Our team started the game well, controlling the first fifteen minutes of play and attacking the Syrian goal on two chances by Hawar Mullah Mohammed, the first of which was a header that Syrian goalkeeper Musaab Balhous was able to control and the second a shot on goal that was wide.
The surprise came from the Syrian side, when Mahmoud Amena scored the first goal, in the 17th minute, on a strong shot from outside of the penalty box that ended up in the upper left corner of keeper Mohammed Kassid’s goal.
The second goal came on a strong individual effort by Raja Rafiae, in the 21st minute.
Our national team narrowed the gap in the 47th minute, on a header by Mahdi Karim from a cross by maestro Nashat Akram, who entered the game in the second half.
The Syrian referee did not mark a penalty in our team’s favor, when Salah Sadir was tripped inside the penalty area.
Our national team controlled the second half and missed a number of opportunities. The Syrian team, on the other hand, has only one scoring opportunity in the second half, when Ziad Shaabu’s attempt was deflected by goalkeeper Nouri Sabri’s feet.
Our team played a 4-5-1 formation, with the following players playing in the game: Goalkeeper: Mohammed Kassid (Nour Sabri) Defense: Ali Hussein Rhema and Saad Attiya: Central Defense, Haidar Abdul Amir (Samal Said Majbal): Right Back, Yassir Raad (Bassim Abbas): Left Back
Midfield: Khaled Mushir (Nashat Akram) and Ahmed Abdul Ali Kubi: Center Midfield, Hawar Mullah Mohammed: Left Wing, Mahdi Karim (Samer Said Majbal): Right Wing, Salih Sadir (Ala Abdul Zahra): Playmaker Forward: Ali Salah Hashem (Younis Mahmoud)
The experience was a useful one for both teams, as Syria prepares to host Kuwait and our team gets ready to visit Australia, in third round play of qualifiers for the 2010 South Africa World Cup.