|The Managers pose with the Peace Cup Trophy|
Opponents: Myanmar & Chinese Taipei/Philippines
When: September 3rd/6th
Where: Rizal Satdium, Manila, Philippines
Kickoff: 11 AM (v. Myanmar) Jerusalem Time
Squad: Jamal Mahmoud and the PFA delayed announcing the final squad until after the Yasser Arafat Cup final only to then state that they were forced to name a squad a month in advance by the organizing committee. With that stipulation in place, Mahmoud chose to use his Challenge Cup winning squad as a base, unfortunately injuries and other porblems have left Palestine shorthanded. Imad Zatara and Alexis Norambuena miss out due to injury. Hesham Salhe was unable to join due to a error in his paperwork, Tamer Seyam pulled out due to the death of his father, Haitham Dheeb cited his (real job) work commitments, and Ashraf Nu'man was forced to stay in Saudi Arabia while his residency paperwork was being completed. The only squad member to pullout without citing a legitimate reason was Murad Ismail.
Now that we've established who isn't here- let's take a look at the brave souls who made the trip:
Goalkeepers: Ramzi Saleh and Toufic Ali
Defenders: Ahmed Harbi, Javier Cohene, Abdelatif Bahdari, Abdesalam Al-Swerki, Raed Fares, Abed Jaber
Midfielders: Husam Abu Saleh, Khader Yousef, Musa Abujazr, Abdelhamid Abuhabib, Hilal Musa, Ahmed Maher
Others rumored to be joining are Khaled Salem, Ibrahim Swidan, and Mohammed Qassim.
Olympic Poaching: In order to fill out the squad- Mahmoud was forced to pull three players (Abed Jaber, Ahmed Maher, Hilal Musa) out of the Olympic Asian Games camp. Instead of playing Brazil this Saturday they'll be facing up against Philippines/Chinese Taipei (I'm sure they're thrilled).
New Player: Meet Javier Cohene! A 27 year-old CB who plies his trade in Portugal for Vitoria Setubal. From the looks of his YouTube highlights- he looks to be a good addition and should pair up well with one of the bruisers in the squad (in this case Abdelatif Bahdari).
Prediction: This will be a tough test for an underprepared side. Radojko "Raddy" Avramovic will have his side prepared to fix the mistakes that plagued the last encounter between these two teams. Leaning on prior experience, Palestine may just edge this- but it could be a very ugly, disjointed performance. Chances are there will be starts for the three Olympic team players alongside Ramzi Saleh, Raed Fares, Abdelatif Bahdari, Musa Abujazar, Khader Yousef, Abdelhamid Abuhabib, and Husam Abu Saleh. Ahmed Harbi or Abdesallam Al-Swerki will fight it out to start alongside Bahdari.
Palestine 1-0 Myanmar.