Passionate Palestine Will Play Away
Despite their early exit from the preliminary qualifying round for 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, Palestine's two 1-0 victories over Hong Kong and Malaysia, which helped the young team finish second behind Qatar in preliminary Group C, impressed Asia watchers. Their hard play and stubborn performance showed that they played for not only good results, but honour and passion.
A liitle while ago, it was the make-up of the team that aroused most curiosity. Under their Chilean coach Nicola Hadwa Shahwan, a large portion of the team were those players of Palestine origin who play in neighbouring Arab nations and Chile. The key midfielder Roberto Beshe and fullback Roberto Adawe come from Santiago-based side Palestino, Shaker Suleiman Asad formerly played in Major League Soccer, while Pablo Abdullah and Luis Al Masry also played in Chile with Cobreloa and Universidad De Chile.
Palestine will not play any home matches in Palestine.
Palestine first entered qualifying for the 2002 tournament and made a surprising impact. Victories over Hong Kong and Malaysia saw them finish second in their group behind Qatar.
Their greatest victory to date came in 2000 with a 2-0 triumph over Pakistan. Unfortunately, their heaviest defeat came in the same year in qualifying for the Asia Cup when they lost 5-1 at home to Jordan.
Information courtesy FIFAWorldCup.com.
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