Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Palestine's Asian Cup preparation begins to take shape

With less than 150 days to go until the Asian Cup starts Palestine's preparations have begun to take shape.

Palestine's first litmus test will be the Peace Cup, a four team tournament hosted by the Philippines featuring Chinese Taipei and Myanmar. Palestine will be reunited with two teams they beat en route to claiming the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup title and Asian Cup qualification. In Chinese Taipei,  Palestine will face a team they famously obliterated 8-0 during 2006 World Cup qualification.

The tournament has been organized so that Palestine and Philippines meet with the title (potentially) to play for. Palestine open play on September 3rd against Raddy Avramovic's Myanmar before facing Chinese Taipei and Philippines on September 6th and 9th, respectively.

Full fixture list after the jump...

Friday, August 1, 2014


Saeb Jendeya stands outside the remains of his destroyed home in Shujaiya, Gaza.
It's hard to write in these types of circumstances. The world is talking about Palestine- but not about the epic run to Asian Cup qualification secured two months ago.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Pictures, Videos, and More: Palestine celebrates Asian Cup qualification.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words- so instead of our usual Rapid Reaction piece we decided to give you a taste of what the epic 1-0 win over Philippines meant to Palestinians all over the world.

This is a truly Palestinian victory our 23-man squad hails from the West Bank, Gaza, cities on the other side of the Green line, communities in refugee camps, and the diaspora.

A big thanks to the 23 players and the coaching staff. We'll see you in Australia! For those looking to make the trip, tickets go on sale June 2nd on www.afcasiancup.com.

We would like to thank the nation of the Maldives for their excellent support. The atmosphere your fans created in all five games was nothing short of amazing. You cheered us on as if we were your own team and you will forever occupy a special place in our hearts and history books.

To the Philippines you were more than a worthy opponent and on another day, the trophy may have been on its way to Manila. I am confident that if you continue on this path we will see you on the big stage in 2019. The outpouring of support for the national team from Azkal supporters has been nothing short of amazing.

I would personally like to dedicate this victory to Sameh Mar'aba who remains illegally incarcerated in an Israeli jail without charge. He should have been part of the squad that made history. Sameh is one of many Palestinians who are currently being held by Israel without charge and we hope that his victory allows them a fleeting moment of joy as they continue their hunger strikes. #مي_و_ملح.

This victory is also for every single player and coach that donned a Palestine shirt over the last seven decades without recognition. You laid the foundation that made our present reality possible. A special shoutout to Azmi Nassar who is no longer with us but would have been so proud.

For those looking for a match recap- you can find a pretty good one here. You can watch highlights of the victory here or relive the entire match here.

Post Match Press Conference 

More pictures and video after the jump....

Friday, May 30, 2014

Palestine win Challenge Cup, clinch berth at 2015 Asian Cup

Ashraf Nu'man's 57th goal was enough to seal it. Palestine blanked the Philippines 1-0 to win the final edition of the AFC Challenge Cup trophy. Ramzi Saleh and an impeccable defence ensured that their barrier would not be breached for a fifth straight game. Including the qualifying rounds Palestine has kept a clean sheet for a whopping 12 hours of play. 

Ashraf Nu'man was awarded with the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer with four goals.  

Murad Ismail was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player. 

Palestine will be placed in Group D at next year's AFC Asian Cup alongside holders Japan, 2007 champions Iraq, and rivals Jordan. 

Scouting the Opponent: Philippines (2014 Challenge Cup Final)

Who's taking it home?

When: May 30th, 2014
Kickoff: 1600 GMT+1 
Where: Galolhu National Stadium, Malé, Maldives
TV: BeIn Sports  // Follow the action Live on YouTube. (You can use Hola to unlock the channel if you are in the MENA region)

FIFA Rank: 140th (21st in AFC)

Previous Encounters:
19/03/2012 // Kathmandu, Nepal // 2012 AFC Asian Challenge Cup L 3-4
27/03/2011 // Rangon, Myanmar // 2012 Challenge Cup Qualifying D 0-0

Recent Results: 
27/05/2014 v. Maldives W (3-2 aet)
24/05/2014 v. Turkmenistan W 2-0
22/05/2014 v. Laos W 2-0
20/05/2014 v. Afghanistan D 0-0
27/04/2014 v. Malaysia D 0-0

More after the jump...