Palestine 2:0 Al-Wakrah SC

Doha - The national team beat the Qatari club Al-Wakrah 2-0 this evening in the first of its preparatory friendlies ahead of the Challenge Cup.

Sameh Mar'aba opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with fellow national team newcomer Tamer Syam doubling the score in the second half (52'). Jamal Mahmoud used 15 players during the encounter in which the Fida'i gave balanced performance in defense and attack .


Full Report after the jump...

Mahmoud opted to set the team up in a 4-4-2 formation with  Toufic Ali in goal, Abdullah Jaber , Haitham Deeb, Khaled Mahdi, and Musab al- Battat in defence; Musa Abu Jazar and Hesham Salhe patrolled the middle of the pitch; while  Sameh Mara'ba and Ahmed Maher were placed on the flanks tasked with provide service to Tamer Syam and Hilal Musa.

Palestine began the match on the front foot, controlling the midfield and shielding the defense with smart forays forward. Ahmed Maher's presence on the left was used to provide service for Syam and Hilal Musa's late runs while Mara'ba provided an option on the right.

Palestine's play was characterized by constant pressure put on the ball carrier by the doble pivote of Abu Jazr and Salhe.

Tamer Syam almost opened the scoring 11 minutes in, unleash a strong shot with his left that rattled Al-Wakra's post.

Shortly thereafter, Jamal Mahmoud opted for a tactical switch ordering Maher and Mara'ba to switch flanks.

It was the defense that truly stood out in this encounter with the duo of Mahdi and Deeb not allowing a single shot in the opening 30 minutes. Al-Wakra first attempt on goal came 31 minutes in and was struck from outside the box- passing harmlessly to the left hand side of the goal.

Jamal Mahmoud's early tactical switch paid dividends in the 32nd minute as Sameh Mara'ba opened the scoring after cutting in on the left flank.

Musa Hilal, and almost double the score in the 40th minute after a powerful shot from just outside the penalty area , but the vigilant guard Wakra prevented the arrival of the box .

Haitham Deeb and Khaled Mahdi form a bulwark against the attacks of Al Wakra and the Fida'i went into the dressing room with a comfortable 1-0 lead.

 The beginning of the second half saw the post Husam Abu Saleh enter in the place of Ahmed Maher. Palestine continued to press the issue and were awarded with a goal through Tamer Syam with a who finished off a tidy Hilal Musa cross in the 52nd minute.

The Hesham Salhe a safety valve midfield continued to put pressure when Al Wakra had possession causing the Blue Wave trouble in building up their attack.

The right side was the boosted by the overlapping runs of Al-Battat and Husam Abusaleh.  As time ticked off in the second half Jamal Mahmoud rang up the changes with Rami Musallmeh, Abdulhamid Abuhabib, and Fayez Asilh replacing Sameh Mara'ba, Hilal Musa, and Tamer Syam.

Despite the changes not altering the flow of the game, the match ended without another goal. The 2-0 result should ease tensions among the supporters who are worried about the lack of friendlies ahead of next month's Challenge Cup.