Palestine Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Toufic Ali; Al-Battat, Harbi, Saleh, Jaber; Salhe, Ismail; Ihbeisheh, Abuhabib, Amour; Eid.
Also Participating: Khaled Salem, Khader Yousef, Mahmoud Sheikhqasem, Husam Abu Saleh, Musa Abujazr Ahmed Maher.
The national team got a pomp ceremonial send-off in the Grand Park hotel in Ramallah last Wednesday before the players flew to Dubai where they were joined by Mahmoud Eid and Jaka Ihbeisheh.
The squad’s readiness was soon put to the test with a friendly against the ever-stalwart Uzbeks. Since the match, which was played on a UAE FA training pitch, was not televised, we cannot say much about the play by play. But going by sources in the stands, Uzbekistan dominated the proceedings on the pitch with some bright sparks coming from the Palestine side. Ismail Amour proved a menace to the Uzbek defense only to be stretchered off after a particularly harsh tackle in the second half with his Asian Cup hopes in the balance. Uzbekistan’s sustained pressure finally paid off in the 82nd minute when they got the winner despite claims that Ahmed Harbi was fouled in the lead up to the goal.
For a friendly against a top four Asian side at this stage of preparation, the result is not too bad. Especially considering that Numan, Bahdarai, Norambuena, DKM, and Jadue are yet to join the squad.
Next up, Palestine travel to Chenzhou to face China.