Syria, Singapore closer to WC qualification

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The four other countries vying to go into the hat in Durban on November 25th remain evenly poised with Thailand and Turkmenistan playing out goalless draws with Yemen and Hong Kong respectively.

Syria put the two-legged contest almost out of their opponents reach by winning 4-1 in Indonesia.

Al Karama midfielder Firas Issmael put the visiting West Asians in front after 17 minutes, before Mohamed Al Zeno doubled the lead on 34th minute.

Budi Sudarsono pulled on back for Indonesia three minutes later only for Zyad Chaabo to restore the two-goal lead for Syria a minute before. Syria went on to dominate the second half with Raja Rafe sealing an emphatic success for coach Fajer Iprahim with a last-minute strike.

Syria may have registered the biggest win but it was the unfancied Singapore who created the biggest surprise with their 2-0 home defeat of Tajikistan, Aleksandar Duric scoring both goals on his debut. At the age of 37, Duric's inclusion in the starting line-up came as a surprise.

However, coach Radojko Avramovic’s decision paid dividends as Duric underlined why he is the leading marksman in the domestic league with two first half goals.