestine we don't have to completely overhaul our strategy. Thailand is very vulnerable on the counter, they aren't going to use 70% possession to their advantage. The aim should be to get one goal and prolong the game until the Thais break down (everybody in Palestine needs to go to the game and SCREAM for 90 minutes). I would not advocate a repeat of the 4-5-1. I can't say that the extra man in midfield helped us mostly because we never played through midfield. Khaled Salem needs help up top to be effective. A 4-4-2 with two withdrawn midfielders, an extra forward dropping off to create an additional point of attack, along with a little luck could see Palestine progress. It is also important to note (as pointed out by Paul in an earlier comments section) that Thailand struggles on its trips to the Middle East. So it's all to play for come March 9th.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thailand 1 : 0 Palestine


Full Replay of the match available here.

Al-Fida'i were unable to spring an upset last night in Bangkok but have given themselves a chance at redemption in a fortnight's time on home soil. Palestine put forth a competent display in the first leg of 2012 Olympic Qualifying, defending valiantly out of a 4-2-3-1 formation and springing counters through Ali El-Khatib and Malmö FF rising star Hicham Ali on either wing. The star of the match for Palestine was lanky goalkeeper, Toufic Ali who handled everything thrown at him with the exception of the lone goal in the 43rd minute. Patcha Narat sprung the offsides trap and slotted home to give the home side the lead at the interval.

Thailand was once again on the front foot in the second half testing Ali's goal on numerous occasions. The Wadi Al-Nes stopper denied Patchya Narat several times before he was substituted. Thailand's best chance of the second half came from a Chalermsak Kaewsooktae free kick which was brilliantly saved by Ali.

Despite Thailand dominating for large periods of this match Palestine had a golden opportunity late in the game to equalize through Khaled Salem who put a shot just wide of the net from inside the box. The Merkaz Tulkarem striker, given the tough task of playing alone up front, was a menace and a handful for the Thai defence. The team had a strong final 10 minutes as Thailand looked to defend their 1-0 lead.

The return leg is set to be played on March 9th in Palestine at Al-Ram's Faisal Al-Husseini Memorial Stadium, kickoff is set for 1800 local time.

Palestine manager Mokhtar "The Dinosaur" Al-Talili blamed the loss on fatigue with the players having only 48 hours to adjust to the five hour time difference:

"We don't have a big stadium like this so the players were not familiar with playing in such a big stadium. The time difference of five hours also affected our players. The wet conditions made it difficult for us to play," he said.

"Thailand are a good team but we still have a chance in the second leg."

Palestine XI:

Toufic Ali (GK); Ahmad Salameh, Mustafa Abu Kweik, Nadim Barghouthi, Salim Darooby; Mahmoud Koori (Mohammed Al-Sadoody), Fayez Aslieh (Mus'ab Al-Batat), Ali El-Khatib (Amjad Zidan), Ahmad Mearry, Hicham Ali; Khaled Salim.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Preview: Thailand vs. Palestine (Olympic Qualifier)



What: AFC 2o12 Olympic Qualifier (1st round/1st leg)
Where: Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand
When: February 23rd, 2011 1100 GMT
TV: Thailand Canal 11, SMMTV, NBT 11 (all available in Thailand)
Streams: Possible streams here and here

Mokhtar "The Dinosaur" Al-Talili has announced the starting XI that will face off against Thailand tonight. With a squad short on forwards he was expected to field a defensive line-up and has followed through on those expectations fielding a single forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation:

Toufic Ali (GK); Fayez Aslieh, Mustafa Abu Kweik, Nadim Barghouthi, Salim Darooby; Mohammed Koori, Ahmad Salameh; Ali El-Khatib, Ahmad Mearry; Khaled Salim.

Palestine will probably play a lot of bunker ball and look to hit Thailand on the counter. With the return leg set to be played in the Faisal Al-Husseini Memorial Stadium (the first competitive match to be staged on Palestinian soil) the team will be desperate to keep the tie a two-legged affair.

