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Melaka: Omar Khribin starred with a brace as Syria gave their 2018 FIFA World Cup dreams a massive boost with a 3-1 win over Qatar on Tuesday, while the result effectively ended the visitors' slim hopes of grabbing the third place play-off spot.

Syria made their intentions clear early on and Khribin gave his side the lead with his seventh minute strike, a swerving finish past the outstretched arms of Saad Al Sheeb.

Ten minutes before half-time, Qatar levelled the scores through midfielder Ali Asadalla, who netted from close range after converting a cross from captain Hassan Al Haydos.

After the restart, Khribin doubled his tally for the night and made it 2-1 to the Qasioun Eagles. The Al Hilal star ran on to a through ball from Mahmoud Al Mawas before finishing with aplomb from a tight angle. Al Mawas then completed the scoring with a strike of his own after a quick counter attack.

The win takes Syria to third place in Group A, two points behind second-placed Korea Republic, ahead of their final fixture with all to play for against Islamic Republic of Iran on September 5.

Photo: Lagardère Sports