Syria’s bad luck with the rain continued. In the three matches they have played so far, they are yet to see dry conditions and have just one point.
Maldives kept their hopes alive with this victory. Having played three matches, they were joint toppers with India, who have played one game less, on six points.
The highly rated Ali Ashfaq found the net for the first time in the match, heading in a Mohamed Umair’s free-kick in the 59th minute.
Syria found the equaliser from Alaa Alshbbli in the 81st minute with a sensational overhead kick, his third goal of the tournament.
At a time when the match was headed towards a draw, Ahmed Rasheed scored the winner deep into injury time, tapping in Ashfaq’s low cross to shatter Syria’s hopes.
Both teams relied on aerial balls as heavy ground conditions made the passing game difficult.
Syria adjusted to the conditions quicker with the Maldivian players struggling to build up play.
Syria were quick on the attack. Almedani’s corner-kick was met by Yasser Shoshara’s header but was cleared on the goal-line by Abdulla Asadhulla.
The Maldives, though, soon settled down and started threatening the Syrian goal.
Abdulla had a golden chance to give his side the lead but failed to find the back of the net with Syrian custodian Mosab Balhous making a fine save.
The Syrian captain was again called into action minutes later, flinging his left leg in the way of a venomous Abdulla shot.
The first half ended in a stalemate with neither teams able to break the dreadlock.
The first chance of the second half fell to Syria. Mardek Mardikian, who came on as a substitute in the 46th minute made instant impact bringing out a fine save from Maldives’ goalkeeper Mohamed Imran.
Imran once again came to the rescue of his team, putting his body on the line from Mardikian’s narrow shot.
The Maldives adopted defensive tactics after the changeover, coming under heavy pressure.
With just 10 minutes to go the game took a turn for the better. The match opened up, with both teams trying to find the winner and it finally came in injury time for the Maldives.
Maldives coach Istvan Urbanyi was sent off for dissent despite his team’s late winner.