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Syria vs India 1-0: AFC Asian Cup 2023 football – as it happened


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Syria vs India at the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar.

India are bottom of the group after two defeats but still have some hope of qualifying with a win, Syria are third with one point and they too must win and hope they finish as one the four best third-placed teams.

The action in Qatar gets under way at 2:30pm (11:30 GMT).

I’m Adam Hancock here at Al Jazeera and I’ll be bringing you all build-up, team news and action over the next few hours.

Qatar claimed top spot on Monday

Qatar beat China 1-0 on Monday to make it three wins from three in Group A.

Tajikistan’s win against Lebanon means they take the second spot.

A full mark in the group stage ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ✔️

The permutations in Group B

India have lost both of their opening matches but retain a chance of qualifying as one of the best third-place finishers in the group stage.

Syria have one point from their draw with Uzbekistan, who they will hope to topple and take second spot from.

Group leaders Australia will be aiming to make it three wins from three but should Uzbekistan win, they will take top spot.

Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ leads Group B and secures a spot in the next round at the end of the group stages 2nd round. Which team do you think will qualify with Australia from this group?

Which team do you think will qualify with Australia from this group?

‘We need to fight together’

India midfielder Suresh Singh Wanjam says the team have thoroughly enjoyed the tournament so far and will be giving their all for the win that they desperately need to keep alive their hopes of progression.

“The training facility, the ground and the fans – I feel like we are playing at home,” the 23-year-old said when speaking to the All India Football Federation.

“I’ve been dreaming of this Asian Cup with the national team. It’s amazing.

“The first game against Australia was a great experience playing against them. Everything was fast.

“Even in the Uzbekistan game we played well but they took their chances.

“We need three points and we need to fight together and do everything to get three points.

“Our fans have never disappointed us, they have come in big numbers to support us and I just want to say thank you. We promise we will give everything to make you happy.”

One of the talking points so far

One of the major talking points so far has been the support of the Indian fans in Qatar for the football team.

The cricket team might start to get jealous if this following grows.

Always grateful for our fans' unconditional support in every situation ๐Ÿ’™

Jai Hind ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

India’s ‘last-ditch effort’

The Al Bayt Stadium holds 68,895 spectators. It will be a sea of blue for India’s final game.

The support and the noise have been deafening at times.

The team will be hoping for much of the same in the final game.

Al Bayt Stadium ๐ŸŸ️ awaits to witness India's ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ last-ditch effort against Syria ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ

The venues for the AFC Asian Cup 2023

Asian Cup winners

Three-time winners Iran are in action later when they take on UAE.

Kickoff for the final round of Group C matches is at noon local time (15:00 GMT)

How Group C shapes up ahead of the later games

Iran’s spot in the next stage is secure but will UAE join them or can Palestine cause an upset and take second spot?

Iran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท leads Group C and secures a spot in the next round at the end of the group stages 2nd round. Which teams do you think will qualify with Iran from this group?

Last up for Syria

Syria slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Australia, which saw the Oceanic side become the second team to seal a place in the Asian Cup knock-out stages.

For Syria though, it leaves them needing a win against India to stand a chance of progressing.

Final match result between Syria and Australia Australia joins Qatar in the Round of 16 ๐Ÿ‘

Last up for India

Following a 2-0 defeat by Australia in their opening match, India were beaten 3-0 in their second game by Uzbekistan.

We suffer our second defeat at the #AsianCup2023

The tournament’s top scorers so far

Iraq, Qatar and Japan hold the top three positions in the leading-scorer chart so far, through Aymen Hussein, Akram Afif and Takumi Minamino respectively.

Syria unchanged

Hector Cuper makes no changes to his Syria team, which lost to Australia in their previous group game.

Syria: Ahmad Madanieh (goalkeeper, captain), Aiham Ousou, Mouaiad Al Ajaan, Ezequiel Ham, Pablo Sabbag, Ammar Ramadan, Thaer Krouma, Jalil Elias, Ibrahim Hesar, Abdul Rahman Weiss and Mahmoud Al Aswad

Three changes for India

Igor Stimac has changed things up for this match after India lost 3-0 to Uzbekistan in their last group game. Subhasish Bose, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Deepak Tangri all come in, with Anirudh Thapa, Sehnaj Singh and Nikhil Poojary all dropping to the bench.

India: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (goalkeeper), Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Sandesh Jhingan, Akash Mishra, Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri (captain), Mahesh Naorem, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Lalengmawia Ralte, Deepak Tangri

Not long to go now ๐Ÿ”œ


This will be the seventh meeting between India and Syria and the first time they have met in the Asian Cup.

