Syrians hope national team qualifies for 2018 Fifa World Cup

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Damascus (Syria), Sep 4 (IANS) Syrians are feverishly waiting for the decisive match that could see their national football team qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

The Syrian football team is only one victory away from having the chance of qualifying for the World Cup, which could be the first qualification to such high-profile event in the history of the Syrian soccer team, reports Xinhua news agency.

Last Thursday, the national team beat Qatar 3-0 in Malaysia, sitting third in the six-team Group A of Asian qualifying.

The national team will play against Iran in Tehran on Tuesday.

The hoped-for winning of the Syrian team against Iran in their final group match coupled with the possibility of the defeat of South Korea by Uzbekistan in the final round would be the magic potion for the Syrian team to secure the second spot and direct entry to the next year’s tournament in Russia.

But if luck ran out in the Tuesday match, the Syrian team still has the chance to hold its third spot and could qualify, but through very difficult two rounds of playoffs.

It’s worth noting that the Iranian goalkeeper has kept a clean sheet in the qualifying phase.

But the stage to which the Syrian footballers have reached in the recent games is against all odds, with the difficulty of the training and the lack of good atmosphere with their country being ripped by a seven-year war.

In Damascus, cafes and restaurants are installing giant screens and maximizing the capacity of their venues to receive the large number of soccer enthusiasts, who are expected to storm the cafes in droves.

Some coffee shops have already become overbooked for the Tuesday event.

The social media websites have also been jam-packed with fans supporting the national team. A Facebook page called Syria Team has over 100,000 followers encouraging the Syrian team.

“Yes we have men challenging the difficulties and everything to bring joy to us and here they are one step from qualifying for the World Cup,” one post read.

“We are with our Syria and if they qualify or not they will remain our heroes,” another post read.

Most of those posting in support of the team pointed out to the victory of the Syrian soccer team despite the lack of the necessary training and preparation, especially that the team hasn’t come together for training.

–IANS

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