Breaking News

We must keep improving says Syria star


Mahmoud Al Mawas may have put in one of the most impressive individual displays the recent history of the AFC U-19 Championship but Syria's hat-trick hero from the 5-1 win over Saudi Arabia insists that the team must still look to improve.

Al Mawas was the star of Sunday's one-sided victory with goals in the 8th, 14th and 69th minutes before turning provider and setting up Adnan Al Taki and Samer Salem for Syria's other two goals.

And with last year's AFC U-19 Championship runners-up Australia next up for the Syrians, Al Mawas is hoping to see a step up from their five-star performance when they face the Young Socceroos on Tuesday.

"In each match we will try be better than the match before," Al Mawas told

"We surprised Saudi Arabia with three goals in the first 15 minutes and then we controlled the game but we all want to play better against Australia and then Qatar."

Al Mawas' virtuoso display against the Saudis was all the more surprising as the Al Karamah attacker – who had a spell with the reserve team of inaugural AFC Champions League winners Al Ain in 2009 – was playing on the right wing instead of his more familiar position up front.

"It is true that I play as forward, but I am ready to play wherever the coach wants. Against Saudi Arabia I played as a right winger, but whatever the coach requires from me I will do for the sake of the team."

Despite his tender years Al Mawas has already taken part in a number of high profile tournaments for club and country. Most recently he found the net four times during Syria's qualifying campaign for the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship and also featured in the Al Karamah squad for the Damascus giants' 2009, 2010 and 2011 AFC Cup tournaments.

Not surprisingly, the chance to play at a FIFA U-20 World Cup is high on Al Mawas' agenda and the youngster would even forgo any individual accolades in preference of qualification to next year's international tournament in Turkey.

"Of course every player wants to be the top scorer award and the MVP award and while I hope to get something with the help of my team-mates, our main target is to reach World Cup.

"But our ambition doesn't stop at reaching the World Cup. We want to also win the Asian title".

Winning over Saudi Arabia a big step,says Jom'a

 Syria coach Mohamad Jom'a said that his side's emphatic 5-1 win over Saudi Arabia on Sunday was a 'big step' towards the quarter-finals but was taking nothing for granted with matches against Australia and Qatar still to come.

 The Syrian side made the ideal start to their AFC U-19 Championship Group D campaign after three goals in the first quarter-of -an-hour of their Group D clash with Saudi Arabia laid the foundations for their comprehensive victory.

 Mahmoud Al Mawas was the star of the night with goals in the 8th, 14th and 6th minutes before turning provider and setting up Adnan Al Taki and Samer Salem for Syria's other two goals. Ahmed Al Shehri hit what proved to be scant consolation for the Saudis.

"I am very happy to get the three points in the first match especially against a Saudi Arabia team that is considered a strong contender for a ticket to the quarter finals," Jouma said.

"I expected to win but not with this margin as the Saudis are a good team.

 "Our players used their speed on the flanks to score three goals in the first 15 minutes and although we have taken a big step we still have two difficult matches against Australia and Qatar and we must do our best to get the results.

 "I watched the Australian team today and they have very good strategies and the match against them will be very difficult. But I guess that we have the physical strength to challenge them as I believe that Syria and Iraq are among the top physical teams in the tournament.

"We thank our supporters for coming in big numbers today and we are happy to get this win for them."

Saudi Arabia's stunned coach admitted that he was surprised by the quality of the Syrian side but also felt that his own side was the architects of their own downfall.

Vowing to show a marked improvement in their remaining two matches, the Spaniard said:

 "The match was very difficult and after we were unlucky not to score from our early chances the match took a different turn with the three Syrian goals.

"Their goals today came from our mistakes but I have to admit that Syria players surprised me with their physical and mental development.

"We are not satisfied after this result but hopefully we can manage to make a good come back in the next two matches.

"I believe that my team can get back and win in these next two matches. Qatar is equal to us physically and we will have Fahd Al Mowalad back and he will add a lot more striking power for the team."

AFC U-19 Championship- Syria hammers Saudi Arabia 5-1

The U-19  Syrian national team  made the ideal start to their AFC U-19 Championship campaign after three goals in the first quarter-of -an-hour of their Group D clash with Saudi Arabia laid the foundations for a comprehensive 5-1 victory on Sunday.

Mahmoud Al Mawas was the star of the night with goals in the 8th, 14th and 6th minutes before turning provider and setting up Adnan Al Taki and Samer Salem for Syria's other two goals. Ahmed Al Shehri hit what proved to be scant consolation for the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia had the first chance of the match with seven minutes at the Fujairah Stadium played when Abdulrahman Al Ghamdi's header from Saleh Al Jamaan's cross was comfortably held by Syrian keeper Shaher Al Shakir.

Two minutes later Syria made the Saudis pay for their earlier miss when Al Mawas sent the ball past Ahmad Al Harbi from the left side of the area before turning provider with an 11th minute cross from the right that was headed home by Al Taki.

Despite the two goal cushion Syria didn't sit back and extended their advantage in the 14th minute through a superb Al Mawas free-kick but the final goal of the first-half went to the Saudis when Al Shehri pounced on the rebound after Al Shakir blocked Al Jamaan's shot from outside the area on the half-hour mark.

Saudi Arabia started the second half strongly and Al Shakir denied Abdulfattah Asiri in the 47th and 54th minutes but their forays forward left gaps and the back and in the 69th minute Al Mawas latched on to a long pass and rounded Al Harbi to complete his hat-trick.

Al Mawas' display didn't end there as he had a hand in Syria's fifth in the 87th minute when he received a pass from substitute Nassouh Nakkdahli before delivering a cross for Salem to seal the emphatic win.

