SPORT

Syria score late penalty for 1-1 draw with Australia

SYRIA SCORE LATE PENALTY FOR 1-1 DRAW WITH AUSTRALIA

Syria kept alive their hopes of reaching the World Cup finals for the first time with a 1-1 draw against Australia in Malacca, Malaysia on Thursday.

A late penalty by Syria's Omar al-Soma cancelled out a first half goal by Australia's Robbie Kruse in the first leg of the Asian qualifying round play-off.

Kruse scored from close range on his 29th birthday five minutes before the break, while al-Soma converted from the spot five minutes from time after being impeded in the area by Mathew Leckie.

The first leg was held in Malaysia due to the six-year civil war in Syria.

The return leg is in Sydney on Tuesday. The winner over the two legs will face the fourth-placed team from the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) qualifying group.

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