The Syrian football team has a long way to go before it will be able compete in the Asian Nations Football Cup tournament as it was crushed 3-0 in a friendly game against the Yugoslavian Red Star club.
The game was part of the team's preparation for the tournament, scheduled for October 12-27, 2000 in Lebanon.
The game's goals were scored on the 20, 40 (penalty kick) and 87 minutes. The Lebanese a-Safir reports that it was clear from the first whistle that Red Star was in control of the game. Syria's best scoring opportunities came in the first half but striker Assaf Khalifa's headers missed the target.
During the Asian Nations Football Cup qualifying games, Syria will meet the favorite Iran as well as Bahrain and the Maldives.
The Syrian line-up includes: Muhammad Beiruti (Omar Akil), Muhammad Budiqqah (Iyad Abd al-Karim, Zakariyyah al-Hussein), Tareq Jabban, Muhammad Khalaf, Sharif Kurdia (Ahmad Kurdghali), Bashar Sroor, Samer Hizam (Musa al-Hayek), Iyad Mandu (Laurance Shimali), Maher a-Sayyid (Nihad Haj Mustafa), Luwi Taleb, Assaf Khalifa (Muhammad Mahmalji).
Red Star, which is ranked third in the Yugoslavian league, played Syria as part of its current regional tour. They lost 0-1 to Lebanon and tied Jordan 1-1. Red Star will finish its Mideast tour next week in a second meeting against the Lebanese team in Beirut.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)