India have a slight upper hand, with three wins in all previous encounters compared with just two for Syria.

Their last meeting ended all square, with a 1-1 draw in the 2019 Intercontinental Cup.

Photos: Fans in the stands

Plenty to play for in Group B

Australia and Uzbekistan will also be kicking off in about 10 minutes at Al Janoub Stadium.

It’s a battle for top spot with Australia currently leading the group on six points, two ahead of their opponents.

Syria will be hoping for a big win for the Socceroos because it could give them a chance to nick second spot in the group, but only if they can get all three points against the Blue Tigers.

Plenty to play for.

A reminder of the lineups

๐Ÿ“‹ LINE UPS | ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ SYRIA ๐Ÿ†š INDIA ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ A victory against the Blue Tigers will propel the Qasioun Eagles closer to the knockout stage than ever before. Who will seize the must-win moment? ๐Ÿ‘€

National anthems under way

The players are out on the pitch with the national anthems now being sung.

Al Bayt Stadium is a large venue, holding just under 69,000 fans when full.

It’s not at capacity now, but it still appears to be a healthy crowd.

Kickoff is just around the corner.


The referee is Sivakorn Pu-udom from Thailand.

He blows the whistle, and India kick things off. They are in all blue and are kicking from right to left as it looks on the screen.

Syria are wearing all white.

1 min: Syria 0-0 India

Rahul booked

There’s an early yellow card for Rahul after he caught Elias in the face with a high foot while challenging for the ball.

The defender will need to walk a tightrope for the rest of this game.

2 mins: Syria 0-0 India

Madanieh saves from Naorem

Naorem does well after receiving the ball inside the Syrian penalty area.

He evades a defender before shooting from a tight angle on the right side, forcing Madanieh into a one-handed save.

The ball goes behind for a corner, but the set piece doesn’t trouble the Eagles of Qasioun.

4 mins: Syria 0-0 India

Syria create their first chances

India are not holding back on the attack in this game. They’ve made a bright start to this one as they look to secure a vital three points.

But Syria are starting to find their way into the game, and Tangri concedes a corner.

Sandhu makes a save from the first header from Sabbag before the ball makes its way back into the box and Ousou heads over from close range.

9 mins: Syria 0-0 India

Syrian players link up well

Some nice build-up play from Syria, with Krouma sliding a through ball for Ham to run on to.

India deal with it well though, with the ball shepherded out for a goal kick.

11 mins: Syria 0-0 India

Both teams looking to attack

It’s been an entertaining start in Al Khor, with both teams aware that they need all three points today.

Ham is the latest to have a crack at goal, with the Syrian midfielder finding himself in space just outside the D, but his effort curls just wide of the post.

15 mins: Syria 0-0 India 

Syria keep the pressure on

It’s been a feature of this tournament so far and yet again there’s a huge turnout of Indian fans. The Blue Tigers are being roared on every time they go forward.

Sabbag tries to get on to the end of a clever pass into the penalty area from Al Ajaan, but he ends up colliding with Sandhu, who had come out to collect the ball.

Shortly after, Syria are back on the attack with Sandhu making two excellent saves from mid-range efforts. Bose also deserves a lot of credit for blocking a shot from Ham that looked to be heading towards goal.

It’s all Syria right now.

Ralte fouls Ramadan

It remains 0-0 between Australia and Uzbekistan in the other game in this group, so no changes to the standings at present.

Some of the Syrian players are pretty incensed about a challenge from Ralte on Ramadan. It was a little late, but not worthy of a yellow card in the opinion of the referee.

India manage to counter from the resulting free kick, with a ball whipped into the box towards Chhetri.

The Indian captain leapt for the ball, but couldn’t get on top of it and direct a header towards goal.

Two players yellow carded

Naorem catches Oues with a high arm. The Indian player is booked for a foul, but Oues is also booked for his reaction.

He got up from the floor and confronted Naorem with his chest out.

There’s now more controversy, with a VAR check for a possible penalty for Syria. But it was a short review and play continues.

Goalless in the other Group B game

It’s still 0-0 in the other Group B game between Australia and Uzbekistan.

As things stand Australia are top with seven points, Uzbekistan are second with five points, Syria are third with two points, and India are bottom with just the one.

ll action at Al Bayt Stadium

It might be 0-0 but this has been an eventful 30 minutes of football.

We’ve just seen a replay of the potential penalty incident. Tangri lunged in to stop a shot from Ramadan, who was lining up to shoot just inside the penalty area.

It looks like the Indian player caught the ball, but it was definitely worth a check from VAR.

Attacking football from both sides

Chhangte does very well down the right touchline, before he is taken out by an excellent challenge from Al Ajaan.

