Socceroos The End Of Syria’s World Cup Dreams
If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Despite the sports pages having been on fire of late with stories of yet another rise of a very unlikely underdog, we all knew that it had to end at some stage; and now it has. Australia has smashed Syria’s dream of competing in the 2018 Soccer World Cup by beating the underdog 2 – 1 in Sydney recently.
It was Omar Al Somah who had lit the fire of hope early on during the match, but the playing field was levelled shortly after by Australia’s Tim Cahill’s first goal. Mathew Leckie was the man responsible for setting the wheels of parity in motion when he created the gap for the Evaton midfielder to level the score just 13 minutes in.
Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy had surprisingly enough started out on the bench, but was called into play at this stage, a move which would end up proving critical at a later stage.
Syria’s fate was sealed when Cahill produced a typical spur of the moment header with penalties already looming on the horizon. The clincher is the 50th goal of Cahill’s career for Australia – more than any other player for the nation. It was at this stage that Syria’s resolve became apparent as they almost managed an equalizer when Al Somah’s stray kick hit the goal post during the 121st minute.
Disappointment Big For Syria
Syrian coach Ayman al-Hakim was notably and understandably disheartened by the outcome, saying shortly after the match that Syria’s disappointment was very big. He said that Syria had studied the Socceroos’ playing style and tactics and that they (Syria) believed that they could have kept the World Cup dream alive, had the side not been reduced to only 10 players by the red card received during the game.
He went on to say that despite the disappointment, he was very proud of the national side and of what they had achieved so far and that this would by no means be the end of their moving forward.
Firas Al Khatib, Syrian forward, responded to his country’s loss by saying that they (the team) had hoped to provide a smile and a bit of joy to Syrians everywhere, and that their disappointment knew no bounds.
Syria is a war-torn country that has been locked in civil war for many years. Such is the severity of the situation that the Syrian team had to play all of their home games in Malaysia.