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At the referee's whistle, the young forward leans on his crutches and punts the football with his only leg, kicking off a match between war amputees in Syria's battered northwest.
Veteran German coach Bernd Stange took charge of the Syrian national team on Wednesday, his sixth international appointment in a career which has also included a stint with Iraq.
Syrian striker Omar Khrbin was awarded the Asian Football Confederation's 2017 Player of the Year Wednesday, after starring both for his club and for his war-ravaged country's attempt to make the World Cup.
Syria coach Ayman al-Hakim on Thursday resigned after the head of the federation criticised his performance, after the team failed to qualify for its first ever World Cup.
Australia emerged victorious in extra-time, beating Syria 2-1, ending the World Cup hopes of the war-torn nation, who initially took the lead in the return leg and came so close to equalizing in the added time of extra-time, but were cruelly denied by the woodwork. The Australians will no face the team who finishes fourth in the CONACAF qualifying group to see who will qualify for Russia 2018.
The prospect of reaching football's World Cup and creating one of the biggest shocks in the competition's history is giving Syrians something else to think about after years of grinding war.
Syria will rely on their trademark fighting spirit to keep their World Cup "miracle" alive against Australia on Tuesday, as the Socceroos look to ride a wave of home support.
Omar al-Soma buried a late penalty as war-torn Syria drew 1-1 with Australia to put their two-legged World Cup play-off on a knife-edge on Thursday.
A qualifying campaign that has defied civil war and internal splits has brought Syria within sight of a miraculous World Cup berth -- if they can overcome Asian champions Australia.