The resulting corner is cleared by Syria, who have kept the Indian forward line fairly quiet so far.

Neither side are holding back today, this is a very entertaining watch.

Sandhu called into action

Tangri is overly physical in a challenge with Hesar. The Syrian player wants a yellow card to be shown, but Sivakorn Pu-udom is not interested.

Indian goalkeeper Sandhu has been kept busy in this first half and is called into action again, punching the ball away twice in quick succession.

The first came from a shot from outside the box, with the second punch clearing away a deep cross.

Al Aswad hurt

A badly timed lunge from Subhasish leaves Al Aswad writhing around in pain.

He gingerly gets back to his feet, allowing Eilas to whip a deep free kick into the box.

Sandhu does well to come out and claim the ball. The Indian goalkeeper has played well so far.

Five minutes added on

Syria are well on top now, with Sabbag back on the attack.

He chests down a long pass while running into the penalty area, but is put off his stride by Jhingan.

Jhingan is left hurt by the collision, with the defender requiring treatment.

He eventually gets back to his feet and looks set to play on.

Five minutes have been added on to this first half.

Australia take 1-0 lead against Uzbekistan

Martin Boyle scores a penalty to give the Socceroos a 1-0 lead against Uzbekistan in Group B’s other game.

As things stand, Uzbekistan remain second on four points with a plus two goal difference.

Syria – on two points with a minus one goal difference – still have second place to play for. But they have to beat India and claw back the goal difference.

India working hard in defence

Tangri puts his body on the line, blocking a very well struck shot from outside the area.

The Blue Tigers are having to deal with wave after wave of Syrian attacks and will be thankful for the half-time whistle.

Group B in the balance

That Australia goal will inspire Syria. A win for the Eagles of Qasioun today will put them level on points with second-placed Uzbekistan as things stand.

Although the Central Asian side have a better goal difference at present.


A breathless 50 minutes of football has come to a close in Al Khor.

Syria are well on top, but they haven’t broken India down.

Both sides still have a chance of qualification.

⏰ HT | ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ Syria 0️⃣-0️⃣ India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Gurpreet Singh denies Qasioun Eagles continuous attacks as the deadlock persists! Which side will seize the breakthrough in the upcoming half?

Second half under way

The players are back out and it’s a terrible start for India with Jhingan down injured again. He landed on his knee awkwardly – it looks a pretty nasty one.

Nikhil Poojary is about to come on to replace him.

Changes for both teams

Pablo Sabbag is off for Syria, with Omar Khrbin replacing him.

Mahesh Naorem has also left the field for India, with Udanta Singh coming on.

Khrbin has a sight at goal

Hesar judges his run very well, heading a long ball down into the path of Syrian danger man Khrbin.

The forward attempts to get a shot on goal from inside the area, but his effort is blocked by an Indian defender.

This game remains on a knife edge, with both sides still capable of qualifying.

Stimac yellow carded

Madanieh nearly gifts India a golden opportunity.

The Syrian keeper comes out to chase down a cross into the box, but he’s left in no-man’s-land as Chhangte runs on to the ball.

Fortunately for Syria, the Indian player is not able to get a shot away.

The Blue Tigers coach, Igor Stimac, has just picked up a yellow card for persistent complaining from the touchline.

India staying in the game

Syria ended the first half very strongly, but India have fought back well since the break.

They aren’t causing the Indian defence too much trouble, but the Eagles of Qasioun aren’t attacking as often as they have been.

A reminder, it remains 1-0 to Australia against Uzbekistan in the other game in Group B.

Tension creeping in

India are about to make some more changes as we pass the hour mark.

The game is in a slight lull as it stands, with some tense faces in the crowd.

There’s plenty riding on the next 30 minutes.

Tensions builds in the stands

Khrbin misses at the back post

A huge chance for Syria.

A mistake from Mishra allows Hesar the chance to cross to Khrbin at the back post.

The Syrian forward has a free header, but puts his effort high and wide.

A big let-off for India.

Two changes for India

Off: Manvir Singh, Deepak Tangri

On: Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh

Ramadan hits the side netting

Ramadan receives the ball on the left side of the Indian penalty area and he fires a shot into the side netting after being closed down by Poojary.

That’s the Syrian player’s final act of the game, as he is subbed off for Alaa Al Dali.

While that change is made, Sandhu is down in his own penalty area. After a short break, he returns to his feet to take a goal kick.

Syria go close again

Ramadan receives the ball on the left side of the Indian penalty area, and he fires a shot into the side netting after being closed down by Poojary.

That’s the Syrian player’s final act of the game because he is subbed off for Alaa Al Dali.

