Indian National Football Team: Know Your Rivals - Syria

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AIFF Media
Goal tells you everything you need to know about the Blue Tigers' opponents in their third game of the 2019 Intercontinental Cup...

QUICK FACTS


Country: Syria

FIFA Ranking: 85

Last match played: Tajikistan 2-0 Syria (10 July 2019)

Coach: Fajr Ibrahim


TEAM PROFILE


Syria AFC Asian Cup 2019

Two years ago, Syria earned appreciation from fans all over Asia after a deep run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. But the path leading them from the qualifiers to the Intercontinental Cup has not been a bed of roses.

Syria have not registered a record of significance ever since and had a woeful run to their 2019 AFC Asian in the Cup in which they picked just one point and failed to qualify for the knockout stage.

Although, the Syrians have proved to be a force to be reckoned, earning the title of favourites at the commencement of the tournament.

Currently ranked 85th in the FIFA rankings, the Qasioun Nosour sit ahead of all the other teams featuring in the Intercontinental Cup.

Syria will be a tough nut to crack despite the fact that coach Fajr Ibrahim decided to rest a good portion of their best XI.

Their last big title arrived in 2012 when they were crowned as the West Asian Football Federation champions. Syria will hence use the Intercontinental Cup as preparation for the World Cup 2022 qualifier which will start later this year.

However, Syria have history in multi-nation tournaments hosted by India. The Middle-Eastern side were runners-up to India in both the 2007 and 2009 Nehru Cup. Interestingly, they got the better of the Blue Tigers both times during the group stage but always faltered in the final.


RECENT PERFORMANCES


Syria AFC Asian Cup 2019

Syria are currently not at the peak of their abilities. In the seven games Syria have played in Ibrahim’s fourth stint as manager, they have won just twice. The 55-year-old was named as the coach after their 1-0 defeat in the secnd group stage game of the Asia Cup.

Ibrahim failed to steer the ship to safety and endured harsh results in the friendlies that followed. After a woeful conclusion to their Asian Cup campaign, Syria suffered defeats at the hands of Iraq, Iran, Uzbekistan and most recently Tajikistan.

In the Intercontinental Cup, they thrashed North Korea 5-2 before being outplayed by a young Tajikistan side in a game that ended 2-0 in the latter’s favour. However, they stand a good chance of making it to the final of the quadrangular tournament with a result against hosts India.

Skipper Firas Al Khatib, who turned 36 last month will have the opportunity to become Syria's all-time record goalscorer on Tuesday as he is currently tied with Raja Rafe with 32 goals to his name in 68 caps.


PLAYERS TO WATCH


Mohammad Al Marmour: The 24-year-old operates in midfield providing a screen to the defence and some creativity to the attack. Al Marmour’s work ethic and tactical awareness has made him a crucial player for the national team.

Shadi Al Hamwi Syria InterContinental Cup 2019

Shadi Al Hamwi: A striker that plies his trade at Saudi club Najran SC, is a fresh entrant to Fajr Ibrahim's scheme of things. He scored a brace on his national team debut and got awarded the man of the match against DPR Korea last week. The 23-year-old is touted to be the future of Syria's attacking arsenal.


FULL SQUAD


Goalkeepers: Ibrahim Alma, Khaled Haj Othman, Khaled Ibrahim;

Defenders: Amro Jenyat, Youssef Al Hamwi, Abdulrazzak Al Mohammad, Abdullah Al Shami, Fares Arnaout , Khaled Kurdaghli, Hasan Abo Zainab;

Midfielders: Tamer Haj Mohamad, Mohammad Al Marmour, Ahmad Al Ahmad, Mohammad Al Ahmad, Ward Al Salama , Mohammad Anaz, Maher Daaboul, Ali Hasan;

Forwards: Firas Al-Khatib, Nasouh Nakdali, Shadi Al Hamwi.

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