Syrian reaction mixed after loss to Vietnam

By Hoang An   June 22, 2023 | 06:40 am PT
Syrian reaction mixed after loss to Vietnam
Vietnam (in red) play Syria in an international friendly on June 20, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
The Syrian football team’s loss to underdogs Vietnam has caused mixed reactions among fans and media in the country.

News site SnackSyrian commented that the friendly match between Vietnam and Syria on Tuesday was a lackluster one, and neither of the two teams did a good job creating scoring opportunities.

"However, Syria showed improvement in ball control and distribution among the players," the SnackSyrian report said. "That’s the influence of coach Hector Cuper. He still has much time to prove and we should not jump into conclusion after just a few friendlies."

Newspaper Athr Press agreed with that opinion and encouraged Syrian fans to give coach Cuper more time, even though the team "left no impression" in their match with Vietnam.

From 2022-2023, Syria chalked up six straight losses under coach Hussam Al-Sayed, which got him sacked. Cuper replaced Al-Sayed in February this year and finally helped Syria win 3-1 against Thailand.

But Syria then suffered another two straight defeats in their most recent games.

Cuper said Syria’s players were not familiar with the hot and humid weather in Vietnam despite having trained for a week here.

With eight defeats out of their nine recent games, Syria’s fans and media have become increasingly disappointed.

Newspaper Al Baath did not place the blame on coach Cuper, but on the players instead.

"There’s nothing new with Syria. We lost to Vietnam not because of the weather, but because of weak defense and useless attackers. Syria rarely caused danger for the hosts, while the players couldn’t create any chance," the paper reported.

Newspaper Thawra was also not surprised with Syria’s defeat, and it criticized the country’s football federation for not taking responsibility or providing any explanation for the current state of the team.

From the U17 team to the national team, all Syrian football levels are currently going through a slump.

On the contrary, Vietnam are enjoying a streak of 10 undefeated home games, including nine wins. The team are also undefeated in 22 consecutive friendlies.

Vietnam are set to play two more friendlies in September.

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