Al-Soma's late penalty keeps Syria's World Cup hopes alive

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Al-Soma's late penalty keeps Syria's World Cup hopes alive

The venue of the match is at Hang Jebat Stadium, Krubong, Malaysia.

Ryan, who played in all three of Australia's games as they were eliminated in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup after losses to the Netherlands, Chile and Spain, was earning his 37th cap for his country.

Syria pushed and pushed for an equaliser, after that shaky start to the second half.

The Syrians rallied in the second half, with al-Soma and Omar Khribin creating opportunities.

Australia had little in clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession with only Mark Milligan forcing anything like a serious save from Ibrahim Alma with his long range attempt inside the opening 20 minutes.

The goal came after Leckie himself drove to the byline and drove a shot at goal, but the strike needed the toe of an opportunistic Kruse to divert it into the back of the net.

The Bundesliga-based pair reversed roles four minutes later when Kruse sent in a corner that Leckie headed just over the bar as Australia finished the half in a mood that will have pleased coach Ange Postecoglou.

Syria's World Cup dreams should have been effectively ended soon after the break when Tomi Juric hit the post twice in quick succession, but they did not let that scare affect them.

But Syria were looking risky and Khribin had a shot blocked by Leckie, before Soma headed a good chance over and was then denied an nearly certain goal by Degenek's last-ditch lunge.

Luck appeared to be on Australia's side when Firas Al Khatib nodded Al Soma's cross on to the post 13 minutes from the end.

Syria scored in the 85th minute after Mathew Leckie was penalized for his aerial challenge on al-Soma.

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