What we learnt from the UAE match

Photo taken from the Lebanese Football Association

Lebanon kick started their Third Round of World Cup Qualifying campaign with an important goalless draw against the UAE in Dubai on Thursday. Having gone into this game as big underdogs and considering they were subjected to significant pressure by the hosts at times during this game, the Cedars walk away the happier of the two sides as they get their first point on the board. This was not only the first game of the Third Round of WCQ but it was also the first game for Lebanon under the tutelage of Czech head coach Ivan Hasek, and lots of eyes were on the Cedars to see how they fared at the highest level of continental football and under new management. After all, Lebanon scraped through the Second Round thanks in no small part to the results of other teams as well as the surprising withdrawal of North Korea and they definitely have a point to prove regarding whether they even deserve to be playing at such an advanced stage. At the end of an intense 90 minutes and hard-earned draw, we learned several key things about this “new” Lebanon side.

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The biggest Beirut Clasico in history! How do both sides win this game and what could victory mean for our game?

Today, Nejmeh face rivals Ansar in one of the most important derby in their history, with the title necessarily going to one of the two by the end of the game.

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The league returns and we have one hell of a title race on our hands

This weekend sees the long awaited return of the Lebanese Premier League and I think it’s fair to say we are very excited. Domestic competitive football has become a rare occurrence in recent years because of social turmoil and the health crisis linked to the pandemic. So it’s wonderful to see the league return, and the new format does add excitement to the competition, which may give us the best title race we have seen in years with 3 teams potentially fighting it out to be crowned champions.

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The National Team is back! Here are 5 things to look out for

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The Lebanese National Team in training in Dubai (by Lebanese Football Association)

359 days since the last time the Cedars took to the field. I think we can all agree this is way too long and everyone is eager for the National Team to get back into action. But since Lebanon’s 0-0 draw with North Korea in Beirut last year, a lot has changed and there is a lot to look out for on the Cedars’ return.

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Liviu Ciobotariu was a breath of fresh air for Lebanese football

photo obtained from the-afc.com

On Wednesday, the Lebanese Football Association announced their decision not to renew the Romanian Liviu Ciobotariu’s contract as National Team head coach, with Jamal Taha chosen as his successor. This decision comes as the country finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, a circumstance which surely impacted the Federation’s decision. And yet Ciobotariu’s departure will leave many wondering what might have been.

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Marmar and Abu Al-Hail managerial skills put to the test in this year’s AFC Cup

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On Monday, the 2020 AFC Cup kicks off for the clubs representing Lebanon this year. Ahed – who qualify as league winners – and Ansar – who qualify as league runners up having lost to Ahed in the FA Cup final – will be facing tough challenges ahead of this year’s competition because of the country’s dire economic and political situation and both head coaches, Bassem Marmar (Ahed) and Abdel-Wahab Abu Al-Hail (Ansar), will see their credentials seriously tested as they bid to lead their teams to success.

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The Super Cup, a preview of this season’s title race?

9f56b22e-0408-426d-aa85-7a587056a519.JPGLater today, Ahed face Beirut rivals Ansar in the Lebanese football season’s curtain-raiser, the Super Cup. Ahed will be hoping to continue their domestic dominance having won two successive league and cup doubles but last year’s runners-up in both the league and the FA Cup Ansar have strengthened significantly over the summer and are looking to spoil Ahed’s party, today, and this season.

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What did we learn from the West Asian Championships?

The Lebanese National Team participated in the 2019 West Asian Championships, which took place in Iraq, and although the results were ultimately disappointing, there were loads of positives to take. In what was Liviu Ciobotariu’s first outing as Lebanon’s head coach, he led the team through four games against teams from the region with the goal of getting to know the local-based players (expatriates weren’t available for selection due to the tournament being outside of official FIFA international break) and beginning to implement his style of play in preparation for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifying campaign which begin on the 5th September with a trip to familiar foes North Korea.

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5 things Lebanon’s new head coach needs to do

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Lebanon did not meet expectations at the recent Asian Cup, their first in 19 years, and this meant that Montenegrin head coach Miodrag Radulovic did not have his contract renewed after four years in charge. He was replaced by the Romanian Liviu Ciobotariu, who took training with the National Team for the first time this week in preparations for the West Asian Championship which kicks off in Iraq on the 30th of July, and then the Qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.

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