How Syria Soccer Team Can Qualify For 2018 World Cup Via FIFA Playoffs

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Syria must defer its World Cup dream for now, but that’s better than the alternative scenario.

The war-torn nation missed the chance Tuesday to qualify automatically for the 2018 FIFA World Cup but earned spot in the Asian Football Confederation playoff thanks to some late-game drama.

Syria was headed for defeat against Iran and World Cup elimination until Omar Al Somah rescued his team’s World Cup hopes by scoring a 93rd-minute goal, which secured a 2-2 draw and third place in its Asian Football Confederation group.

The result sets up a two-game October playoff series between Syria and Australia, with the winner advancing to face CONCACAF’s fourth-place finisher, which likely will be Honduras, Panama or the United States, for a ticket to Russia 2018.

NESN.com’s Marcus Kwesi O’Mard joins Courtney Cox to assess Syria’s improbable World Cup bid and its chances of reaching the sports world’s biggest stage. Watch the video above to see their discussion.

Thumbnail photo via Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport/USA TODAY Sports Images

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