Sunday, March 29, 2015

Iran U23 3:0 Palestine U23 (2016 Olympic Qualifying)

Fadi Zidan with Palestine's best chance of the game. 
Palestine's qualifying hopes were dealt a killer blow with a 3-0 reverse at the hands of Group C hosts Iran on Friday. The day started off well enough for Palestine with Afghanistan scoring a shock 0-0 draw of Saudi Arabia. That result meant Palestine could conceivably hope for second place in the group with a draw against Team Melli provided the Iranians registered victories against the rest of the field.

Palestine entered the game with three changes to their starting eleven against Saudi Arabia Mohammed Yamin replaced Hani Naboulse while Yousef Al-Ashhab was tasked with providing extra cover in midfield in place of Mahmoud Abuwarda. The other change saw Oday Kharoub make way for the speedier Mohammed Abu Asfour.

Full Highlights and more after the jump...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Palestine U23 0:1 Saudi Arabia U23 (2016 Olympic Qualifying)

Palestine's Starting XI vs. Saudi Arabia. 
After securing a 2-0 win against Afghanistan in their AFC U23 Championship qualification opener, Palestine had an opportunity to go top of Group C with a draw or win over their Saudi counterparts.

For the majority of the action on Wednesday, it seemed that Al-Fida'i would be able to do just that. Abdel-Nasser Barakat reshuffled his lineup with Oday Kharoub and Hani Naboulse replacing Mohammed Asfour and Osama Al-Sabah.

The apparent aim of exploiting Saudi Arabia on the counter  was implemented perfectly by the players. So much so that Saudi Arabia was forced into their first change just 34 minutes through, Abdel Majeed Al-Suwailam coming on for the overwhelmed Rayyan Al-Musa.

More after the jump...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Palestine U23 2:0 Afghanistan U23 (2016 Olympic Qualifying)

Tehran, Iran - Palestine's Olymic team secured an important three points in their attempt to qualify for the AFC U23 Championship in Qatar next year and stay alive in Olympic qualifying. Al-Fida'i 2-0 win over Afghanistan opened Group C action on the Shahid Dastegerdi Stadiun in Tehran. Goals were scored by Mahmoud Abu Warda (7') and Mahmoud Sheikhqasem (75').

The result gave Palestine temporary control of the group but are now second, behind Iran, who dismantled Nepal 5-0 later in the day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Manisaspor's Mohamed Abo-Shark joins Olympic Team

Abo Shark at Manisaspor's training ground

In a positive sign towards talent development the PFA has secured the services of 21-year old, Sweden born, Mohamed Abo-Shark. After rising through the ranks of Landskrona, Abo-Shark dropped down a division to play with Torns last season.

This January, Abo Shark sealed a move to Turkey after spending some time on trial at various clubs. He's currently part of Manisaspor's youth setup but is highly rated by the coaching staff who see him developing into a good player.

Abo Shark can play as an advanced midfielder or forward and should provide an added level of tenacity to Palestine's attack during the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers next week. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Taraji Wadi Al-Nes look to continue good form in AFC Cup

With two out of six group matches already in the books, Taraji has found a way to avoid defeat at the death in spectacular circumstances.

Their debut against Al-Jazira (JOR) saw them go down a goal in the first half but an equalizer seemed to be on the cards. The Kuwaiti referee turned down no less than four penalty appeals before 36 year-old Samih Yousef Abuhammad stepped up in injury time:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Barakat Announces squad for upcoming Olympic qualifiers

Palestine will look to recapture the form that helped them win their group at the 2014 Asian Games.

Olympic Team manager Abdel-Nasser Barakat announced a 24-man roster for upcoming qualifying tournaments. Asia has been awarded three berths for Rio 2016 with the three top finishers at the AFC U23 Championship punching their tickets to Brazil.

Palestine have been drawn against Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nepal, and Afghanistan in Group C. The second seed in the group, Iran, will host all group games set to take place from March 23-31.

Palestine kicks off proceedings against Afghanistan on the 23d before facing Saudi Arabia two days later. Al-Fida'i have a bye on the 27th before a crucial encounter against the hosts on the 29th before wrapping up group play against Nepal on the 31st.

The ten group winners alongside the five best runners up will join Qatar in qualifying for the AFC U23 Championship set to be held next January.

The side will face their South African counterparts in a friendly tuneup in Hebron (Saturday, March 14th, 4 PM).

Full squad after the jump...

Palestine U23s set to face South Africa in Hebron

Palestine last played host to South Africa in 2011.

Palestine's Olympic squad have secured a date with their South Africa counterparts ahead of Olympic qualifying. Al-Fida'i will face the Bafana Bafana in Hebron as they prepared to tangle with Asian heavyweights Iran and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to qualify for the AFC U-23 Championship in January 2016. The top three finishers in that tournament will qualify for the Olympics in Rio later that year.

Rounding out Group C are Afghanistan and Nepal who bookend Palestine's four matches in Iran.