Syria showed on Tuesday just why they had been billed as tournament favourites in the ONGC Nehru Cup. Playing their second match of the tournament, they stamped their authority with a 4-1 demolition of Kyrgyzstan.
After a none-too-impressive outing against underdogs Bangladesh in their opening match, the Syrians put up a classy performance right throughout the 90 minutes.
They were on the attack right from the word go and scored as early as in the seventh minute through Maher Al Sayed after a weak clearance by a Kyrgyzstan defender provided him with the opportunity.
Finding the ball at his feet, Sayed unleashed a powerful right-footer, which left the Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper Kashuba Valeri a hapless bystander.
Barring an own goal — the first of the tournament — from Ali Dyeb, who, while attempting to clear, only managed to chip the ball into to his own net in the 13th minute, Syria were always the better team on view.
They regained the lead again just before the half-time — Aatef Jenyat’s through ball found an unmarked Zyad Chaabo, who headed the ball into the net.
If Syria were good in the first half, they looked even more dangerous after the break, making several forays into the Kyrgyzstan half.
They created chance after chance and converted twice — first in the 70th minute when Alzeno, after making a solo run in to the Kyrgyzstan box, chipped the ball into the net.
Alzeno may have scored the goal but credit must also go to Syrian captain Maher Al Sayed, who found Alzeno with a delightful through ball.
There was more misery in store for Kyrgyzstan with Abrahiem Hasan heading in Syria’s fourth goal.