A 0-0 draw would be huge but it is important to point out that the Thais are no pushovers as proved by their quarterfinal finish at the Guangzhou Asian Games. Thailand won their opening match against Pakistan 6-0 and then went on to collect a 1-1 draw against Oman and a 0-0 draw against the Maldives to finish runner-ups in Group F. In the second round, a goal deep in extra time delivered them a 1-0 victory over Turkmenistan. Their run ended at the hands of eventual champions Japan with a 1-0 quarterfinal loss. Expect a tight match, these teams met at the 2006 Asian Games with Thailand narrowly edging out a 1-0 win over a team that included Bahdari, Keshkesh, Attal, and goalkeeper Mohammed Shbair.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Squad for Pakistan Tour & Challenge Cup camp

Mousa Bezaz has announced his squad for the two matches against Pakistan set to be played on March 1st and 4th in Lahore and Karachi, respectively. The team will leave (the seven Gazans in the squad already have, Ma'aly Kawre' was once again refused travel. So much for this PR bullshit by Rajoub) for Jordan on February 22nd.

The team will train in Amman before setting off for Pakistan on February 27th. Al-Fursan will hold a training camp in Kuwait to prepare for the AFC Challenge Cup. The training camp will run from March 5th to March 18th and will include an unofficial friendly against Kuwait on the 14th of that month. Before leaving for Myanmar, Bezaz is expected to call up additional foreign based players. Palestine's matches are set for the 21st, 23rd, and 25th of the month. Palestine will face Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the winner of the Philippines/Mongolia playoff (Philippines won the first leg on home soil 2-0, the return leg is slated for March 15th)

The team will play Kuwait again on the 30th in an official friendly with the participation of its professionals playing abroad.

The initial squad is made up of 21 players all playing in the WBPL:

Goalkeepers:

Mohammed Shbair, Shabab Al-Khaleel
Abdullah Saidawi, Hilal Al-Quds
Saed Abu Sleem, Balata

Defenders

Ahmed Harbi, Al-Am'ary
Mohammed Al-Masri, Dhahrieh
Khaled Mahdi, Al-Am'ary
Samer Hijazi, Jabal Al-Mokaber
Husam Abu Saleh, Hilal Al-Quds

Midfielders

Ayman Alhendi, Shabab Al-Khaleel
Houssam Wadi, Jabal Al-Mokaber
Murad Said, Hilal Al-Quds
Suleiman Obeid, Al-Am'ary
Hesham Salhe, Hilal Al-Quds
Khader Yousef, Wadi Al-Nes
Ashraf Nu'man, Wadi Al-Nes
Atef Abu Bilal, Dhahrieh
Ismail Amour, Jabal Al-Mokaber

Forwards

Mohammed Jebreen, Al-Bireh
Mohammed Shatrit, Shabab Al-Khaleel
Eyad Abugharqud, Al-Am'ary
Jamal Allan, Hilal Al-Quds

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Olympic Team all set for Bangkok clash

The Olympic Team arrived in Amman yesterday where they will hold a two day minicamp before heading to Bangkok. They were visited today at the Gardenia Hotel by Wehdat duo Abdelatif Bahdari and Fahed Attal who were there to give them a pep talk. Amongst the 20 players are four Gaza-based players (the first time they've been able to represent the Olympic Team in years) and Malmö FF U19 Captain Hicham Ali. Here are the 23 players who will represent us on the 23rd of February against Thailand:

GK- Toufic Ali Wadi Al-Nes
GK- Amr Abu Ruweis Al-Am'ary
GK- Omar Yahya Unknown Club

DF- Nadim Baraghouthi Al-Am'ary
DF- Mohammed Al-Deri Al-Sadaqa
DF- Mustafa Abu Kwek Al-Bireh
DF- Samaha Jabareen Al-Dhahrieh
DF- Mus'ab Al-Batat Al-Dhahrieh
DF- Aed Al-Shaiokhy Shabab Al-Khaleel
DF- Salah Koori Unknown Club
DF- Kahlid Saleem Wadi Al-Nes

MF- Ahmad Mearry Hilal Al-Quds
MF- Amjad Zidan Wadi Al-Nes
MF- Muath Mustafa Wadi Al-Nes
MF- Ali El-Khatib Jabal Al-Mokaber
MF- Salem Daroby Thaqafi Tulkarem
MF- Fayez Aslieh Shabab Al-Khaleel
MF- Mohammed Al-Sadoody Rafah United
MF- Omar Al-Masare Khadamat Al-Shatea
MF- Hicham Ali Malmö FF (Sweden)

FW- Jehad Saqr Wadi Al-Nes
FW- Ahmad Salameh Khadamat Al-Shatea
FW- Thaer Qarain Jabal Al-Mokaber


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thoughts on Tanzania-Palestine

So it appears now that we have suffered a blackout similar to the one we had when we played against Mauritania. This comes with the territory when you're playing smaller, less reputable African nations. That said, I think Tanzania is vastly underrated side you don't draw a World Cup finalist (Algeria) in AFCON qualifying without being a good side. They might have been without Vancouver Whitecaps duo Nadir Haroub and Nizar Khalfan but this is a side that draws the majority of its players from the domestic league. This is also a side that was a lot sharper than our national team, having played 10 matches in a time period stretching from late November to January.

