Syria Erupts in Joy as Football World Cup Dream Lives On

England can move within sight of automatic qualification to the World Cup with one more win

Tamer Mohamad gave Syria a 13th-minute lead, becoming the first player to score against Iran in a World Cup qualifier for 1,121 minutes.

They still have a maximum of four games to play, before the team can book their flights to Russian Federation.

"There is no plan to allow the presence of women in Azadi stadium for the Iran-Syria match", it said in a statement, blaming a "technical glitch".

Syria sits two points behind the second-placed Korea Republic and above the fourth-placed Uzbekistan on goal difference.

"The team represents all of Syria and we hope they will win in the play-offs and go on to qualify for the World Cup", he said. "We want the Syrian people to be happy".

Third place in the standings might not come as an achievement of impressive grandiosity but for a country torn apart by civil war it means a world.

The civil war, which began in 2011, has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people with the United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria saying more than 400,000 had lost their lives in the conflict.

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The decision compelled clerics to demand the match be cancelled outright, or else Iran's football team should refuse to play.

In England we get a bit lazy about getting excited when the national team qualify for a major worldwide football tournament, it's the expected thing.

"I have promised customers desserts on the house if we win", said Ali, who has plastered a massive poster of the national team on the wall. Needless to say, but the team of the SK lost to China, Qatar, and in the last round of zeroes finished the meeting with the Iranians.

Al-Khatib, who played for Kuwaiti team Qadsia and later Al-Arabi, will be returning to his mother club of Al-Karamah in the central city of Homs.

Opposition activists however are divided over the national team. Big screens were erected in public squares in the capital Damascus for public screenings and fans also packed into coffee shops and sports halls to watch the broadcast from Iran. State-run television, which is planning to broadcast the game live, has lined up special programs for the event.

Although Iranian women were not allowed to attend qualifying games in Iran, they will be allowed in stadiums at the World Cup in Russian Federation next summer. Both countries have provided crucial political and military support to shore up Assad's forces in the war.

South Korea scored 11 goals in 10 matches, most among Group A teams in the final qualifying round, but their last two matches with Iran and Uzbekistan ended up without goals.

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