Zurich, SANA – The International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) chose the match that gathered the Syrian national football team and its Iranian counterpart as one of the six most memorable matches from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 qualifiers.
“Despite the country remaining in the grip of a devastating six-year war, and the team needing to play its home matches in Malaysia because of that ongoing conflict, Syria provided one of the Russia 2018 qualifiers’ true fairy tales,” FIFA said in a report published on its official website on Wednesday.
The FIFA added that away to Iran, 2-1 down and with elimination beckoning, they somehow summoned the reserves to snatch a wildly celebrated 93rd-minute leveler through Omar al-Somah.
“Although a play-off defeat to Australia denied the Syrians the happy ending many craved, theirs was one of the most memorable stories of this preliminary campaign,” the report said.
The report noted that Syria’s squad had to undertake a 14,000-mile round trip for their home matches in Malaysia.
Manar al-Freih / Hazem Sabbagh