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Lebanon fail to earn full points

Lebanon coach Emile Rustom is still hopeful but his players failed him again, reports Abhishek Hore.

sports Updated: Aug 26, 2009 00:44 IST
Abhishek Hore

Lebanon coach Emile Rustom is still hopeful but his players failed him again.

Their Nehru Cup campaign hanging in the balance, the West Asian nation was expected to put up a fighting show, but it didn't seem to have learnt from the lesson it got against Sri Lanka three days back and hence the 1-1 draw against Kyrgyzstan at the Ambedkar Stadium on Tuesday was par for the course.

Lebanon, who started the tournament on a rousing note, beating India 1-0, came back strongly after a goal down early in the second half but failed to collect the full points against a determined Kyrgyzstan side.

Zemlianuhin Anton put the Kyrgys ahead after the change of ends --- he positioned himself perfectly to make use of Amirov Ildar's strike. But Abbas Ahmed Atwi neutralised the lead with a 56th minute strike for Lebanon.

The result meant Kyrgyzstan are out of the tournament having collected just one point from three matches, but Lebanon too don't find themselves in a very favourable position.

They play their last match against tournaments favourites Syria on August 27. “Not everything is lost for us yet. We have a match against Syria and all depends on the outcome of that match,” said Rustom.

‘Will give our best against Syria’

The draw notwithstanding, Rustom said his boys will come up with a much-improved show when they take on Syria in a must-win match on Thursday.

“The humidity, fasting of the players due to Ramadan and a red card to our center forward in the last match; all these have contributed to our team's poor performance,” Rustam said after the match. “I know it will be difficult for us to make it to the title-clash. We have to try and win the match against Syria and see what happens after that.“