Syria coach proud of fasting players` show
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 00:35
New Delhi: After today's 4-0 mauling of Sri Lanka, Syria now require only a draw from their remaining two encounters to qualify for the final, but coach Fajer Ebrahim was not ready to take Lebanon lightly on Thursday.

"Lebanon lost to Sri Lanka and we beat Sri Lanka today. But in football it is not necessary that we will beat Lebanon (on Thursday). We can't take them lightly," Ebrahim said after the match here.

Ebrahim expressed satisfaction about his players' rhythm even while fasting due to the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Saturday.

"All our players are fasting but they played so well today. They are playing an international tournament for the first time during Ramadan under my charge. I am proud of them," he said.

Asked what strategy he had in mind before the match, Ebrahim said, "I told the boys that they play slow initially and then to pick up the tempo later and play faster," adding that, "We need only one point from the remaining two matches to make it to the final."

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan coach Sampatha Perera blamed lack of adequate rest but conceded that his players were outplayed by the Syrians.

"We got only a day to rest and we were exhausted but they outplayed us," he said.

Perera also admitted that absence of D W Hettiarachchi, who was red-carded in Sri Lanka's match against Lebanon, was felt today.

"Hettiarachchi's absence weakened our defence. We tried to play attacking game but the quick goals in the first half did us in," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 00:35

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