Syria will look now to seal their place in quarter final when they meet Australia on Monday while the Saudis will look to bounce back against Qatar, who are also desperate for their first points after losing 1-0 to the Young Socceroos.




AFC U-19 Championship Syria takes on Saudi Arabia

  In their opener in the AFC U-19 Championship scheduled to kick off on Sunday(Nov.3) in the UAE,the Syrian national team are set to face their Saudi counterparts in Group D match.

Syria's group includes:Australia,Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"this is a strong competition and it is always good to start a tournament with a positive result', said Syrian side's coach Mohammad Jum'a ,adding :"we need to get enough points to get through to the knock out stage so we have to prepare a strategy for the whole group stage .We know that Saudi Arabia is a good team and we will do our utmost against them, keeping in mind the other two matches we have to play.

"we respect the Saudi team and while I think they are strong contender for the title we have prepared well and we will try our best to have good start against them,"said Jum'a.

The 16 teams who are qualified for the final were split into four groups of four.

Group A:the UAE,Japan,Iran,Kuwait.

Group B:korea Republic,China,Thailand,Iraq.

Group C:DPR Korea,Uzbekistan,Vietnam,Jordan.

Group D:Australia,Saudi Arabia,Syria,Qatar.

It is worth noting that the teams in this tournament are the best in Adia in this category.

Syria squad:Chaher Shaker,Abdul Latif na'san,Mohammad Hamwi,Hussein Juwaid,Muayad Khouli,Muayad Ajjan,Amro Jiniat,Amro Midani,Amer Hj hachem,malik qadiu,mahmoud Mawas,Ihab Hussni,Khalid Mubayedh,Mustafa Sheikh Yussuf,Abdul Manan Ibrahim,Omar Khreibin,Hameed Mido,Mahmoud al Bahr,Abdul Illah hafyan,Ahmad Qadour,Adnan taqi,Samer Salem,Nasouh nakdali.


African heavyweigts prepare for final bout



Between them, Egyptian club Al Ahly and Esperance de Tunis have won the CAF Champions League eight times - Al Ahly have a record six of those, while the defending champions Esperance have twice lifted the African club crown. On Sunday the two will contest the first of the two-legged final to determine which of the clubs will have bragging rights for a year and, with the winner being granted a place in the FIFA Club World Cup, the stakes are upped considerably.

Fans of Cairo-based Al Ahly are expected to travel to Alexandria in their thousands for the final after Egyptian footballing officials announced that a limited number of fans - expected to be 15,000 - will be allowed entry to the Borg El Arab Stadium in the port city. It will only be the second match in Egypt played in front of fans since the Port Said tragedy in February, during which dozens of football fans died after a game between Al Masry and Al Ahly. Not surprisingly, the tragedy is something that is close to the heart of the Al Ahly players, and they have said they want to win the continental title for their fans who died.

 "We'll do our best to win the title and dedicate it to the souls of our fans who lost their lives in Port Said. Along our campaign we were affected negatively by playing behind closed doors, and now that we have our supporters back, they're going to strengthen our side going into such an important fixture", said Egyptian international striker Emad Meteab, adding: "Having our supporters back strengthens us. Definitely this is going to be a very tough game, but all we are thinking about is the trophy. We know well the nature of the encounters between Egyptian and Tunisian clubs. We respect Esperance, but we're not afraid of them."

 Al Ahly, who last won the competition in 2008, will be without left back Sayed Moawad, who is suffering from a foot injury. He could though, be back in time for the return leg on 17 November in Tunis. The Red Devils also suffered an injury scare around goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy, who missed a training session earlier in the week, but doctors believe the international will be fit for Sunday's game.


Also available for selection is influential playmaker Mohamed Aboutrika, who missed several games, including the two-legged semi-final, after being suspended by the club. Coach Hossam El Badry will have to decide whether to recall the 33-year-old veteran, as well as midfielder Mahmoud Hassan. The teenager, who is known as Trezeguet has played several games in the competition, but missed the 1-0 victory against Sunshine Stars in the semi-final due to Egyptian U-20 commitments. Striker Mohamed 'Gedo' Nagy, who scored twice in the 3-3 draw in Nigeria and then got the winning goal in the return leg, will be the dangerman up front for Al Ahly.

 Esperance, who are appearing in their third consecutive final, have the competition’s top scorer in their squad, but unfortunately for Taraji fans, Emmanuel Clottey, who scored 12 times in the competition, is cup-tied, having only been signed from Ghana’s Berekum Chelsea in September. The Blood and Gold also will have to deal with the absence of wunderkind Youssef Msakni, who had an emergency appendectomy on Thursday according to the club. The loss of the playmaker is a big blow, and his attack-minded brother Iheb also will miss the first leg through injury, leaving much of the focus up front on Cameroonian Joseph Yannick Ndjeng.

 Esperance have not been scoring as freely as coach Nabil Maaloul would like coming into the tie, and they secured their place in the final having tallied just seven goals in their last six Champions League matches. However, the side have proven themselves nothing if not resilient over the last two terms, and Maaloul is confident enough to say that his team will be going for the win in Alexandria. "Despite the strength of Ahly, we will aim for three points," he said before qualifying: "The most important thing in Sunday's match is to avoid conceding goals. This is our target."

 Defensive midfielder Houcine Ragued, a Paris-born Tunisian international playing his first season in Africa, added that the allure of representing Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup is a great incentive for the side. "It gives us an extra motivation. Most of the players in the team already played in the FIFA Club World Cup last year. These players told us new players what a great experience it was. Our fans also want us to win the African Champions League so that Tunisia represents Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup.”