From all accounts, Tanzania deserved their win but could have been made to settle for a draw if Palestine finished their chances. I think a lot of the problems described in the match report are a result of very poor squad selection. I sometimes recoil in horror at how top-heavy Bezaz's squads are. Only five defenders were called up for this game, and that includes Shareef Adnan who is a very attack-minded wingback. As far as the midfield goes, Bezaz seems to have a proclivity to select wingers and often leaves his squad bereft of a holding midfielder or a box-to-box type.

The only player in the squad that was capable of doing any sort of dirty work in the midfield was Hesham Salhe and his diminutive size makes him liable to be overwhelmed by bigger and stronger opponents. Hani and Atef Abu-Bilal are wingers in the mold of Pedro (of FC Barcelona) they are fast and attack relentlessly and are best used that way. Khader Yousef and Mohammed Jamal Jebreen are also wingers. Mohammed Shatrit and Ashraf Nu'man are deployed as forwards at club level. Shadi Allan is a playmaker and by all accounts hasn't really been all that special this WBPL season. Which leaves Mohammed Samara the most talented player of the bunch to try and settle the midfield, win the ball, keep possession and drop back. Which is all well and good, but Samara is an attacking midfielder who if given time on the ball is capable of setting up goals or even scoring one or two himself.

What we learned:
If you look at our squad again, considering all this information here is what we had at our disposal: 3 goalkeepers, 3 centrebacks , 1 rightback, 1 right-footed wingback, 4 wingers, 1 tiny defensive midfielder, 2 attacking midfielders, and 5 forwards. I can't say I'm surprised we lost but at least we now know two things. Abdullah Saidawi is good enough to step in for Ramzi Saleh in the short term and get us to the AFC Challenge Cup. We also know that Omar Jarun and Abdelatif Bahdari are so dominant that they can almost make up for a lack of a midfield to shield them. I said it once and I'll say it again there is a giant Edgardo Abdala shaped hole in our midfield and he needs to be brought back into the fold.

The final takeaway from all this is that we have to do something about our forwards. Ahmed Keshkesh and Fahed Attal don't often appear on the field at the same time at Wehdat. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that they are very similar players, both are forwards that like to be involved in build up play. Take a look at our the Keshkesh playlist on our YouTube page. Almost every single goal Keshkesh scores is the result of a late opportunistic run into the box. Sure, he gets the occasional goal off a header from a set piece, but this is a guy who is never pushing the line in an attempt to beat the offsides trap. Fahed Attal is a forward in the same mold and I think the insistence to play them together is hurting the team.

Bezaz should pick the one most in form (right now that's Attal) and pair him with a poacher. Domestically we can choose from Murad Alyan (13 goals in 12 games) or the younger, but equally prolific, Eyad Abugharqud (11 goals in 12 games). A lot has been made of the fact that Alyan is 33 years old, but all this man has done is score. The third option is to call up a guy like Mustafa Hallaq who is the second leading scorer in Lebanon right now and is playing for league leaders Al-Ahed.

Palestine's next match is an unofficial friendly series against Pakistan on March 1st and 4th. The Olympic Team will play the first leg of its Olympic Qualifier against Thailand in Bangkok on February 23rd.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Something positive from the Tanzania match

We are wearing white again.
(pic from PFA)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reconciling Political Views and National Football

Though, as we previously mentioned, we don't like getting into politics, sometimes we are forced to by prevailing current events. If you believe that politics and sports are entirely serperate realms, you just have to look at Egypts recently cancelled friendlies, or the continued absence of Gaza based players from the national team, to find evidence to the contrary. So much has happened in the last few months that has gotten everyone in the Arab world talking, and questioning the status quo. Here are my two cents. You may agree or disagree with my views, they are personal opinions I thought I should share.

I have not-so-recently become of the conviction that the modern Arab nation state is an artificial construct, like most countries formed after World War 2, whose borders were formed to mark administrative divisions by the powers. The resulting divisions among created national lines have served as quite an effective divide-and-conquer tool to the detriment of the Arab people, I believe. As a result I've lost all sentimental connection to flags, national anthems and other expressions of nationalism* you would find in the wide Arab world as to me, they are symbols of division.

