Monday, January 26, 2015

Asian Cup Assessment: The Future (Part III)

Abdallah Jaber: A future star and Palestine's player of the tournament. 
This entry is the third part of a three section entry assessing Palestine's performance at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In this section we will look at how Palestine should go forward after a subpar showing at the 2015 Asian Cup.

Eight days. That's how long Palestine's foray into continental football at the highest level lasted. For those of us lucky to be there it was a magical time and one we will not soon forget. Palestine was one of the best supported teams at this tournament despite the fact that only 9,000 Palestinians call Australia home. 

The level of support was overwhelming and it came to a surprise to many of the players. One player told me "The support here is amazing, I've played in so many Arab countries and this beats anything I have ever experienced in terms of support. The people here, they just want to support us to be close to Palestine- they want nothing else, no [ulterior motives]."


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Asian Cup Assessment: Tactics & Style (Part II)

Exploited: Jordan found Palestine's weak link en route to a 5-1 victory 
This entry is the second part of a three section entry assessing Palestine's performance at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In this section we will look at how Palestine approached their games at the 2015 Asian Cup.

The great thing about Jamal Mahmoud's style of play is that Palestine never played afraid. Against superior West Asian opponents, Palestine was always in the match, often times taking a proactive attacking approach. In fact, Palestine rarely lost by more than the odd goal during Mahmoud's tenure. In fact, many losses could be chalked up to the fact that Palestine didn't have an out and out striker of repute. The team also evolved and improved from one that made many mistakes to one capable of going five straight games without conceding.

Given these developments, Palestine expected to be able to nick a result in their final two group games against Jordan and Iraq.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Asian Cup Assessment: Preparation (Part I)

Man without a plan: Ahmad El-Hassan

This entry is the first part of a three section entry assessing Palestine's performance at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In this section we will look at how Palestine could have prepared better for their maiden continental participation.
 
It all seemed so promising. On June 1, 2014 Palestine returned home conquering champions. The man who led them to glory, Jamal Mahmoud, promised to stay despite his initial desire to resign his post. FA President Jibril Rajoub promised to spare no expense in preparing the team- promising 10-12 prepatory matches and a summer training camp in Germany with an eye towards recruiting foreign born Palestinians. 

Rapid Reaction: Iraq 2:0 Palestine (2015 Asian Cup)



Palestine Starting XI: Toufic Ali, Harbi, Salem, Bahdari, Jaber; Salhi, Khader Yousef; Amour, Nu'man, Maher; Eid.

Substitutions: Jaka Ihbeisheh <--> Ismail Amour 67' // Abdelhamid Abuhabib <--> Mahmoud Eid 79'
Cautions: Hesham Salhi 21' , Ahmed Harbi 58' 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Preview: Iraq vs Palestine (2015 Asian Cup)

Yaser Kassim- Iraq's midfield engine

Game Information
What: 2015 AFC Asian Cup Group Match
When: January 20th, 2016
Where: Canberra Stadium, Australia 
Kickoff: 0900 GMT

Streams: Live streaming available on the Palestine national football team facebook page and the sports section of pal24.net