While that change is made, Sandhu is down in his own penalty area. After a short break, he returns to his feet to take a goal kick.

GOAL! Khrbin puts Syria ahead!

Super-sub Khrbin gives Syria the lead!

It’s his 22nd goal for his country and how significant a goal it could be.

A nice move finds Hesar on the left. He feeds the ball to Khrbin in the penalty area, who twists and turns away from Bheke before firing a shot under the outstretched hand of Sandhu.

The goal sparks huge celebrations for Syria and Khrbin is booked for removing his shirt.

india have it all to do

The Indian defenders looked devastated after that goal went in.

The Blue Tigers just more than 10 minutes to try and pull off something very special.

Igor Stimac makes another change with Anirudh Thapa coming on for Lalengmawia Ralte.

Uzbekistan equalise against Australia!

Turgunboev scores in the 79th minute to make it 1-1 in Group B’s other game.

As this stand, Australia top the group with seven points, Uzbekistan are second with five points, Syria are third with four points, and India are bottom with zero.

Al Aswad leaves the field

Syria make a change of their own, with Mahmoud Al Aswad making way for Mohammad Anez.

The Eagles of Qasioun know that four points will put them in a strong position to sneak through as one of the best third-place finishers, but they need to ensure that they see this game out.

India need goals, but that is looking increasingly unlikely.

85 mins: Syria 1-0 India

India lacking a goal threat

India are seeing plenty of the ball, but they are struggling to find a way past the Syrian defence.

They’ve lacked quality at the top of the pitch today and are on the verge of heading out of this tournament without scoring a goal.

Udanta Singh is doing all he can to change that and wins a free kick in the Syrian half, but the set piece comes to nothing with the ball bouncing off Rahul’s head to go behind for a goal kick.

Seven minutes added on

India are throwing men forward, leaving plenty of space for Syria to counter.

One such attack finds Khrbin in the box. He heads the ball into the path of two of his teammates, but they are just unable to apply a finish.

India are still battling away, but they are almost down and out.

Syria on the cusp of a huge win

The Syrian fans are starting to party in the stands.

Their players are seeing out this match nicely. As it stands they are on course to be one of the four best third placed teams.

A reminder, it remains 1-1 between Australia and Uzbekistan. They are set to finish as the top two in Group B.

90+5 mins: Syria 1-0 India

India testing Madanieh

A ball is floated into the Syrian box from the left, but Madanieh shows great composure to claim it while almost on his own line.

India come back again, with Chhangte whipping in a cross from the right. Madaneih punches it to safety.

These are nervy moments for Syria.

90+7 mins: Syria 1-0 India


That’s it!

The whistle is blown and Syria have pulled off a huge victory.

Progress to the last 16 is not guaranteed, but they look in a strong position in third place on four points.

Khrbin is being hoisted into the air by his teammates!

Group B concludes

It’s also full-time in Australia’s clash with Uzbekistan.

That game has finished 1-1, meaning the Socceroos finish top of Group B on 7 points.

Uzbekistan are second on five points and will join Australia in the last 16.

Syria are currently the best ranked third-place team with four points and now face a nervy wait to see if they have secured qualification.

India prop up the group, unable to secure a point or score a goal.

India heading home

Igor Stimac will likely face some tough questions as India crash out with no points and no goals.

The effort and intensity wasn’t lacking today, but they lacked any real quality to break Syria down.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu impressed in goal, ensuring that the scoreline remained at only 1-0.

Photos: Syrian joy, Indian heartache

Khrbin keeps Syria alive

Half-time substitute Omar Khrbin was the difference today, as the Al-Wahda forward scored the goal that could see Syria reach the Asian Cup last 16 for the first time.

The 30-year-old looked lively throughout the second half and showed great composure to slot the ball home on 76 minutes.

Khrbin now has 22 goals in 58 appearances for Syria and will remain a threat if the Eagles of Qasioun remain in this tournament.

How Syria can qualify

Victory today has left Syria on four points after their three group games.

The four best third-placed teams will qualify for the knockout stages in Qatar.

Only two groups have concluded their games so far, with China finishing third in Group A on just two points.

Bahrain, Indonesia, Oman and Palestine all sit third in their respective groups, but have a game still to play.

It means a nervous wait for Syria to discover if they have reached the last 16.

Goodbye for now

It was a frantic evening in Group B, with Syria winning to give themselves a good chance of securing a place in the last 16.

That’s not the end of today’s Asian Cup action, with two games on the way in just under an hour.

Iran will face the United Arab Emirates, while Hong Kong will take on Palestine.

We’ll be covering the latter live and you can join Kevin here for all of the action from that one.

For now, from me, goodbye.

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