Relative to us, Thailand is by all means a giant. With a population many times our own, an established professional league and a master tactician pulling the strings, oh, and no occupation, you can see why the bookies have the odds in their favor. They all but dominated us on Saturday and you have to admit we were lucky to escape only one goal down. Furthermore, news is coming out that two starters will be missing from the squad. All these factors contribute to the pessimistic outlook some have for Thursday and its easy to despair if one wants to.
We have to remember who we are. Ever since re-affiliation, Palestine has played the underdog. Except for a few instances, we were never the favorites. So what makes this time any different? Saturdays game could have been much worse. We would never have recovered going down 2-0 and if it wasn’t for that little bit of luck and the fighting spirit that saw Eshbair save the penalty amid thousands of jeering fans, we wouldn’t be talking about the possibility of qualifying. Palestine can make Thailand pay for the mistake of not finishing it in the first leg.
We’ve thrived against the odds before, thats what makes Thursday so unpredictable. The players commented that the Thai crowd stunned them. I hope the Palestinian crowd will fire them up.