Syria are being called favourites to win football’s Nehru Cup.
The country hasn’t won an international competition since the 1987 Mediterranean Cup when Syria beat France (thanks Anas – hanging my head in shame!). But Syria is the only top 100 team in this contest.
The Nehru Cup is a competition hosted by India, and played every few years (1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2007, 2009). Two years ago Syria narrowly lost to India in the final.
This time there are only five teams playing: India, Syria, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka.
Syria played its first match last night, beating Kyrgystan 2-0. But things are bound to get harder – the Kyrgis are the lowest ranked team in the tournament.
Next, Syria faces Sri Lanka on Sunday and India next Friday. The final is the following Monday (31 August).
The first match of the competition was between India and Lebanon – the Cedars beat India 1-0 with a goal after just four minutes. The Syrian team is said to highly rate their Lebanese neighbours.
So all eyes will be on the Syria – Lebanon match. That’s taking place on Wednesday at 4pm Syrian time (2pm UK).