December 29, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 6 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Syria at the Asian Cup

    Dec 29 (Reuters) - Factbox on Syria ahead of the Asian Cup,
which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Jan 5 to Feb
1:
    
    FIFA world ranking: 74
    Ranking in Asia: 6
    Previous Asian Cups: 5
    Best performance: Group stage (1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2011)
    2015: Did not qualify
    
    Nickname: Qasioun Eagles
    Coach: Bernd Stange
    Regular captain: Omar Al Somah
    Player to watch: Omar Kharbin 
    
    Recent form:  
    Sept 10     Kyrgyzstan 2-1 Syria         Bishkek
    Oct 11     Bahrain 0-1 Syria            Riffa
    Oct 16     China 2-0 Syria              Nanjing
    Nov 16     Oman 1-1 Syria               Muscat
    Nov 20     Kuwait 1-2 Syria             Ardiyah
    
    Fixtures: 
    Group B
    Jan 6    Syria v Palestine         Sharjah
    Jan 10   Jordan v Syria            Al Ain
    Jan 15   Australia v Syria         Al Ain
    
    Bernd Stange has one goal above all others when he leads
Syria to the finals of the Asian Cup next month -- to put a
smile back on the faces of the country's war-ravaged people.
    The veteran German coach was lured out of retirement earlier
this year to take charge of the Syrians as they seek to build on
their remarkable run to the verge of qualifying for their first
World Cup finals last year.
    And while a playoff loss at the hands of Australia ended
those hopes -- the 70-year-old is hoping to revive memories of
that campaign at the continental championship in January.
           

 (Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John
O'Brien)
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