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Syria's Mourinho approach played down

Syria
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

China claim historic win against South Korea as Australia held by Iraq

Marcello Lippi's China took a shocking first half lead over South Korea as Yu Dabao's goal was the decider.

Yu Dabao's header and a stirring second-half performance by goalkeeper Zeng Cheng saw China claim a 1-0 win over South Korea on Thursday that keeps alive Marcello Lippi's side's slim hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup finals.

Yu headed in the winner 11 minutes before the break while Zeng made a trio of superb saves to deny Uli Stielike's side in the second half as the Chinese notched up their first win over the South Koreans in seven years, and only their second ever victory against...

U.S. travel ban could affect chances of hosting 2026 World Cup - FIFA chief

ESPN FC's Herculez Gomez weighs the pros and cons of a 2026 World Cup joint-bid between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino indicated on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban could prevent the United States from hosting the World Cup.

"It's obvious when it comes to FIFA competitions as well, any team, including the supporters and officials of that team, who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup," Infantino said.

Trump's latest executive order bars new visas for people from six countries and temporarily...

Cristiano Ronaldo makes donation, tells Syrian children: Don't lose hope

Patrice Evra is back at it again, CR7 adds another trophy to his collection and more in The Sweeper.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has expressed his anguish over the plight of children in war-shattered Syria and made a donation to help fund emergency supplies in Aleppo.

Aleppo has witnessed four years of brutal fighting between rebels and government forces until Thursday when opposition fighters left, putting the government in full control for the first time since 2012.

In a video message posted on his official Twitter account, the Portugal captain said: "This is for the children of Syria....

 By John Duerden

Marcello Lippi fails to inspire China while Australia draw 2-2 in Thailand

Paul Pogba pays homage to Conor McGregor's walk and David Alaba falls victim to Thiago's nutmeg in The Sweeper.
China coach Marcello Lippi
Marcello Lippi took charge of his first competitive game as China head coach.

Marcello Lippi was unable to inspire China to a win in his first game in charge as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Qatar in a AFC World Cup qualifier in Kunming on Tuesday evening.

The hosts are bottom of Group A in the final round of qualification for the 2018 World Cup with just one point from the first four games, and the result almost certainly ends the slim hopes they had of finishing in the top two in the six-team group and progressing automatically to Russia.

China had plenty of chances but...

 By Nicolas Anil

Singapore beaten again, outclassed by Syria in AFF Cup warmup

ESPN FC's Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson assess Singapore's chances at the AFF Championship.
Singapore coach V. Sundramoorthy
Singapore have now gone six international matches without victory under V. Sundramoorthy.

Singapore were undone by two quickfire strikes in the second half, as they went down 2-0 to Syria in a 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup friendly at Seremban, Malaysia, on Wednesday.

The result means that the Lions are now winless in their last six games at senior international level.

V. Sundramoorthy's side did not look like they were going to have a successful night, with the Syrians camping out in their half for most of the opening period.

But despite the majority of of possession, Syria took 26 minutes to...