Syrian joy as Uzbek win pushes them back into Russia 2018 qualification mix

March 24 – It was classed as a “home” game but it was played 4,500 miles away in Malaysia before just 350 spectators.

But war-ravaged Syria is celebrating a symbolic and emotional 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan to keep alive its slim hopes of a first ever World Cup qualification.

Omar Khribin’s 90th-minute penalty kept the Syrians in contention for Russia with a huge game to come on Tuesday at former World Cup joint hosts South Korea.

Syria had only scored one goal in their previous five games during the third round of qualifying and according to the BBC, head coach Ayman Hakeem was in tears in his post-match news conference as he dedicated his team’s victory to the Syrian people.

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