Syria dump coach Stange after Asian Cup defeat

Gulf Times Sport - - FOOTBALL -

Al-Ain, UAE: Syria axed their coach Bernd Stange late on Thurs­day after defeat to Jordan in the Asian Cup, mak­ing him the tour­na­ment’s second man­age­rial ca­su­alty just six days into the com­pe­ti­tion.

The 70-year-old Ger­man had faced crit­i­cism im­me­di­ately after the 2-0 derby loss, which fol­lowed a 0-0 draw with Pales­tine and badly dam­aged their hopes of qual­i­fy­ing from Group B. “The Syr­ian Arab Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion has de­cided to dis­miss coach Bernd Stange,” said a state­ment on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Face­book page.

It added that for­mer national coach Fajr Ibrahim would take charge for Syria’s fi­nal group game against Aus­tralia on Tuesday. Stange’s dis­missal comes after Thai­land sacked their coach Milo­van Ra­je­vac fol­low­ing their 4-1 defeat to India. The Thais re­cov­ered to beat Bahrain 1-0 on Thurs­day.

Me­dia rounded on Stange after the re­verse to neigh­bours Jordan in Al Ain, ques­tion­ing why he couldn’t repeat the form of 2017 when Syria reached the World

Cup play­offs. “Coaches are al­ways re­spon­si­ble for the performance of this team,” said Stange. “We’re ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed be­cause we wanted to get into the next round for the first time. Today was a big dis­ap­point­ment but I will never blame one player or group of play­ers. Of course the coach is re­spon­si­ble.”

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