Friday, April 29, 2016

AFC controversially awards Al-Wahda 3-0 win over Al-Dhahrieh

The Asian Football Confederation has chosen to award the Matchday 2 encounter between Syria's Al-Wahda and Shabab Al-Dhahrieh to Al-Wahda.

The encounter was due to take place in Sidon, Lebanon on March 9th with Syria rendered too unsafe to host international matches. Eight Shabab Al-Dhahrieh players were held at the airport and later deported for having Israeli passports. The unfortunate incident left the squad short of the requisite 11 players needed to contest a football match and as a result no match was played.

 In the aftermath of the incident the AFC issued no communication and elected to declare the match 'postponed' on its official website.

Football's governing body in the continent changed its tune today issuing the following statement:

The Committee found that Al Dharia (PLE) was the relevant party that caused the cancellation of the match in accordance with Article 17.3 of the Competition Regulations. The Committee ordered that Al Dharia (PLE) forfeit the match by a score of 3-0 and pay a fine of USD20,000.

Barring an appeal from the Hebron-based club the decision leaves them out of the running for the knockout stage of the AFC Cup. It also remains to be seen whether the club, which is seriously strapped for cash, can afford to pay the fine levied by the AFC.

The decision seems to run counter to one taken just last week, whereby Iraq was ordered to change its choice of neutral ground, due to the fact that Saudi citizens were currently banned from traveling to Iran:

Please be reminded that FIFA and AFC jointly emphasize on the nominated neutral venues be free from existing travel restrictions from both the Host Association and all Visiting Associations.

Curiously enough, there was no decision taken on the Ahli Al-Khaleel-Al-Jeish match which was slated to take place on the same day but postponed due to the Syrian side refusing to travel to Palestine. 

Recap: Air Force Club 4:1 Shabab Al-Dhahrieh (AFC Cup 2016)


Doha: Air Force Club from Iraq confirmed their place in the Round of 16 of the 2016 AFC Cup on Wednesday with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Palestine’s Al Dharia in Group C.
Hammadi Ahmed scored twice and there were further goals from Hussein Ali Wahid and Bashar Resan as Air Force picked up their fourth win in five games to move six points clear of second-placed Al Wahda. Ahmed Thiab claimed a late consolation for Al Dharia.
Al Wahda are in second on six points having played one game fewer than Air Force while Al Dharia remain in third, two points further back. Al Oruba of Oman are bottom of the standings, also with four points but having played five times.
Highlights and more after the jump....

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Recap: Ahli Al-Khaleel 1:1 Al-Muharraq (2016 AFC Cup)

Ahli Al-Khaleel's Mahmoud Wadi in action.

(Courtesy of

Hebron: Al Muharraq of Bahrain secured their place in the knockout rounds of the 2016 AFC Cup as Group D winners with a 1-1 draw against Ahli Al Khalil that also keeps the Palestinian club’s hopes of a place in the last 16 on track.
The result moved Al Muharraq on to 13 points from five games as Isa Sadoon’s side dropped points for the first time in the competition, but the draw ensured the Bahrainis can not be surpassed at the top of the group.
Ahli Al Khalil now have five points from four games and are in a tussle with Syria’s Al Jaish and Fanja of Oman for the second berth in the knockout phase of the competition.
Highlights after the jump...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Exclusive Interview with Yashir Pinto Islame

Find out what the newly minted national team striker had to say before his sensational debut vs. Timor Leste.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Exclusive Interview with Ahmad Awad

We sat down with Palestine's newest addition- Ahmad Awad for a quick chat before his debut against Timor Leste. Check out what he had to say plus highlights of all his touches and his sensational first national team goal. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Recap: Fanja 3:3 Ahli Al-Khaleel (2016 AFC Cup)


Muscat: Imad Al Hosni scored with four minutes remaining to keep Fanja’s slim hopes of claiming a place in the Round of 16 of the 2016 AFC Cup alive as the Omanis salvaged a 3-3 draw with Palestine’s Ahli Al Khalil on Wednesday.
The point earned was Fanja’s first in four games in this year’s competition and they remain bottom of the Group D standings while Ahli Al Khalil moved on to four points, despite playing only three games.
Ahmed Wridat gave the visitors the lead in the fourth minute when he headed home Jonathan Eduardo Cantillana Zorrilla’s in-swinging free kick from the left, but 11 minutes later Fanja were level when Abdulrahman Al Ghassani claimed his first of the game when his header from Basil Al Rawahi’s corner nestled in the corner of the goal.
By the 33rd minute the home side had taken the lead when Al Ghassani struck again, this time latching on to Mohamed Al Maashaari’s no-look pass behind the Ahli Al Khalil defence before scoring with a cool right-foot finish.
Highlights & more after the jump....

Recap: Shabab Al-Dhahrieh 2:0 Al-Oruba (2016 AFC Cup)

Morjan celebrates his sensational opener

At the time of writing, Shabab Al-Dhahrieh are on course to progress past the group stage of the 2016 AFC Cup.

Dhahrieh's first two match days didn't go to plan, to say the least. The side suffered the first ever home loss by a WBPL side in a 2-0 loss to Air Force Club (Iraq) on the first match day.

In the following match day, seven of their players were sequestered in Beirut's Rafic Al-Hariri Airport for possessing Israeli passports. The ensuing match was postponed as a result with its fate yet to be determined.

Highlights and more after the jump...

Monday, April 4, 2016

2018 World Cup Qualifying Post-Mortem

Palestine ended qualifying on a high, thrashing Timor-Leste 7-0
When the final whistle sounded on the turf of Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium it signaled the end of Palestine's 2018 World Cup hopes. It seems all a bit premature with the finals more than two years away but the reality is Palestine outlasted 88 other national associations in their quest to qualify. Those left by the wayside include Angola (finalists in 2006), Bahrain (the last team to be eliminated in 2006 and 2010 editions). Five days later another recent finalist- Korea DPR- bit the dust along with Jordan (the last team eliminated in 2014 qualifying).

Fans would have been hoping to see the dream last a little longer but there's absolutely no shame in going out at this stage; especially given the transitory state of the team. 

The goal now for Abdel Nasser Barakat's charges is to qualify for the nation's second straight Asian Cup finals. 

That will require the team to continue on its current trajectory while also building for the Asian Cup finals in UAE in three years' time. 

More after the jump...