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Palestine’s National Football Team Makes the Asian Cup Knockouts for the First Time in History

After winning 3-0 against Hong Kong in Doha’s Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium earlier this week, the Palestine football team has officially earned its place in the Asian Cup knockouts.


Oday Dabbagh and team members celebrate their win. Photo:

Thanks to two big scores by much-loved footballer Oday Dabbagh, the Palestine football team became one of the four best third-placed teams in the AFC Asian Cup 2023, with the United Arab Emirates team making it second place, and Iran securing first place. With its new position, the team now has a confirmed spot in the round of top 16 in the tournament.


Zaid Qunbar joins in the happy moment. Photo:

Palestine’s history-making win was an extremely emotional moment for its players. While the crowds cheered the team on, the Palestine football team’s defender, Mohammed Saleh, broke down in tears when the victory was made official. Post the match, the team’s coach Makram Daboub also shared his feelings of pride, calling the players heroes. “Congratulations to the people of Palestine for qualifying into the next round. I want to express my gratitude to my players, they were heroes today,” he said. “With a strong team spirit, our ambition is to advance far in this tournament. Now, with nothing to lose, we will give our best. We have demonstrated hope and I believe we can maintain this focus for the upcoming matches.”

The Palestine football team captain Musab Al-Battat added, “We wanted to deliver a message to the world that we have a right to participate in every major football tournament, and not just for the sake of participation, but to show our skills.”

The Asian Cup knockouts haven’t just been special for the Palestine football team, but also for the Syrian team. This time around, Syria also made it to the top 16 for the very first time, beating India 1-0. While Syria will play against Iran in the next round, Palestine’s opponents have not been confirmed yet.

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