Syria demolish Sri Lanka 4-0 in Nehru CupAugust 24th, 2009 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS
By Abhishek Roy
New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Favourites Syria showed their class as they demolished Sri Lanka 4-0 in the ONGC Nehru Cup football tournament here Monday.
The high-flying Sri Lanka, who stunned Lebanon in their first match, were brought down to earth with a brace from Abdul Fatah Alaga (37, 55) and a goal apiece from star striker Mohammad Al Zeno (26) and Abdalrazak Al Housian (33) at the floodlit Ambedkar Stadium.
But the star of the evening was playmaker Wael Ayan, who with his perfect crosses and creative passes created the openings for the Syrian forwards.
Syria, though, never faced any challenge from the Island nation. In fact, it was difficult to believe that it was the same young Sri Lankan side that outpaced the higher-ranked Lebanese. One would have expected Sri Lanka to put a tougher fight, but the verve was missing and they were slow on feet.
The difference between the 95th-ranked Syria and 156th Sri Lanka was apparent and in the end it turned out to be a stroll in the park for the West Asian country.
Syria, who were runners-up in the last edition, were quick with their moves right from the start and regularly breached the Sri Lankan defence.
Syria came close to opening their account in the 13th minute, but forward Alaga’s header missed the upright by a whisker. In the next minute, Al Zeno’s powerful right-footer, from the edge of the box, kissed the far-post on its way out.
Sri Lankan defence finally caved in the 26th minute under relentless attacks when Al Zeno headed in a neat cross from Ayan. Syria didn’t have to wait long to double the lead as Al Housian nodded in from Ala Al Shibli’s cross.
Four minutes later, Ayan was again in business when he set-up Alaga with a clever pass as Syria went into the breather with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Sri Lanka were more focused in the second half, but a defensive lapse in the 55th minute saw Alaga complete his brace. Alaga volleyed from a rebound to complete the tally for the Syrians.
In the last 10 minutes, Sri Lanka stepped up the pace, but by then it was too late.
The win has perched Syria at the top of table with six points from two matches and two more to go.
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