Barcelona beats Israeli-Palestinian "peace" team

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November 30, 2005 01:22
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FC Barcelona defeated a combined Israeli-Palestinian team 2-1 on Tuesday in a "Match for Peace" aimed at supporting efforts at halting violence in the Middle East. Midfielder Deco opened the scoring at Camp Nou stadium with a 60th-minute lob, while striker Maxi Lopez doubled the Spanish champion's lead five minutes later. Abas Suan, who plays for Hapoel Bnei Sachnin, pulled the Israeli-Palestinian side within a goal in the 67th minute. Coached by Israeli Dror Kashtan and Palestinian Jamal Hadadi, the visitors comprised a squad of 11 Palestinian and 17 Israeli players and played under the name of the Peace Team. Proceeds from the match were to provide support for children in the zone, organizers said. The game took place a day after the end of the summit in Barcelona between European Union heads of state or government and leaders of countries on the Mediterranean's southern rim. It was attended by former prime minister Shimon Peres. After a ceremonial kickoff by Scottish actor Sean Connery, the game was dominated by Barcelona although it was repeatedly thwarted by goalkeepers Nir Davidovich and Shavit Elimelech, who played a half each. Barcelona's Brazilian forward Ronaldinho, who was voted European player of the year on Monday, played until halftime.

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