Friday, May 25, 2012

Palestine crowned Nakba Cup Champions

Palestine Starting XI: Toufic Ali; Raed Fares, Abdesallam Al-Sweikeri, Rafit Eyad, Musa Abujazr; Husam Abu Saleh, Murad Ismail, Khader Yousef, Amjad Zidan; Ashraf Nu'man; Fahed Attal

Substitutions: Amjad Zidan <-> Abdelhamid Abuhabib // Murad Ismail <-> Ma'ly Kawre' // Khader Yousef <-> Roberto Kettlun

Highlights (Penalty Shootout): 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Rapid Reaction: Palestine 2:1 Indonesia (Nakba Cup)

Palestine celebrate Fahed Attal's winner

Palestine Starting XI: Toufic Ali; Raed Fares, Ra'fit Eyad, Abdesalam Al-Sweikeri, Musa Abujazr; Hussam Abu Saleh, Roberto Kettlun, Murad Ismail, Amjad Zidan; Fahed Attal (C), Khaldoun Al-Halman

Substitutions: Al-Halman <-> Nu'man //  Kettlun <-> Khader Youssef // Zidan <-> Abuhabib 

Goals: Abu Saleh p. 40', Attal 65'
HIGHLIGHTS available soon

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You can't win anything with kids...

OK... so this tournament isn't anywhere near as important as the English Premier League and no one is suggesting this batch of youngsters will form the core of the senior team but Mahmoud is faced with a choice:

He can give starts to Aslieh, Ahmed Maher, Amjad Zidan, and possibly Al-Koori or he can field his strongest possible squad. If he does choose the latter he would be risking potential embarrassment should they exit the tourney at the hands of a makeshift Indonesian side.

Mahmoud has two tournaments in a month's time- both coincidentally will be hosted in Saudi Arabia.

The U-22 side will try and qualify for the inaugural U-22 AFC Asian Cup in 2014 by finishing in the top two of a group that includes: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

The senior team- with a possible full slate of foreign based players (with the exception of Bahdari who is getting married during the same time) will participate in the Arab Nations Cup. It isn't the most prestigious tournament and is hosted sporadically but doing well earns bragging rights and could serve as a fantastic experience ahead of AFC Challenge Cup qualifying next March.

Indonesia are Palestine's next opponent, the team will stay in the Hebron area but will play this match in Al-Hussein bin Ali Stadium instead of Dora. Kick-off is set for 7PM.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Rapid Reaction: Palestine 2:2 Pakistan (Nakba Cup)

Al-Halman celebrates his brace as Palestine clinch semifinal berth

Starting XI: Toufic Ali (GK); Raed Fares, Al-Sweikeri, Eyad, Abujazr, Zidan, Kettlun, Aslieh, Ahmed Maher; Abuhabib; Al-Halman.

Substituions: Aslieh <-> Al-Koori 45' // Rami Musallmeh <-> Amjad Zidan 70' // Abuhabib <-> Kawre' 87'

Goals: Khaldoun Al-Halman 23' 57'

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rapid Reaction: Palestine 2-0 Vietnam (Nakba Cup)

Starting XI (4-4-2): Toufic Ali, Husam Abu Saleh, Abdelsallam Al-Sweikeri, Ra'fit Eyad, Raed Fares; Amjad Zidan, Murad Ismail, Musa Abujazr, Fayez Aslieh; Abdelhamid Abuhabib, Khaldoun Halman

Subs: Amjad Zidan <-> Ahmed Maher // Khaldoun Halman <-> Fahed Attal // Murad Ismail <-> Rami Musalmeh

Goals: Khaldoun Halman 20', Fahed Attal 77'

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mahmoud set to call-up foreign based players to NT

Next month's Arab Cup could see a lot of new and old faces back in the fold. With most clubs on a break during the summer, players who were previously not available will be free to join up with the squad. Below is a list of players who have confirmed their participation in upcoming friendlies or who have been singled out by Jamal Mahmoud:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nakba Cup Schedule

Group A: 

Monday 14/5 Palestine vs. Vietnam 5 PM (Al-Ram)

Wednesday 16/5 Vietnam vs. Pakistan 5 PM (Al-Bireh)

Friday 18/5 Palestine vs. Pakistan 7 PM (Dora)

Group B:

Tuesday 15/5 Iraqi Kurdistan vs. Mauritania  5 PM (Hebron)
Thursday 17/5 Mauritania vs. Indonesia 5 PM (Nablus)
Saturday 19/5 Iraqi Kurdistan vs. Indonesia 5 PM (Dora)

Group C:

Tuesday 15/5 Tunisia vs. Jordan 7 PM (Nablus)
Thursday 17/5 Jordan vs. Sri Lanka 5 PM (Al-Ram)
Sunday 20/5 Tunisia vs. Sri Lanka 5 PM (Nablus)


1. Tuesday 22/5 Winners Group B vs. Best Runner-up 5 PM (Al-Ram)
2. Tuesday 22/5 Winners Group A vs. Winners Group C 7 PM (Hebron)


Thursday 24/5 Winner Semifinal 1 vs. Winner Semifinal 2 S 6PM (Dora)

All Times are Local (+2 GMT)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Arab Nations Cup Draw

Palestine have been drawn against a triumvirate of Gulf opponents in Group A of the 2012 Arab Cup. All of Palestine's group games will be played in King Fahed Stadium in Ta'if- a city known for its milder temperatures (average June Temperature- 28.5 C). The United Arab Emirates are the first opponents for Al-Fursan  on June 22nd followed by Kuwait on the 25th. The team wraps up its group fixtures with a primetime match against hosts Saudi Arabia on June 28th. This will mark the first time Palestine has faced Saudi Arabia in a competitive fixture.

Palestine has a 0-2-2 record against Kuwait recently losing in extra time to the Blues at the Pan-Arab Games Third Place Playoff. Their record against the United Arab Emirates is a respectable 1-1-1 their most recent meeting came in February- a 0-3 reverse for the travel weary Palestinians who used the match to knock off some rust before comfortably dispatching Azerbaijan later that week.

Group B Features Libya, Morocco- who will be fielding domestic players only, Pan-Arab Games Champion Bahrain, alongside plucky and often underrated Yemen.

The giants of Arab Football clash in Group C with Egypt and Iraq vying for a semifinal spot. They are joined by Lebanon and 2012 CAF quarterfinalists Sudan.

Group winners automatically advance to the semifinals with the best runner-up joining them as well. Palestine will receive $200,000 just for participating in this tournament with a $600,000 cash prize on offer for the runners-up. If Palestine were to win the tournament they would claim a cool $1 million.  

2011/12 Season Wrap-Up

A second year of fully-fledged professional football in Palestine is in the books. While the 2011/12 season has been mired with the lack of footballing action in Gaza- there have been some notable highlights.

Hilal Al-Quds lift the league

In the first half of the league, the Lions from the capitol city were absolutely superlative. Their 4-0 demolition of Jabal Al-Mukaber on the opening day of the season as well as their 3-0 win over 2010/11 League Champions- Al-Am’ary. During the season’s first half no one could match Hilal Al-Quds in league play- they romped to nine straight wins conceded a mere 3 goals and blew past most opposition- they were only truly tested by the Hebron duo- Shabab Dhahrieh and Shabab Al-Khaleel.