South Korea, Saudi Arabia book World Cup tickets

ASIA:Group A: Iran 2 (Sardar Azmoun 45, 64) drew with Syria 2 (Tamer Mohamad 13, Omar Al Soma 90+3); Qatar 1 (Akram Afif 47) lost to China 2 (Xiao Zhi 74, Wu Lei 83); Uzbekistan 0 drew with South Korea 0.

Son was part of the national team that clinched a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after earning a scoreless draw with Uzbekistan here.

Syria produced a remarkable draw against AFC heavyweights Iran, who have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup.

'There are two victories today: the army entered Deir el-Zour and we equalized with Iran, which I consider a victory, ' said Fayeq Shmais, a 46-year-old government employee. Like Australia, the kingdom finished with 19 points but goal difference secured its team a place in the tournament.

"Hopefully we can continue along this road as we have two important matches and I hope we can continue with our good performances", said the Saudi Arabia-based striker.

"I don't think I've ever shared a taxi with teammates (to the training ground), not even in my youth team days", defender Tomoaki Makino said in comments published by Kyodo news agency.

The war-torn country has been united behind their team in recent months.

Australia's World Cup qualifying path could include a home-and-away match against Syria if an automatic berth is not achieved.

Stand-in captain Kim Yong Gwon sparked anger and ridicule when he complained that teammates could not hear one another against Iran because of the noise made by 63,000 screaming fans in Seoul's World Cup stadium. Syria will likely play their "home" match against Australia in Malaysia, as they have during Asian qualifying, due to the ongoing war, as per the Sun.

But still Ayman Hakeen's team, ranked 80th in the world and who gave never played in a World Cup, have managed to beat the odds.

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.

Al-Khatib, who played for Kuwaiti team Qadsia and later Al-Arabi, will be returning to his mother club of Al-Karamah in the central city of Homs.

Big screens were erected in public squares in the capital Damascus for public screenings and fans also packed into coffee shops and sports halls to watch the broadcast from Iran.

Uzbekistan would have qualified with a win over South Korea in Tashkent.


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