The first football match the Saudi Arabian national football team has ever played in the occupied Palestinian territory against the Palestinian national team as part of the 2020 World Cup and 2023 Asia Cup ended today in a scoreless draw.
The two teams had several chances to score a goal in the game played at Faisal Husseini Stadium in al-Ram, separated from occupied Jerusalem by an Israeli-built concrete wall, in front of a crowd estimated at 14,000. Palestine had five shots at the goal compared to one for the Saudi team. However, the shots were either saved by the goalkeeper of both teams or went out of bounds.
This is the first time Saudi Arabia allows its national team to play in the occupied territories when all previous games were played in neighboring Jordan.
Each team is supposed to play one game at home and the second at the competitor’s grounds.
Before this game, each team has played two games with Palestine winning one and losing the second, accumulating three points, while the Saudi team has also won one games and drew in the other, accumulating 4 points. With this draw, each team will add one point to its score.
In their group that includes Uzbekistan, Singapore and Yemen, Saudi Arabia comes second after Uzbekistan that has six points after playing three games and Palestine moved after its game with Saudi Arabia from fourth place, after Singapore that played four games and had four points, to third place after Saudi Arabia. Yemen is at the bottom of the group with two points.
During their visit to Palestine, which started on Sunday, the Saudi team met President Mahmoud Abbas and some of its members went to Jerusalem where they attended prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque.