Syria thrash Sri Lanka 5-0
Syria humiliated Sri Lanka 5-0 in their opening match of Group ‘A’ at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup 2022 qualifiers on Monday. Syria, who have not missed a single edition of the AFC U23 Asian Cup, hit the ground running and unlocked Sri Lanka’s defence within the first 15 seconds of the match when Mohammad Malta slotted home Ali Bashmani’s pass from close range. The provider turned goal scorer in the 25th minute to make it 2-0, with captain Mohammad Alhallak sending in a cross into the area which Malta headed onto the path of Bashmani to convert.
A deflection saw the South Asians concede a third goal when Alhallak’s long-range strike bounced off Dananjaya’s back and into the back of the net in the 42nd minute. Syria continued to dominate possession in the second half and scored their fourth in the 70th minute through another Sri Lankan error. Ahmad Alkhassi’s intended cross for substitute Abdulhadi Shalha saw a desperate Abdul Basith diverting the ball past his goalkeeper Gimhana. There was to be a fifth for Syria in the 85th minute as Aimn Akil beat the offside trap before passing it to Bashmani for a clean finish.