Even as the Syrian refugee crisis engulfs Europe, the nation was able to deliver some good news to its fans as they won once again to top their qualification group with maximum points. The Syrians crushed Cambodia, who suffered a humiliating 6-0 loss at home in their third 2018 Russia World Cup qualifying group game yesterday night.
As the rain lashed down on the near-capacity home support, it rained goals for the visitors as they proved irresistible in front of goal with a near faultless performance at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.
The comprehensive victory for Fajr Ibrahim’s men maintains their position as top dogs in the second round group stage of qualification as they top group E with nine points and above regional heavyweights Japan.
After early hope for the hosts, which saw Sou Yaty produce a splendid penalty save in the opening period of play, the flurry of goals from the Syrians came as the clock hit the half hour mark. Omar Khribin’s speculative header in the box found its way past an unfortunate Yaty in the Cambodian goal. Just two minutes later, the Cambodian defense was breached once more as Sanharib Maliki was able to beat Yaty to put the Syrians two goals up.
A further effort from Khribin in the 40th minute was followed soon after by a Mahmoud Al Mawas finish before the first-half came to a close. Cambodia was reeling and 4-0 down at the half with coach Lee Tae Hoon able to do little to arrest the slump. Samoeun Rous came on after the break in place of Sovvanarith Sun in the hope of stemming the hosts leaking goals at the back, although Omar Midani grabbed a fifth for Syria nonetheless.
With defeat now an inevitability, Tae Hoon brought on fan favorites Prak Mony Udom and Thierry Chantha Bin midway through the half. Despite the attacking nature of the change, the Angkor Warriors were still unable to ghost past the formidable Syrian defense, who had yet to give away a goal in their qualification campaign.
Osama Omari rubbed salt in the Cambodian wound in the 81st minute, grabbing the visitors sixth and final goal as Syrian coach Ibrahim looked on in glee from the sidelines.
The loss is the fourth straight defeat for Cambodia in their World Cup qualification bid, after losses to Afghanistan, Singapore and Japan. The Angkor Warriors have yet to hit the back of the net and have given away a grand total of 14 goals in their four outings.