Asian Games Preparation



The Olympic Team is in Dubai preparing for the Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou later this month. Mokhtar Al-Talili (henceforth known by his nickname- The Dinosaur) has got the young guns playing quite well. The team beat Jordan in Al-Ram last month and seem to be improving and gaining confidence thanks to the WBPL and regular meet ups staged by The Dinosaur.

The team had its first official warm-up game over the weekend and swept aside Dubai-based club Hatta (they play in the second tier of Emirati Football). The goals came from Suleiman Obeid and Ali El-Khatib. The Dinosaur seems to have settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation using the speed and skill of the two overage players-Obeid and Mohammed Jamal- on the wings.

The only bad news from camp was the fact that Balata Maestro "Abu-Habeeb" wasn't allowed to travel by Israeli Occupation Authorities. The talented youngster currently leads the WBPL in assists and would have been a major asset to have.

As for the game, reports say that Palestine thoroughly dominated and that the newcomer- Jehad Neshbit who plays professionally in Sweden- impressed and The Dinosaur is considering using him for the Olympic Qualifiers. Palestine's starting line-up featured Toufic Ali in goal with Mustafa Abu Kwiek and Nadim Barghouthi in front of him. Sajid Karakara and Ahmad Shubeita featured as wingbacks with 'Ala Yamen and Wasim Aqab sheilding the defence. The front four featured Obeid and Jamal on the wings with Mohammed Khweis playing behind the lone front man, Ali El-Khatib. The second half saw Palestine empty the bench giving an opportunity to the aforementioned Neshbit along with: Amjad Zidan, Hamza Wahdan, Thaer Qarain, Jehad Saqr, Mahmoud Al-Abadi, and back-up keeper Jamal Abu Safqa.

Not participating in this game were Rafit Eyad and Hisham Ali (another player who plays professionally in Sweden). They have since joined the squad and should probably feature in the next warm-up game against Taawon.