Players undeserving, says Syria coach

Syria coach Tita Valeriu said his players ‘did not deserve to be in the national team’ after exiting the Asian Cup with defeat to Jordan.

Needing to win their final match of Group B to progress to the quarter-finals, Syria took a 1-0 lead through Mohamad Al Zino in the 14th minute at Doha’s Qatar Sports Club Stadium.

But they missed a simple chance to extend their advantage before an own-goal from Ali Dyab and a mix up between Dyab and goalkeeper Mosab Balhous handed Jordan all three points, ending Syria’s participation in Asia’s premier national tournament.

“We did start the first 25 minutes well. We scored but in general it was a very tough match, although Jordan’s equaliser was our goalkeeper’s fault,” Valeriu said.

“We then started the second half badly and made mistakes. Jordan played well, we made a mistake and they scored. This is football, somebody wins and somebody loses.”

“We gave them a big gift and they scored two goals against us and that is all there is to say.”

“When Jordan scored to make it 1-1, the players began to get nervous and a little bit tired and they went from bad to worse.”

“Before I took over the team, I knew Syria’s defence was not that good. In Syria, it is very hard to find good defenders.”

“These players did not deserve to be in the national team. They have been playing together eight years and they have not won anything. They came to the Asian Cup and tried hard but I think a new generation is needed in Syria.”

Jordan coach Adnan Hamad also pinpointed Syria’s defensive errors as the key turning point in the contest.

“Every match has his own circumstances but the mistake by the Syrian defender put them under pressure,” Hamad said.

“The goal came for us at a crucial time. That is why we were able to fight back.”

“Syria had some chances but we played well and remained concentrated, focused and disciplined tactically and we achieved a good result.”

“There were mistakes from us in the first half but we rectified those in the second.”