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Category: Syria football team

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Crushed but for 120 minutes united: qualifier lets Syrians forget war

The national team’s progress into a World Cup play-off was a chance to focus on something other than division and destruction

For a moment on Tuesday, Ahmad Mohammad Mohammad, a 19-year-old Syrian from Aleppo, was able to forget about the war.

The Syrian national football team bowed out of 2018 World Cup qualification after a 2-1 loss to Australia on Tuesday, after an unlikely run that saw them progress to a qualification play-off.

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Tim Cahill double keeps Australia alive with extra-time win over Syria

  • Australia 2-1 Syria (aet); Socceroos win 3-2 on aggregate
  • Tim Cahill brace books place in final Asian qualifying play-off

They appear hellbent of making qualification for the World Cup as difficult as possible, but at least the Socceroos’ hopes of reaching Russia are still alive. After falling behind to an early hammer blow at ANZ Stadium, Ange Postecoglou’s side recovered to beat Syria 2-1 by the skin of their teeth in extra-time and book a place in a final qualifying play-off. The bad news for followers of Australian football is that, inevitably, another gut-wrenching 180 minutes of tension awaits.

Tim Cahill, restored to the starting lineup having been left on the bench for last week’s first leg in Malaysia, sparked the revival early in the first half and then sealed the win deep in extra-time, both with trademark headers. The second, in the 109th minute, was the talismanic forward’s 50th for his country. You could say it was one of the more important goals of his international career.

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Australia v Syria: World Cup 2018 qualifying – live!

  • World Cup qualifying updates (first leg: Socceroos 1-1 Syria)
  • Get in touch with Jonathan on email or via Twitter @JPHowcroft

9.40am BST

No Aaron Mooy! A 3-3-3-1 formation!? Loud Noises!

Blimey O’Riley, for the game of his life Ange Postecoglou isn’t taking the conservative route.

It’s make or break. #AUSvSYR
: Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park
: 8.00pm AEDT kick-off
: Fox Sports Football / 9Go! pic.twitter.com/YO4vpuj9sm

9.38am BST

Australia’s opponents tonight provide one of the most complex narratives of any international side imaginable.

Related: ‘How can I support this team?’ Divided loyalties for Syrians haunted by civil war

Police intervening, getting a bit hairy amongst rival Syrian fans pic.twitter.com/Xd5v51AwWD

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0

Australia v Syria: World Cup 2018 qualifying – live!

  • World Cup qualifying updates (first leg: Socceroos 1-1 Syria)
  • Get in touch with Jonathan on email or via Twitter @JPHowcroft

9.40am BST

No Aaron Mooy! A 3-3-3-1 formation!? Loud Noises!

Blimey O’Riley, for the game of his life Ange Postecoglou isn’t taking the conservative route.

It’s make or break. #AUSvSYR
: Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park
: 8.00pm AEDT kick-off
: Fox Sports Football / 9Go! pic.twitter.com/YO4vpuj9sm

9.38am BST

Australia’s opponents tonight provide one of the most complex narratives of any international side imaginable.

Related: ‘How can I support this team?’ Divided loyalties for Syrians haunted by civil war

Police intervening, getting a bit hairy amongst rival Syrian fans pic.twitter.com/Xd5v51AwWD

Continue reading…

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‘How can I support this team?’ Divided loyalties for Syrians haunted by civil war

Like the country itself, feelings about Syria’s national football team, who play Australia tonight, are complex

When the Syrian national football team walks onto the pitch in Sydney tonight , Obay Al-Akul won’t be inside the stadium cheering but outside protesting.

He won’t be alone. A Syrian national who grew up in Damascus before arriving in Australia in 2014, Al-Akul is one of the 5.1 million people who have fled Syria’s civil war as refugees.

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Pressure peaks on Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroos in era-defining Syria clash | Kieran Pender

A dozen years since the Socceroos made it to their first World Cup in three decades, the momentum that has sustained the game is at risk of dissipating

It is remarkable, given the Socceroos’ long history of not qualifying for the World Cup, that the prospect of defeat to Syria on Tuesday evening seems so unfathomable. Australia have participated in only four of the 20 World Cups held since the tournament’s inception; until 2006, the Socceroos had qualified just once.

Yet since joining the Asian Football Confederation, qualification has swiftly become the expected norm. The Socceroos were a class above distant Tajikistan and tiny Bhutan, so it was thought, and a ticket to Fifa’s biggest quadrennial event was now a formality. Even regional heavyweights, like Japan and Saudi Arabia, could be no match for Tim Cahill and company.

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Football: Postecoglou’s tactical decisions leading to risky outcomes

After a positive start against Syria, the Socceroos gradually lost control in the middle and left the defence exposed

When Las Palmas faced Real Madrid in September 2016, a significant point about football resurfaced.

In charge of Las Palmas at the time, chess enthusiast Quique Setién said this about Luka Modrić: “Modrić would be the queen [on the chess board] because he’s so versatile and understands all the little nuances of the game. He controls the midfield and dominates all possible situations and has the mobility of a chess queen.”

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Syria boost World Cup hopes after Al Soma’s late leveller against Australia

  • Syria 1-1 Australia
  • Al Soma 85pen; Kruse 40

Syria’s hopes of reaching their first-ever World Cup are alive and kicking after they came from behind to grab a controversial first-leg draw against Australia in Malacca.

The Socceroos held a solitary one-goal lead for 45 minutes after Robbie Kruse’s strike in the first half but a disputed penalty, tucked home by Omar Al Soma with five minutes left, gave the Syrians a lifeline going into the return leg in Sydney.

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