Omar Alsoma of Syria is congratulated by teammates as he celebrates scoring against Australia during their 2018 World Cup football qualifying match played in Sydney on October 10, 2017.AFP / WILLIAM WEST
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Syria coach Ayman Hakeem said his team's unlikely bid for a maiden spot in the World Cup finals, which was brought to an end by Australia Tuesday, had been a "miracle" given the odds stacked against them. Hakeem's team, forced to play all their "home" qualifiers in Malaysia because of the security situation in Syria and without five key players in the match against the Socceroos, came within the width of a goalpost of keeping the run alive in Sydney.Veteran striker Firas Al Khatib, whose appearance as a substitute in the second half of the first leg against the Australians played a large part in Syria securing a 1-1 draw, said he hoped the run would prove a catalyst for the team.
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