Qatar edge Syria in Doha

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A penalty was all that separated Qatar and Syria after full time during their 2018 World Cup qualification match on Tuesday.

The Maroons earned a first half penalty which was guided home by forward Hasan Al Haydos to claim the first points of their campaign. Qatar now sit in fifth place on three points, with only the top two securing a place in Russia 2018.

The hosts would dominate the opening stanza, earning their first chance in the 20th minute. However, Mohammed Kasol’s header missed its target.

Al Haydos earned the penalty after the striker jinked past a couple defenders in the box before being taken out by Zahir Al Medani. Referee Ahmed Abu Bakar Al Kaf pointed straight to the penalty spot and Al Haydos made no mistake, drilling the ball into the bottom right corner.

Syrian stopper Ibrahim Alma saved a shot from Sebastian Suria from 20 yards with his right arm on the stroke of halftime to keep the visitors in the hunt.

But the Qasioun Eagles struggled to produce anything of substance on attack, allowing Qatar to pile on the pressure.

Heroes Suria and Al Haydos would both have half chances on the second half, but Alma proved equal to the task.

Syria would earn their best chance with five minutes to play, when Omar Khrbin struck a pearler of a free-kick that crashed into the crossbar after goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb palmed the ball upwards with a diving save.