January 11 – Bernd Stange became the second national team manager to be sacked at the Asian Cup 2019 last night after his Syrian team went down 2-0 to Jordan, who are rapidly becoming the surprise package of the tournament.
Earlier in the week Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac paid the price of not meeting expectations after his team were thrashed in their first game 4-1 by India. It is a tournament where national expectations are high and federation patience is short.
Syria went into the Asian Cup as one of the favourites having narrowly missed out World Cup qualification to Australia. They opened the tournament disappointly with a 0-0 draw with Palestine.
The Syrian FA initially issued a statement hours after the loss stating Stange had been replaced by former coach Ayman Hakeem for the remainder of the tournament. Later another former head coach, Fajr Ibrahim, was announced as the replacement.
“Coaches are always responsible for the performance of the team,” Stange had said hours before he was fired. “We are one team and we win and we lose together.”
Syria might not be out of the tournament yet but will require all the points against Australia to give them a chance of progressing.
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