10.01.2019 22:23 h

Syria dump coach Stange after Asian Cup defeat

Syria axed their coach Bernd Stange late on Thursday after defeat to Jordan in the Asian Cup, making him the tournament's second managerial casualty just six days into the competition.

The 70-year-old German had faced criticism immediately after the 2-0 derby loss, which followed a 0-0 draw with Palestine and badly damaged their hopes of qualifying from Group B.

"The Syrian Arab Football Federation has decided to dismiss coach Bernd Stange," said a statement on the organisation's Facebook page.

It added that former national coach Fajr Ibrahim would take charge for Syria's final group game against Australia on Tuesday.

Stange's dismissal comes after Thailand sacked their coach Milovan Rajevac following their 4-1 defeat to India. The Thais recovered to beat Bahrain 1-0 on Thursday.

Media rounded on Stange after the reverse to neighbours Jordan in Al Ain, questioning why he couldn't repeat the form of 2017 when Syria reached the World Cup playoffs.

"Coaches are always responsible for the performance of this team," said Stange. "We're extremely disappointed because we wanted to get into the next round for the first time.

"Today was a big disappointment but I will never blame one player or group of players. Of course the coach is responsible."