BabaGol went to watch the historical match between Palestine and the United Arab Emirates and came back dusty, overwhelemd and satisfied.
This weekend we have a bunch of International clashes, and it is a great chance to take a tour to Asia. Top clash in Argentina we’ll be our appetizer, before we will roam to the east.
(All the hours are in CET local time)
Amateur (Like these guys)
What? Boca Juniors – San Lorenzo (Argentine Primera División)
When? Sunday, 2315
Where? Estadio Alberto J. Armando, Buenos Aires (La Bombonera)
Why? The weird marathon called the Argentine league is close to its end. This week, the two leaders of the league will have a face off, on the 23rd matchday. Boca Juniors is leading the table with 49 points, as San Lorenzo is just 2 points behind, on the 2nd place.
Key Players: In Boca Juniors, the absence of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Gago will be a great opportunity for Sebastián Palacios, to show his talent. San Lorenzo have an impressive defensive record of just 13 goals conceded, and one of the players that are responsible for that is the veteran Colombian, Mario Yepes, who is still playing in the age of 39.
Amazing Numbers: In August 2006, Boca Juniors defeated San Lorenzo in an unusual result - 7:1. The old and good Martín Palermo scored a hat-trick, while Rodrigo Palacio scored twice.
Professional (like this guy)
What? China – Hong Kong (2018 World Cup Qualifiers)
When? Thursday, 1335
Where? Bao'an Stadium, Shenzhen
Why? In 1997, Hong Kong became a Chinese territory and during the past year the tension between China and the region aroused. This World Cup qualifier match will be some kind of a derby. China started their campaign perfectly with an easy 6:0 victory against Bhutan. For Hong Kong it will be their third match, after defeating Bhutan (7:0) and Maldives (2:0).
Key Players: It's not so common to find Chinese players in Europe, but they have one in their current squad, Zhang Chengdong, who previously played in Portugal and Germany, and now he is part of the Spanish side Rayo Vallecano squad. The dominant player in Hong Kong is Huang Yang, who led his team Kitchee to another Hong Kong championship title.
Amazing numbers: In 2004 Hong Kong lost to China 0:7, its biggest defeat ever.
World Class (like this guy)
What? Palestine – United Arab Emirates (2018 World Cup Qualifiers)
When? Tuesday, 1600
Where? Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium, Al-Ram
Why? The Palestinian football has made an impressive progress in the past two years, and the UAE team would be one of the best visitor teams to play on Palestinian soil. The United Arab Emirates team, the semifinalist of last AFC Asian Cup, wishing for first World Cup appearance since 1990, and opened their campaign with 1:0 against Timor-Leste. Palestine are the clear underdogs in that match, and they already lost 2:3 to Saudi Arabia and won 6:0 against Malaysia.
Key Players: Palestine will be missing Ashraf Nu’man due to injury, but will display a line of foreign-based Palestinian-origin players from Chile, Paraguay, Sweden and more. Slovenian-born Jaka Ihbeisheh, the 29 years old LB, who scored the historic goal for Palestine in the last Asian Cup, will be there. For the UAE it's clear that Omar Abdulrahman, the most promising player in Asian football, will dominate the game.
Amazing Numbers: The most capped player in the history of UAE is Adnan Al Talyani made 161 caps. He ranked in the 10th most capped player in the history of international football.