Syria captured the hearts of all football fans last night as they clinched a 2-2 draw away to Iran in the 93rd minute sparking tears of joy.
The goal not only prompted hysterical tears from fans, players, and commentators – but, also secured the middle-eastern’s side’s place in the play-off stage for next year’s World Cup.
Over the last six years the nation has been at the centre of one of the most historic and brutal civil wars the twenty first century is yet to see. However, they have gone against all odds in the footballing world.
Back home screens showed the game across the capital Damascus with fans also flooding bars and coffee shops to watch the historical moment which shone a glimmer of light on the darkest of countries. While some have speculated that the team is part of the brutal governing of the country and therefore should not be celebrated, the majority of Syrian fans’ hysteria suffocated these qualms as celebrations carried on until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Omar Al-Somah’s last minute goal is the most vital and astonishing piece in Syria’s World Cup campaign to date and sets them up with a play-off tie against Australia. While the middle-eastern outfit are undoubtedly underdogs going into the first round of play-offs if they were able to do the unthinkable (which we’re certainly not ruling out) they would then proceed to a final play-off fixture where they could potentially face the USA.
A knockout style World cup play-off against the USA would undoubtedly have extraordinary levels of geopolitical weight and could be one of the most iconic sporting fixtures in a lifetime.
While some have pointed out that under Donald Trump’s recent travel bans that Syrian citizens would be unable to enter the USA it has been claimed that the Syrian national team would be allowed to enter the country if the fixture came to fruition.
Source tells me USA would “no doubt” allow Syrian players into US despite the travel ban if there’s a WC qualifying playoff in November.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) September 5, 2017
The USA team however would not have to travel to Syria for the away fixture with the middle-eastern side likely to continue playing their home fixtures in Malaysia.
The world’s fingers are crossed for arguably one of the biggest underdogs in world football. In the meantime, you can watch that astonishing moment that Omar Al-Somah fired Syria into a World Cup play-off below.
Syria qualify dramatically for 2018 WC play-offs against Australia.
— Busby MUFC (@SirMatthewBusby) September 6, 2017