Rapid Reaction: Palestine 2:0 Pakistan (Unofficial Friendly)

Palestine Starting XI: Rami Hamadi, Jaka Ihbeisheh, Abdelatif Bahdari, Tamer Salah, Abdallah Jaber; Mohammed Darweesh, Mohammed Basim (Pablo Tamubrrini), Sameh Maraaba (Shadi Shaban); Mahmoud Eid, Oday Dabbagh (Jonathan Cantillana), Khaled Salem (Yashir Islame)

Goals: Oday Dabbagh 24′ Sameh Maraaba 29′

Recap: In a game held behind closed doors, Palestine eased to victory courtesy of two first half strikes. Palestine faced Pakistan for the second time in two months- a game that was hastily organized after the December 20th friendly vs. Yemen was cancelled.

Yemen’s plans ahead of the Asian Cup were abruptly change after suspected Saudi intervention prevented them from traveling to Doha to hold camp.

This impromptu match gave Noureddine Ould Ali to test out his players but came four days before the originally scheduled friendly against Yemen. That said, many of Ould Ali’s charges have only just arrived in Doha while SC Kriens’s Saleh Chihadeh, HUSA Agadir’s Tamer Seyam, and Al-Masry’s Mahmoud Wadi remain club tied- making the timing of the friendly less than ideal.

Palestine took the lead against the Shaheens in the 24th minute through Oday Dabbagh who notched his second international goal in his 10th appearance with the national team. Five minutes later, a sumptuous assist from Mahmoud Eid set up Sameh Maraaba to double Palestine’s lead.

Noureddine Ould Ali rang in four changes in the second half as Palestine racked up 12 corners in the game but could not build on their first half lead.

Official Match?: (EDIT: This match was unofficial) Depending on the game’s status with FIFA, this game witnessed a number of important landmarks. If it is deemed an official match, then Abdelatif Bahdari will have surpassed Saeb Jendeya as the most capped defender in Palestine’s history (59 caps) and will pull within five caps of Khader Yousef for number two on the list of most caps all time. Sameh Maraaba will also join an elite group of Palestinian players becoming only the fourth player in Palestine’s history to reach double digit figures for goals alongside Fahed Attal (14), Ashraf Nu’man (12), and Ziyad Al-Kord (10)

Jersey Watch: Palestine played in a new kit provided by Peak, Al-Fida’i had been training using these kits since late October but this is the first time they were used in a game. Could this be the kit the national team uses at the Asian Cup Finals?

What’s Next: Palestine will face Iran on December 24th.

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