Friday, November 30, 2012

Rapid Reaction: Palestine 0:2 Bahrain (Friendly)

Swing... and a miss! Palestine's attacking play lacked the final touch

Palestine Starting XI (4-4-2): Toufic Ali; Raed Fares, Nadim Barghouthi, Khaled Mahdi, Musa Abu Jazar; Husam Abu Saleh, Ma'ly Kawre' (C), Khader Yousef, Imad Zatara; Ashraf Nu'man, Eyad Abugharqud

Substitutions: Ali <-> Shbair 46' // Abu Saleh <-> Naboulse 57' // Kawre' <-> Wadi 63' // Nu'man <-> Abuhabib 70' // Abu Jazar <-> Salameh 75' // Zatara <-> Al-Halman 80'

Cautions: Ma'ly Kawre'

Highlights: First Half // Second Half 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Preview: Palestine v. Bahrain (Friendly)

The scene of the crime: Bahrain's phantom goal (2011 Pan Arab Games Semifinal)

What: International Friendly
When: November 29th, 2012
Where: Al-Wakrah Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kickoff: 1430 GMT

TV/Streams: Bahrain Sport // Stream 1

Monday, November 26, 2012

FP sits down with Hani Naboulse

Hani Naboulse, part of Palestine's WAFF squad

A mere month ago, Hani Naboulse barely registered on the radar of most Kooora Forum users, now he is fresh off his first two caps- both starts and on the verge of a fruitful career with Palestine. A native of Kokkedal, Denmark Naboulse came to Jamal Mahmoud's attention thanks to a cachet of videos posted on YouTube. It also helped that the 18 year old is a left back and a member of Denmark's most famed youth academy. In fact, Lyngby has a reputation of churning out some fine footballers (Henrik Larsen and Dennis Rommedahl to name a few)  providing four players- more than any other club- to the Euro 92 Championship squad. 

Although the club went through bankruptcy 11 years ago the club managed to return to the Superliga in five years by leaning heavily on the talents of its youth system. Lyngby were relegated out of the Danish Superliga last year but a young squad is in the mix for a bounce back with five games to go. Even more promising is the fact that Hani Naboulse is not the only Palestinian on the team's books- Samir Moussa- a 17 year old striker, is another youngster set for a senior team debut in the next couple of seasons. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Daniel Mustafá joins Palestine

Daniel Mustafá, the oft talked about but never seen object of many a fan's affections, will be joining the national team ahead of the WAFF Championship next month. He will join the Doha-based training camp on Monday and is expected to make his debut in a friendly against Bahrain three days later. 

In interviews with various Argentine outlets he mentioned that a Chilean friend (most likely Roberto Kettlun) was giving him tips on how to acclimate. He did mention that his being around his paternal grandparents gave him some insight into the culture but admits he will need to learn more and adapt. When asked about a potential pay-to-play scheme, Mustafá produced the right answers:

"Will I get paid? I didn't even ask because that would be disrespectful. Players who are called up to the Argentine national team do not ask how much they would make. I am no different. I don't care if there's [money] or not. I would play whatever the circumstance, because it's my blood."

The hulking 28 year old defender has had a broad playing experience with stints in Portugal, Spain's Primera B, and Ecuador before returning to Argentina to play for Boca Unidos in the country's second tier. Mustafá was given the clearance to join the national team by his manager and the President of Boca Unidos, whom he graciously thanked for allowing him to take on such an important challenge. The Cordoba-born defender has appeared four times (three starts) for the club this season totaling 291 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Closer Look: Jamal Mahmoud's First Year

Palestine's latest two fixtures mark one year since Jamal Mahmoud took over the national team post. We thought it would be a good idea to look at how the team has preformed under his stewardship. 

Over the past 12 months, Jamal Mahmoud has equalled the national team's best ever finish at a Pan-Arab Games (Semifinals) as well as guiding the national team to their first ever Challenge Cup semifinal, losing to the holders and eventual champions DPR Korea. There were notable wins over Azerbaijan (Palestine's first win over a UEFA opponent) and Syria (Palestine's first win over their West Asian foes). There have also been some lows particularly in consolation round at the Pan-Arab Games as well as the Challenge Cup.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Match Report: Palestine 2:1 Syria (Friendly)

 Palestine Starting XI (4-4-2): Mohammed Shbair, Raed Fares, Nadim Barghouti, Khaled Mahdi, Hani Naboulse, Hussam Abu Saleh, Khader Yousuf (C), Ma'ly Kawre, Musa Abu Jazar, Khaldoun Al-Halman, Eyad Abugharqoud

