The Palestine national football team today qualified for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup tournament after defeating the Philippines in their last group stage match, Wafa news agency has reported.
Palestine won 4-0 in the match at the Sports Centre Stadium in Mongolia. The team ended the group stage with nine points having beaten Mongolia 1-0 in the campaign opener and then scoring five goals against Yemen on Saturday.
Palestine's win means that India will also make it to the finals of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup irrespective of the outcome of its own final group game against Hong Kong today in Kolkata.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be held in China in July next year. However, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) has officially informed the AFC that it will not be able to host the tournament due to the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still affecting China.
The President of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, called the players to congratulate them on their victory and for qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup for the third consecutive time. The Palestine national team first qualified for the tournament in 2015, which took place in Australia. On the second occasion they played in the UAE.