|Palestine were bland offensively, much like their uniforms.|
Palestine Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Saleh (C); Al-Battat, Harbi, Bahdari, Jaber; Ihbeisheh, Salhe, Ismail, Abuhabib; Amour, Eid.
Substitutes: Ismail Amour <--> Ahmed Maher // Jaka Ihbeisheh <-> Husam Abu Saleh // Mahmoud Eid <--> Khaled Salem // Abdelhamid Abuhabib <--> Khader Yousef // -->-->->-->
Full Highlights & Recap after the jump…
Recap: Palestine offered very little going forward but exhibited enough positives to give their fans a glimmer of hope three weeks ahead of their Asian Cup opener against holder Japan. Ahmed Harbi started alongside Bahdari in the absence of Daniel Kabir Mustafá and Javier Cohene. With the promising pair of Al-Battat and Jaber patrolling the wings. Jaka Ihbeisheh was handed his second cap giving fans their first real opportunity to see him up close.
From an attacking standpoint, Palestine offered nothing- Chinese keeper Wang Dalei was never pressed into action. On the opposite end Palestine did a good job of blunting China’s attacking edge but a better side might have conjured up more from the dozen corner kicks that were awarded. Ramzi Saleh has worked a lot harder for clean sheets in his 106 previous caps.
Palestine can draw on their ability to play a clean, solid defensive display (only 1 yellow card- awarded to Khaled Salem) going forward and if they are to get anything out of that first game they’ll have to play in a similar fashion.
What I liked: Palestine were more confident with the ball against China than they were against Saudi Arabia- and even Vietnam- a month ago. Back breaking mistakes were more or less eliminated needless free kicks given in attacking areas were gone. The onus was on China to create something truly special in order to score. For the most part the hosts couldn’t do that and a couple of lucky bounces conspired to go Palestine’s way.
What I didn’t like: This was a horrible game to watch. Palestine offered nothing in attack, and by my count they entered China’s box a total of two times for 90 minutes. China is a good team undefeated in 10 matches and coming off of some impressive results. Alain Perrin has done a good job of harnessing talent into a collective unit. Getting a draw in a hostile territory against a team representing over a billion people and a multi-million dollar sporting endowment is nothing to scoff at.
Uniform Watch: Palestine, screwed as a result of a supplier not knowing how to follow the AFC’s uniform guidelines wore an all-white kit provided by Peak- a Chinese company. The uniform was so basic it didn’t even have numbers nor the FA’s logo on the front of the shirt. The FA multiple offers on the table and they clearly picked the wrong one.
Next: Palestine is set to play Iran in Tehran on December 28th.