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Syria's Mourinho approach played down

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ukraine beat Albania while Romania and Switzerland also win friendlies

A battle between two European Championship rivals saw Ukraine claim a 3-1 victory over surprise qualifiers Albania in Bergamo, Italy, on Friday.

After conceding an early opener, Albania levelled quickly through Armando Sadiku but gave away another goal at the start of the second half, and Ukraine, also going to Euro 2016, sealed the win with two minutes to go.

The loud Albania fans, who filled half of the stadium in Bergamo, Italy, where their team were training before going to France, were quieted...

Thailand's Zico wants good WCQ start against Saudis, wary of Japan trio

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and David Mitchell look ahead to Thailand's upcoming AFC World Cup qualifying campaign.

Thailand's head coach Kiatisuk 'Zico' Senamuang insists his side are ready to spring a surprise despite being drawn in a tough group B for the final phase of AFC qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Thais have been placed in what looks the more difficult of the two qualifying groups, facing Asian champions Australia, regular World Cup finalists Japan and Middle Eastern heavyweights Saudi Arabia. They also have to play Iraq again -- having faced them in the previous round -- and the United...

Thailand's Zico unafraid of Japan and Australia in AFC WCQ final round

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and David Mitchell look ahead to Thailand's upcoming AFC World Cup qualifying campaign.

Thailand will face Asian giants Australia and Japan in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

The War Elephants were placed in Group B at the draw held in Malaysia on Tuesday, with the two heavyweights, as well as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

Kiatisuk Senamuang's men kick-off their first final round campaign since 2002 on Sept. 1 at Saudi Arabia before hosting four-time Asian champions Japan five days later.

"We always knew it was going to be a tough draw for us,"...

WCQ: Australia, Japan in Group B, South Korea meet Iran in Group A

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and David Mitchell break down the AFC World Cup qualifying draw, with Australia finding themselves in a tough group.

Australia and Japan will meet in the final round of 2018 AFC World Cup qualification for the third successive time following the draw made in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday afternoon.

The Samurai Blue and the Socceroos developed a major rivalry after clashes at the 2006 World Cup, qualification for the 2010 and 2014 global tournaments and the 2011 Asian Cup final which Japan won 1-0.

Both will be hoping to finish in the top two spots in Group B and qualify automatically for Russia.

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Jose Mourinho eyes return to Premier League, rejects Syria offer

Jose Mourinho has declined Syria's offer to coach the war-torn nation's team while reiterating his desire to return to management in England next season.

The Portuguese, who has been linked with Manchester United since being fired by Chelsea for a second time in December, insisted he has not yet penned an agreement with any club.

"I don't have a contract with any club but in the summer I will be back," Mourinho told British broadcaster Sky Sports as he prepared to watch the Anthony Joshua-Charles...