Post-match Thoughts: Palestine-Afghanistan (WCQ R1)
1. Killer Instinct
One of my colleagues put it best: "Palestine are a good team but lack mental toughness".
A more seasoned team would have put Afghanistan away in the first half, or at the very least held on to win the match 1-0. The goal was weak all around and it shows that Palestine might be able to put out a strong starting XI but they lack depth. Husam Abu Saleh is at best a third choice right back he was targeted by the Afghans all day long. Abdullah Saidawi isn't blameless either for a guy who has worn the captain's armband he showed a distinct lack of leadership. Ramzi Saleh would never get beaten on his near post and he would have been screaming his head off if his team played like that against a weaker opponent. This should improve if more professional players are included in the starting eleven against Thailand.
2. Is Bezaz playing favorites?
How else can you explain the absence of Majed Abusidu and his continued insistence of playing of playing Suleiman Obeid? There needs to be new blood injected into this squad and there are a couple of promising players on the Olympic team who are capable of making the jump. Hicham Ali and Abdelhamid Abuhabeeb actually do something Obeid and his counterparts struggle with: Keep possession and distribute. For an idea of what our squad of 23 would look like click here.
3. Creating a fortress at home:
The FA really fouled up by scheduling this game at 5 pm, on a weekday no less. Look at the atmosphere during the Jordan game or the Thailand Olympic qualifier as opposed to the Olympic qualifier against Bahrain and today's game against Afghanistan. The attitude of the fans was very passive which wasn't the case during the night games. Faisal Al-Husseini can be an intimidating place but only when it is pack to the rafters not when there are swaths of empty seats.