The first international football match was played between the Maldives in 2012, in a group stage match of the AFC Challenge Cup. Palestine went on to win the match 2-0. The next match between the two counties was played two years later, in the 2014 Challenge Cup played in the Maldives. Though the match ended in a goalless draw, Palestine had gone to clinch the cup.
In two games, Maldives has failed to get past the Palestinian defense but the Maldives Head Coach Darren Stewart is convinced that this is in the past, and that the trend could be broken on Tuesday evening's match.
"It will be a challenge as they have tall physical players. The Maldivian team has progressed as well. I will not think about their team. I will think about my team. I am content with what my team has shown so far," the coach said.
He noted that both teams would be going into the match to secure three points, and stated that the Maldivian side would fight for those points.
Most of the Palestinian side play for teams across various Middle Eastern leagues, a region quickly moving to the forefront of Asia in terms of football. The Maldivian defense will face a sturdy challenge stopping the onslaught of attacks from the Palestinian offensive players.
Stewart had previously commented in an interview with 'Avas' that he has witnessed the passion he desires from the Maldivian players on the practice field, and noted that the Maldivian side would be able to bring results should the same passion be displayed on the international field.
The Captain of the Maldivian side, Assad Ali is also confident Maldives can win the match, saying that it was important to organize the defense and stressed on the importance of capitalizing on the chances created for the players with pace.