Rapid Reaction: Palestine 1 Yemen 3

[UPDATE]: Upon reviewing the game it seems that Abdelatif Bahdari was sent off on a double yellow, which is all well and good except he didn’t have a first yellow to begin with. That might go a ways to explaining why the players surrounded Darwish after showing the red card. The first yellow card was given to Abusidu and in case you haven’t noticed those two look nothing alike. The FA should try and appeal Bahdari’s red card because it seems to be the result of a giant mixup on the part of the referee.

What it means: Palestine will need to register its first ever victory against Iraq on Wednesday to have any hopes of going through in the competition. They will have to do it without two starters tonight Husam Wadi and Abdelatif Bahdari who were both wrongly sent off by Jordanian referee Nasser Darwish. With a goal difference of -2 they’ll probably have to do it by more than one goal as well.

Positives: There are many positives to take in the loss. The midfield was a lot better and there was some serious attacking intent by the side although they were foiled by poor finishing and Yemeni goalkeeper Salim Awad.
Star Players: Suleiman Obeid was a revelation in the first half and got a deserved second half goal… Ismail Amour tortured Yemen’s left wingback and was repeatedly getting into the box and sending crosses in. Ramzi Saleh did well after Bahdari’s sending off.
Flops: There aren’t many people to choose from, maybe Attal and Keshkesh should have done better with the chances that came to them in the first half. You can’t even fault the Majed Abusidu for giving up the penalty because replays showed that the Yemeni player was guilty of kicking out. The biggest disappointment has to be the referee, his decisions totally turned the match on its head. A phantom penalty gave Yemen the lead and a couple of minutes later he sent Bahdari off for a 50-50 challenge on the Yemeni Keeper. I’m not one to blame referees for losses, but Yemen can count themselves lucky. Palestine was dominant in the first 40 minutes of the match, Yemen had one real chance while Palestine had more than half a dozen.
Mousa Bezaz’s Future: While his squad selection leaves a little to be desired, this tournament was always going to be a referendum on whether or not Bezaz got a contract extension. So far, so good for the Franco-Algerian the first half was some of the best football Palestine has played in the last three years. The squad was prepared and his substitutions particularly the introduction of Murad Said were astute. In order to cement his future he needs to get the team up for the fight against Iraq without the likes Bahdari and Wadi.
Full Highlights (courtesy of MBC’s Sada Al-Malaeb)
2-1 (S. Obeid)
What’s Next: Palestine vs. Iraq Wednesday 9/29/2010

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