WORLD CUP QUALIFYING - AFC

Kazma

Referee: Abdullah Mohamed Al Hilali | Attendance: 15000

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Kuwait

  • Ahmed Ajab 2'
  • Ahmed Ajab 20'
  • Waleed Jumah 58'
  • Ahmed Ajab 62'

4 - 2

FT

Syria

  • Firas Al-Khatib 9'
  • Firas Al-Khatib 45'

Kuwait 4-2 Syria: Ahmed Ajab shines

Ahmed Ajab was the star of the show as the striker's hat-trick helped Kuwait re-ignite their World Cup Qualifying campaign with victory over Syria at Kuwait Stadium on Sunday.

Kuwait twice took the lead in the first-half only for Firas Al Khatib to haul Syria level on each occasion before an own goal just before the hour mark finally broke the visitors' resistance with Ajab sealing victory soon after.

However, keeper Nawaf Al Khaldi saw red 18 minutes from the end to ensure a nervy finale for Kuwait.

Despite the win, Kuwait remain bottom of Group Five but are now only two points behind leaders Iran with two rounds remaining.

The home side got off to a fast start as Ajab headed them in front after only 75 seconds when he got on the end of Ali Maqseed's cross.

Syria levelled after nine minutes when Al Khatib stroked a free-kick into the top corner but Ajab nodded in both his and Kuwait's second 11 minutes later from Mohammad Harrah's delightful centre.

The visitors hit back for a second time in first-half stoppage time with Al Khatib again on the mark as the striker found the bottom corner when afforded time and space on the left side of the Kuwait box.

However, Kuwait took the lead for good after 58 minutes as they benefited from a piece of good fortune when Syria defender Anas Al Khoja put substitute Walied Ali's cross through his own net.

Ajab then put the result beyond doubt four minutes later when Maqseed's well-struck free-kick came back off the bar but the 24-year-old striker was quickest to react and produced a bicycle kick from close range to complete his hat-trick.

Kuwait suffered a huge setback after 72 minutes when they were reduced to 10 men when keeper Al Khaldi was dismissed for a foul on substitute Sanharib Malki but Syria could not take advantage of their numerical advantage as the home side held on to claim three vital points.

Scoring Summary

  • Kuwait
  • Syria
Ahmed Ajab (2')
Ahmed Ajab (20')
Waleed Jumah (58')
Ahmed Ajab (62')

Match Stats

  • Kuwait
  • Syria
0(0) Shots (on goal) 0(0)
0 Fouls 0
0 Corner kicks 0
0 Offsides 0
0% Time of Possession 0%
3 Yellow Cards 2
1 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 0

Teams

  • Kuwait
  • Syria
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards
Red Cards