Thursday, October 22, 2015

Group A descending into administrative chaos

Abdallah Jaber in Palestine's first encounter vs. Saudi Arabia
The big news this week is that Palestine's game against Saudi Arabia will be taking place after all- and a lot sooner than most pundits had expected.

For those not familiar with the series of events- there had been talk of Saudi Arabia refusing to travel to Palestine ever since the group was drawn back in April.

After some discussion, it seemed that all was set in place for Palestine to host Saudi Arabia on the opening match day of qualifying. In a very strange set of circumstances, the two FAs decided to switch the dates of their home matches less than a week before the game was set to kickoff.

Saudi Arabia ended up winning that match 3-2 thanks to a last gasp goal by Mohammad Al-Sahlawi.

Palestine then gave themselves a fighting chance at progression from the group with a 6-0 thumping of Malaysia, followed by a gritty goalless draw at home to the United Arab Emirates.

More after the jump....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rapid Reaction: Timor Leste 1:1 Palestine (2018 World Cup Qualifier)

Abu Nahyeh rescues point for Palestine at the death
Palestine Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Toufic Ali; Battat, Bahdari, Salah, Jaber; Sheikhqasem, Khader Yousef;  Seyam, Mar'aba, Zatara; Eid. 

Substitutions: Tamer Seyam <--> Matias Jadue 53' // Mahmoud Sheikhqasem <--> Jonathan Cantillana 62' // Mahmoud Eid <--> Ahmed Abu Nahyeh 80' 

Cautions: Matias Jadue

TLS: Ramon Saro 54'
PLE: Abu Nahyeh 90+2' 

Highlights and full recap after the jump... 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Preview: Timor Leste v. Palestine (2018 World Cup Qualifier)

Dili International Stadium: Shrouded in mystery...

Game Information

What: 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying
When: October 8th, 2015
Where: Dili National Stadium, Dili. Timor Leste
Kickoff: 0700 GMT
Streams/TV: game available on BeIn Sport 1, Palestine Sport, Abu Dhabi Sport 1, Al-Kass

Previous Encounters: 

Suspensions: Palestine will be without a couple of key players for a tricky away encounter against an unknown foe. Midfield maestro Mohammed Darwish- who has played every minute of the qualifying campaign misses out due to yellow card accumulation. Abdel-Nasser Barakat returns from his one man touchline ban to lead the team out once again. Centreback Abdelatif Bahdari is back after serving a three month ban for abandoning the team's training camp in June.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

FP Interviews: Jaka Ihbeisheh

As we get ready for another round of World Cup qualifiers, we bring back a classic Football Palestine segment: the player interview. 

Jaka Ihbeisheh, was born in Ljubljana to a Palestinian father and Slovene mother. He started his career with hometown club NK Interblock as a youth player and has represented several clubs in the Prva Liga. He was under the PFA's radar until the final run-up to the 2015 Asian Cup when he was called up to the Dubai training camp, earning his first cap in a friendly against Uzbekistan. The 29 year old winger went on to engrave his name in Palestinian football history (in an otherwise forgetful tournament) scoring Palestine's first Asian Cup goal.

We reached out to Jaka as he was preparing for his last club match before the international break - after which he will board a flight to catch up with the squad in East Timor. Read more below for the interview.