As an avid follower of international football, this brought up an obvious problem, what about national football teams? Surely they are just as an expression of nationalism as any flag or song would be. Fortunately it was quite easy to reconcile between my support of the national team and my new-found Pan-Arabism(if you want to call it that).

Palestinian national symbols became what they are as symbols of defiance to oppression. It is no surprise we are seeing the Palestinian flag present in Tahrir Square and in protests against injustice all over the world. For Palestinians, the flag says: we are a people, this is our land. This expression goes entirely against the Zionist narrative of "a land without a people for a people without a land". And for that, I love it. Our national team is an equally powerful symbol. We exist, therefore we play. And you can tell by the roar from the stands of the Faisal Husseini Stadium that the sound of a ball hitting the back of the net is more real than any lousy politicians speech.

It used to be, early last decade, that the national team's mere participation in international events was satisfactory as an affirmation of existence. We have matured beyond that now as the press and the public demand results. We have an eventful few months ahead of us starting with the friendly against Tanzania on Wednesday, lets hope we get those results.

*When I speak of nationalism here, I refer to what I regard the divisive nationalism of the right.

Match Preview: Palestine vs. Tanzania

What: International Friendly
When: 09/02/2011
Time: 20:00 GMT
Where: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
TV/Stream: Search here, here, and here

*Unfortunately, the website we use to get many of our streams has been taken down by the US government for copyright violations. So if you have any suggestions or sources, let us know. I would think that this game would be available on Palestine's Satellite Channel but we cannot confirm this at this hour. If you have any information, please let us know with a comment.

Recent Form & Squad List:

W Golan Heights 6-0
D Dynamo Moscow 1-1
L Iraq 0-3
L Yemen 1-3
D Mauritania 0-0

Palestine's squad features six players based abroad.

Recent Form & Squad List:

D Uganda 0-0
L Egypt 1-5
D Burundi 1-1
D Uganda 1-1
L Sudan 0-2

Tanzania's squad is bereft of the internationally based players that powered them to a 1-1 draw against Algeria in African Nations Cup qualifying.

Prediction: Mousa Bezaz has brought in some players in from the cold for this international friendly. Most notably, Omar Jarun who hasn't played for the national team in three and a half years and Faisaly's wingback Shareef Adnan. Unfortunately, due to Israel interference, Bezaz has chosen to leave the Gazan players at home due to the Football Association's inability to secure two sets of exit visas within one month. There also has been no call-up for Imad Zatara (rumored to have chosen to stay in Sweden with his young family), Roberto Bishara, and Majed Abusidu. Similarly, Jan Poulsen will not have any of his players that ply their trade in MLS and Europe.
I'll stick my neck out and say Palestine finally break their duck. Mousa Bezaz is in a confident mood, Fahed Attal is in fine form, the defence anchored by Bahdari and Jarun should be able to take care of things at the back, and there are many fringe players who will want to make a statement. 1-0 Palestine.

Let us know your prediction below with a comment.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Squad for Tanzania friendly announced


Al-Fursan are set to leave for Tanzania tomorrow and will face Tanzania in an official FIFA friendly on February 9th. Amongst the 21 players called up for the friendly are six players who ply their trade abroad.

Goalkeepers: Abdullah Saidawi (Hilal Al-Quds), Fahed Al-Fakhuri (Thaqafi Tulkarem), Saed Abu Saleem (Balata)

Defenders: Abdelatif Bahdari (Wehdat/Jordan), Shareef Adnan (Faisaly/Jordan), Omar Jarun (Pogon Szczecin/Poland), Samer Hijazi (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Mohammed Al-Masri (Dhahrieh)

Midefielders: Mohammed Samara (Arab Contractors/Egypt), Mohammed Shatrit (Shabab Al-Khaleel), Atef Abu Bilal (Dhahrieh), Hani Abu Bilal (Dhahrieh), Hesham Salhe (Hilal Al-Quds), Khader Youssef (Wadi Al-Nes), Shadi Allan (Jabal Al-Mokaber), Ashraf Nu'man (Wadi Al-Nes)

Forwards: Fahed Attal (Wehdat/Jordan), Ahmed Keshkesh (Wehdat/Jordan), Mohammed Jamal Jebreen (Al-Bireh), Jamal Allan (Jabal Al-Mokaber)