Syria coach Ayman Al Hakim focused his attention on Ange Postecoglou after their 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Australia.
Source:
AAP
11 Oct 2017 - 6:18 AM  UPDATED 11 Oct 2017 - 6:19 AM

The anger in Ayman Al Hakim was bubbling well before Tim Cahill's head finally put their ambitions to bed in the 109th minute.

It started with Mahmoud Al Mawas' second yellow card for a challenge on Robbie Kruse, reducing Syria to 10 men for most of extra-time.

For the next 30 minutes Al Hakim fumed in his technical area until the full-time whistle blew and he was free to let loose on Ange Postecoglou.

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He could be seen remonstrating with the Socceroos coach, who gave a bit of lip back and then waved away the complaints, which came five days after Australia were dealt a dubious penalty that cost them a first-leg victory over Syria in Malaysia.

"He was complaining about the referee, which I thought was a bit rich coming after the first game," Postecoglou said afterwards.

"So I wished him well and away he went."

Syria's quest for a maiden World Cup berth has been both remarkable and controversial.

The team, which has achieved so much with so little, is accused of acting as a propaganda tool for dictator Bashar al-Assad in the country's brutal civil war.

In other ways, it has been viewed as a uniting force when there are seemingly so few others.

Before the match, Al Hakim described the feat as a miracle.

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After it, he was disappointed yet full of praise.

"I am very proud of my boys with what they have achieved," al-Hakim said.

"At the end there are mistakes in soccer.

"The players followed instructions very, very well, but the Australian goal happens because of the pressure of the Socceroos."