Substitutions: Mahmoud Salah <-> Hani Naboulse // Ahmad Abdullah <-> Khader Yousuf // Abdulhamid Abuhabeeb <-> Eyad Abugharqoud // Ashraf Nu'man <-> Khaldoun Al-Halman

Goals: Eyad Abugharqoud 6', Hussam Abu Saleh 18' (p) (PLE), Ahmad Al-Douni 69' (p) (SYR)

In the second of a two match series, Al-Fursan scored two early goals that proved enough to grant them a win over Syria - a feat that has eluded them in all previous encounters with their West Asian neighbors.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Preview: Palestine v. Syria (Friendly, Part II)

Ashraf's Return?

What: International Friendly
When: November 20th, 2012
Where: Prince Mohammed Stadium, Zarqa, Amman, Jordan
Kickoff: 1400 GMT

TV/Streams: Much like the first game, expect a blackout. Unfortunately, I will not be headed to the game but will do my best to keep everyone updated.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rapid Reaction: Palestine 1:1 Syria (Friendly)

Palestine Starting XI (4-5-1): Toufic Ali; Raed Fares, Haitham Deeb, Khaled Mahdi, Hani Naboulse, Husam Abu Saleh, Khader Yousef (C), Musa Abu Jazar, Amjad Zidan, Abdelhamid Abuhabib; Eyad Abugharqud

Syria Starting XI (4-4-2): Mosab Balhous; Abd El-Nasser Hassan, Ahmad Al-Salih, Ahmad Kalasi, Taha Diyab (Khaled Mubyid), Samer Awad, Qusay Habib (Mardik Mardikian), Mahmoud Khaduj, Mohammed Al-Mawas, Uday Jafal, Ahmad Al-Douni (Mohammed Fares)

Substitutions: Nadim Barghouthi <-> Amjad Zidan 45' // Raed Fares <-> Ahmed Salameh 51' // Abdelhamid Abuhabib <-> Ma'ly Kawre' 60' // Eyad Abugharqud <-> Khaldoun Al-Halman 65' // Hani Naboulse <-> Mahmoud 'Al-Koori' Salah 70'

Goals: Musa Abujazar 50' (PLE), Ahmad Al-Douni 53' (SYR)

Cautions: Nadim Barghouthi

Friday, November 16, 2012

Preview: Palestine v. Syria (Friendly)

Syria will be without many high profile stars including Firas Al-Khatib (C)

When: November 17th, 2012
Where: Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan 
What: International Friendly 
Kickoff: 1800 Local Time (+3 GMT)

TV/Streams: TBA

Previous Matches: 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

PFA announce Syria friendlies

After failing to arrange friendlies over the FIFA International break (November 11-14th) with India and and Iraq the PFA has secured friendly dates against Syria ahead of next month's WAFF Championship. Palestine will play Syria twice in the Jordanian capital of Amman on November 17th and 20th. The national team met for a brief training session yesterday under the auspices of assistant manager Ahmad El-Hassan as visa issues have prevented Jamal Mahmoud from crossing the border.

Sixteen WBPL players attended the training session. Among them were four players who earned their first ever invite to the national team: Bahaa Dhiab, Jehad Rabie, Mahmoud Salah, & Raed Jebareen. No word yet on whether more players will be added to the squad, but the conspicuous absence of forwards seems to hint more players will join the fold. [EDIT: Khaldoun Al-Halman has been called up taking the total number of players in the squad to 17] 

Full Squad details after the jump...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five WBPLers that deserve a National Team call-up

With the West Asian Football Federation Championship fast approaching, Jamal Mahmoud has some crucial decisions to make regarding his squad. The former Hilal Al-Quds manager has previously stated that Palestine's main problem right now is a lack of depth at certain positions. With three tournaments (2011 Pan-Arab Games, 2012 Challenge Cup, and the 2012 Arab Cup) under his belt Mahmoud should have a good idea of how to tweak his squad in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Challenge Cup. Below are five players we think deserve a national team call-up based on their WBPL performance thus far.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Comment: On Heart

Palestine and Jageiellonia Bialystok (Polish Ekstraklasa) defender Alexis Norambuena did not mince words in his interview with Poland's Przeglądem Sportowym (Review of Sport). Before he revealed a possible move to the UAE or Qatar, he basically acknowledged that he only plays for Palestine because he did not get a call up from Chile and that his "heart beats for Chile".

Over the summer, Norambuena put in solid performances with Palestine and made a strong case for being the first choice LB (a position we have been having trouble with).

So, Ouch my heart!
But really...