Sri Lanka match behind the players’ backs


It may be one of the few times that players win a match without there being any post-match joy. This is the state of Lebanon’s first-team players after their 3-2 victory over Sri Lanka on Saturday in the Asian double qualifiers. Perhaps the players did the most important thing, which is to win the match and score the three points, raising Lebanon’s tally to ten points in second place with a goal difference behind South Korea, which beat Turkmenistan 5-0. There is no doubt that the idea of ​​the importance of winning is correct even if the opponent is Sri Lanka, who is in fourth and last place after North Korea withdrew without points, is correct. The team missed the matches for a long time, and their trip to Korea was tiring for the long distance, so winning is very important in the task of collecting points in Group H.Al-Akhbar learned that the national team players were upset with their performance, considering that recklessness was the main reason behind the team’s unconvincing performance against Sri Lanka. The team was delayed with a surprise goal from the Sri Lankan team through Ahmed Razek after a mistake from the defense and then goalkeeper Mahdi Khalil. The Lebanese quickly compensated through the brilliant Joan Al-Omari, who scored two goals (the second in a superb manner) alongside Mohamed Kdouh. The problem was that the opponent reduced the score through an incorrect penalty kick through Razek as well, so that the Lebanese national team was under pressure.
On Saturday, the coaching staff was not allowed to speak with the players after the match. The journey from the stadium to the accommodation lasted an hour and a quarter of an hour, in addition to the players eating their dinner and falling asleep due to exhaustion.
Yesterday, everyone put the match behind their back and practiced in preparation for the important meeting of Turkmenistan on Wednesday at nine in the morning Beirut time. As for the Sri Lanka match, today there will be a video session between the technical staff and the players before lunch for the technical discussion, in addition to a new exercise and undergoing the Corona examination for the Turkmenistan match as stipulated in the protocol, which is the fourth examination that the Lebanese delegation has undergone since arriving in South Korea last Tuesday. .
The problem of Corona came strongly in the Lebanese camp, after it excluded the player Basil Jaradi from the first match. Korean officials imposed a quarantine on Jaradi for a period of 14 days, after it was found that his place on the plane from Qatar to Korea was next to a person whose infection with Corona appeared upon his arrival in Korea.
This matter was the main concern of the Lebanese delegation and the Lebanese Football Association, which sent a quick message to the Asian Confederation requesting that Grady be returned to the Lebanese mission and the removal of the stone from him because he did not sit next to the injured passenger. In addition, Grady underwent three Corona tests conducted by the Koreans themselves, and all three results were negative.

The Lebanese Football Association wrote to its Asian counterpart to solve the problem of Basil Jaradi

Until this morning, there were no positive signs about Grady’s return to the mission due to the strictness of Koreans who adhere to government instructions. The hope remains that the AFC will answer the letter of the Lebanese Federation today and succeed in lifting the stone from Jaradi so that he will be present with the national team in a meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, with Turkmenistan.
This meeting, if Lebanon wins it, will mean to a large extent Lebanon’s qualification to the final round of World Cup qualifiers as one of the four teams that ranked second at least, with the potential to snatch first place from the Koreans in the event of a victory over them in the last match next Sunday. Lebanon’s victory over Turkmenistan means its qualification for the 2023 Asian Cup finals in China as well.
But why does the victory over Turkmenistan mean that Lebanon has qualified for the final round of World Cup qualifiers?
After the withdrawal of the North Korean national team, his points were crossed out with the teams he played with in Group H. The Lebanese team benefited the most, as it earned only one point from Korea in the two matches it played against the Koreans, unlike the rest of the teams.
This withdrawal made the number of teams in the eighth group four teams, unlike the rest of the seven groups, each of which includes five teams.
Based on the principle of fairness in determining the four teams that will qualify for the final round as better than the second-placed in the eight groups, the results of each team that finished second will be decided with the last-placed team in their group. The group map indicates that the teams that occupy the last place often score between one and zero points, such as Guam, Taipei, Cambodia and Indonesia in groups 1, 2, 3, and 7. Bangladesh has two points in Group E, and Mongolia has three points in Group F.
This means that crossing out the results of these teams with the second-placed teams will make them lose points they earned against the teams in the last ranks, unlike Lebanon, which lost five points from North Korea (a loss and a draw).
But all these calculations will crystallize more after the end of the second round, as the group picture will become clear in the hope that the Lebanese team will have won over Turkmenistan, despite the difficulty of the task in the absence of Hilal Al-Helweh for receiving a yellow warning, his second in the qualifiers, in addition to the continued absence of Jaradi in the event The response of the AFC was negative to the letter of the Lebanese Federation.

Olympic team to Dubai
Lebanon’s Olympic team (under 22 years) played its last match on Sunday morning at Bir Hassan Stadium, in preparation for a friendly match against its UAE counterpart on June 10 and 14 in Dubai.
The gathering included PCR tests to determine the names of the 24 players who will join the team’s mission, which will leave for Dubai on Monday evening at 10:30 and return on the 16th of this month.
The Lebanese team will complete its friendly matches after returning to Beirut by hosting its Kuwaiti counterpart in three friendly matches on June 18, 21 and 24, followed by hosting its Syrian counterpart in two friendly matches on July 3 and 6 next.
The international friendly matches come after a series of intensive preparations and local training matches in preparation for the Asian qualifiers, which start on October 23.


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