Title contenders Syria lived up to expectations, blanking Kyrgyzstan 2-0 in the second match of the Nehru Cup international football tournament in Delhi on Thursday.
Syria, at No 95 the highest FIFA-ranked side in the five-nation tournament, dominated for most of the match and could have won by a bigger margin had not they missed some clear chances at the floodlit Ambedkar stadium.
Star striker Mohammad Al Zino put Syria ahead in the ninth minute before Abdul Fatah Alaga made it 2-0 in the 71st, on a pitch that saw more ground passes because of the reduced grass, which was trimed after India coach Bob Houghton blamed his side's 0-1 loss to Lebanon on Wednesday on the playing surface.
Syria went on the offensive from the word go and could have gone ahead in the third minute but Abdul Alaga's right-footer was blocked by Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper Mahash Pavli.
Six minutes later, Al Zino found the net, heading in a nice chip from his strike partner Moutaz Kaildni from the top right of the box.
Al Zino had another strike at Kyrgyzstan goal in the 16th minute off a pass by midfielder Abdal Razaq Al Houssain but that went wide.
Al Houssain himself then made a solo run from the centre in the 28th minute but shot wide.
In the 35th minute, Al Zino was again in the thick of things but his fine low cross from the right was wasted as Kaildni's right-footer was too feeble to test Pavli.
In contrast, the Kyrgyzstan attack lacked understanding. Whenever they made some fine moves, the final pass or the finishing touch was missing.
Midfielder Zemhanuhin Anton and striker Murzaev Murlan worked hard in tandem but lacked support from their team-mates.