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2011 FIFA World Cup Qualifier

Belal Arezu #9 Scores for Afghanistan in minute 63 and Ghulam Niyaz & Israfeel KohistaniAfghanistan and Palestine met for a FIFA World Cup qualification match in Palestine, for their AFC first round qualifier for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

As the Palestine players ran out on the pitch they were greeted with rapturous applause from the 9,000 fans packing the terraces, before players and supporters alike raised their voices to sing the national anthem.

Amongst those in attendance was the president of the Palestinian Football Association Colonel Jibril Al Rajoub, plus a number of prominent sporting and political figures.

The Faisal Al Husseini Stadium, where the contest took place, was officially opened on 26 October 2008 on the tenth anniversary of Palestine joining the FIFA family.

It only took 11 minutes for the fans’ expectations to be met in spectacular fashion as 24-year-old striker Husam Wadi slammed the ball past Afghanistan goalkeeper Hamidullah Yousufzai. The goal made him the first Palestinian player to score in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in Palestine.

Speaking after the match to FIFA.com, Palestine coach Moussa Bezaz said, “The important thing for us was qualifying for the next round. We managed it, but it was a tough game. Afghanistan was excellent in defense but the luck was against us: we could have scored at least three."

Belal Arezu scored the tier, on the 63rd minute, but the faith had the Afghan team knocked out of the 2011 FIFA World Cup. On 4/11/2011 Afghanistan lost to South Korea 2-0, on 6/29/2011 they lost to Palestine on their first meeting 2-0.

Afghanistan did not have a practice facility, proper nutrition for the players and lack of a home stadium. Afghanistan played their home games in Tajikistan in 2011.

Date Home Final Half Away Site
7.3.2011 PLE 1:1 (1:0) AFG Palestine
6.29.2011 AFG 0:2 (0:1) PLE Tajikistan
4.11.2011 PRK 2:0 (1:0) AFG Korea

Nadim Wahid and Yusuf Mashriqi


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