Preview: Palestine v. Bahrain (Friendly)

The scene of the crime: Bahrain's phantom goal (2011 Pan Arab Games Semifinal)

What: International Friendly
When: November 29th, 2012
Where: Al-Wakrah Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Kickoff: 1430 GMT

TV/Streams: Bahrain Sport // Stream 1

Previous Meetings 

The last time these two sides met was in the Pan Arab Games Semifinals. Bahrain took an early lead following shaky goalkeeping by Abdullah Saidawi but Ashraf Nu'man won and converted a penalty to level the scores at 2-1. Sloppy defensive play allowed Bahrain's Salman Isa to restore the lead at the stroke of halftime. Then just when it seemed Palestine was going to conjure up another equalizer; Bahrain was awarded a phantom goal and from there on out the match was effectively over.


Jamal Mahmoud will have more players available for selection than he did when the team faced Syria nine days ago. Some of the players who ply their trade abroad have arrived at camp in recents days including: Ismail Amour (Yarmouk/JOR), Daniel Mustafá (Boca Unidos/ARG), Ashraf Nu'man (Faisaly/JOR), Ramzi Saleh (EGY) & Imad Zatara (Åtvidaberg/SWE). Houssam Wadi, who plays for Gazan club Ittihad Shajeaya has also joined the fold taking the total amount of players currently in camp to 25.

The other players called into this camp that have confirmed their participation are: Omar Jarun (Charleroi/BEL) and Alexis Norambuena (Jagiellonia Bialystok/POL) they could be joined by Saudi-based duo Abdelatif Bahdari (Hajer) and Anas Sharbini (Al-Ittihad) if the Saudi FA decides to suspend league play during the WAFF Championship.


Unfortunately, I do not expect Fahed Attal to recover in time for Palestine's first game against Kuwait. Against Syria, the country's all time leading scorer played no part in training or warmups and looked like he was there more moral support more than anything else. Ismail Amour has a better chance at making a recovery but will face stiff competition to regain his spot from Husam Abu Saleh. 

Jamal Mahmoud Interview

For those who missed it a full interview with Jamal Mahmoud can be accessed here. (Arabic) Translation of key information dispensed by the national team manager are available below: 

On the Anas Sharbini Saga: 

Regarding players based in Lebanon & Gaza: 

Regarding Fortuna Dusseldorf's Dani Schahin:

Opponent Synopsis 

Bahrain have since jettisoned the tactically deficient Peter Taylor, who failed to guide Bahrain into the final stage of World Cup Qualifying despite a suspicious 10-0 win over Indonesia on the final match day. In his place comes the highly respected Gabriel Calderón who guided Saudi Arabia to the World Cup in 2006 with ease (only to be fired for finishing fourth at the 2005 West Asian games). Also on the Argentine's CV is a stint with Oman's national team where he guided them to their first Asian Cup appearance in 2007 and winning percentages of over 67% with Al-Ittihad and Al-Hilal to go along with a slew of trophies. Given his track record, fans of Bahrain should expect better results and a fourth consecutive Asian Cup appearance. 

In his short time with Bahrain, Gabriel Calderón has succeeded in stopping the bleeding (a 3-0 win over Jordan along with a 1-1 draw vs. Kuwait). Bahrain had been in free fall finishing bottom of their Arab Cup Group after losing to Morocco (4-0), Yemen (2-0), and Libya (2-1). Friendlies hadn't conjured up better results either, with a 0-0 draw to Philippines and a 6-2 thumping at the hands of UAE.

Squad: Abdulla Al Marzooqi, Mohammed Daij, Mohammed Saad, Hassan Jameel, Mohammed Abdulwahab, Hamad Rakea, Faisal Budahoom, Mohammed Hussain, Salman Isa, Dawood Saad, Hussain Salman, Jaycee John, Hamad Al Dakheel, Mahmood Abdulrahman, Waleed Al Hayyam, Faouzi Aaish, Sayed Dhia, Abdulla Al Ka'abi, Sayed Mohamme Jaffer, Mahmood Al Ojaimi, Mohammed Abdulaziz, Mohammed Al Tayeb, Ali Haram, Isa Mousa, Abdulla Yousef, Ahmed Al Khattal, Sami Al Hussaini, Isa Ghaleb, Rashid Al Hooti, Abdulwahab Ali.