Opening Asia for Russia

The Syrian national team is a stone's throw away from a trip to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

08.10.2017 77 просмотров

The Syrian football team has become one of the discoveries of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. A team from a country engulfed in civil war, never before participating in a final tournament, is playing play-offs for the right to challenge a ticket to the championship in Russia with one of the teams from North or Central America.

The third place of the Syrians in the  selection group And the Asian zone became a real sensation, because the Qasiyun Eagles, as the Syrian footballers are called, managed to get ahead of their rivals from Uzbekistan and China, losing only to the teams of Iran and South Korea.< /p>

Third place allowed us to continue fighting for a ticket to the final tournament — on Thursday, the Syrian national team played with a score of 1: 1 in the first home play-off with the third team of group B — Australians, who are the reigning champions of Asia.

The match was held in Malaysia, at the stadium in the city of Malacca, which has become home to the Syrians. It was here, in more than seven thousand kilometers from home , that in March the team of Uzbekistan was defeated (1:0), which allowed the Syrian team to seriously aim at the first ticket in history to the final tournament of the World Cup. If the Syrians on Tuesday manage to perform another miracle and defeat the Australians in Sydney (a goalless draw will not suit them), Orlam another playoff series to come — already in November, with the fourth team from the CONCACAF zone. At the moment, it is the US team, which adds spice to the situation.

The Syrian team has never been among the leaders of Asian football. In  1985, the Syrians almost made it to the world championship, acting under the guidance of the Soviet coach Valery Yaremchenko, who at 38 was sent from Donetsk to the Middle East. The Syrians were in one match from the final tournament in Mexico, but lost to their rivals Iraq (1:3).

In 1980, the Syrian national team played in the only time in the football tournament of the Olympics. The Syrians played in Minsk and Kyiv, having suffered devastating defeats from the national teams of Algeria (0:3) and the GDR (0:5), but managed to achieve a goalless draw with the Spaniards. And in 1994, the Syrian Assaf Al-Khalifa became the first legionnaire from foreign countries in the Russian championship, signing a contract with Sochi"Zhemchuzhina". The 26-year-old striker became the best rookie of the season, scoring six goals, he married in Russia, but returned to his homeland next year. championships of Asia, never having managed to leave the group. The Syrians missed the previous tournament in 2015 without qualifying. Thanks to recent successes, the Syrian national team has risen to a record 75th place in the ranking of the International Football Federation (FIFA).

Victories in the midst of the war

This is not the first time a national team has been successful despite the civil war. So, in 2007, at the height of the civil war in the country, the Iraqi team became a sensational winner of the Asian Championship, which had never achieved such success before. Yes and in       there was a war with Iran in their homeland.

The   s s s s were also incredibly lucky: they managed to climb to 3rd place in the group, achieving a guest draw with the Iranian team (2:2) thanks to a goal scored in the third minute added to the second half. Its author was the 28-year-old forward Omar Al-Soma, who plays in Saudi Arabia for the Al-Ali club, — he also scored in the Australians' goal in the first play-off. Although Al-Soma was Saudi Arabia's top scorer on several occasions, his name is unknown to the general public. Syrian football players play in the championships of the Middle Eastern countries or in Egypt. And only defender Gabriel Sosi defends the colors of the Swedish Östersund — he was born in this Scandinavian country, but has Syrian roots.

The main star of the Syrian national team and the captain, 34-year-old striker Firas Al-Khatib, scored more than 30 goals for the national team , has changed almost 15 clubs, and now defends the colors of the Kuwaiti El Salmiya. When the civil war began in the country, he left the national team, supporting the opposition movement to Bashar al-Assad. However, then, at the request of the  first of all, the fans, he returned to the national team, whose success now unites the Syrian society — regardless of your political leanings. It should be noted that the  authorities have taken an important step towards unification of the national team, allowing footballers who openly opposed the Assad regime to play for  in society, successfully perform in selection tournament, and the head coach — 57-year-old Ayman Hakim. He leads the national team for the second time, in 2010 he prepared the team for the Asian Championship, but he took it to Qatar already Romanian Valeriu Titsa, whom Bashar al-Assad thus awarded for the victory of his "Al- Ittihada» in  the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

The Syrians offered a foreigner a coaching position in the current national team, and not just anyone, but a star of the first magnitude. Last year, an offer was sent to José Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea. The Portuguese politely refused, writing in a response letter that he was proud to receive such an offer, but could not accept it. Soon Mourinho headed another English club — "Manchester United".

The goalkeeper from Aleppo

In the spent time was spent by the Syrians and the winning ball into the gates of Uzbekistan, when the penalty was converted by Omar Harbin, which received a lucrative invitation from Al-Hilal in the summer, (Saudi Arabia). Harbin, like most of the team team partners, is not yet worried about his professional career, — he has a serious contract by local standards. However, some Syrian players continue to play in the local championship, in particular, the national favorite, 25-year-old goalkeeper Ibrahim Alma, who remains at the Al-Ittihad club for the time being. from Aleppo.

The Syrian Championship has not yet started this season, and in season 2017/18 Al-Jaish won  from Damascus — for the third time in a row. At the same time, Syrian clubs have not played in the Asian Champions League for a long time, having failed to pass the licensing. In the 2016/17 season, Al Jaish played in the minor AFC Cup, where he gave way to the playoffs of the Iraqi Al-Zawraa. The next tournament starts in January 2018 and "Al-Jaish" again listed among its participants.

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